Cuomo: NY will fight ‘repugnant’ Trump rule allowing adoption, foster care agencies to turn away LGBTQ families

Adam Warner
November 03, 2019 - 6:34 pm

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NEW YORK (1010 WINS/AP) – Gov. Cuomo said Sunday that New York State would go to court to block a Trump administration proposal that would allow adoption and foster care agencies to turn away members of the LGBTQ community who want to give kids a home.

“This proposal isn't just discriminatory and repugnant to our values—it's also heartless and dumb as it would deny countless children a loving family and a safe place to call home,” Cuomo tweeted Sunday. “If President Trump moves forward with this rule, we'll take legal action to stop it.”

The proposed rule change would allow religious organizations to reject gay families who want to care for a foster kid or adopt a child and not lose taxpayer dollars for doing so.

Sitting in Christopher Park on Sunday, Johnny told 1010 WINS that he understands people and organizations are entitled to their religious beliefs, but he thinks the proposed changed is very problematic.

“Slowly eroding protections for LGBTQ-identified people and citing religious reasons for it, I think is scary and a slippery slope,” he said.

Johnny’s biggest concern is that religious organizations would face no repercussions for excluding gay couples and LGBTQ people more broadly.

“Where does that lead?” he said. “If it’s adoption or if it’s baking a cake, what’s the next opportunity for them to discriminate?”

Critics of the proposed change say it’s against the long-held view that the best interest of a child should come first. They say keeping gay couples from adopting would leave more children without families.

The White House says the president isn’t preventing LGBTQ people from adopting. It says the rule from the Department of Health and Human Services is needed to remove barriers that prevent some nonprofits from helping vulnerable people in their communities.

The rule would apply to a broad range of organizations that receive federal support, such as those that get federal funding to help the homeless or prevent HIV. But the focus from supporters and detractors has been on foster care and adoption services.

Under the proposed rule, HHS would redo an Obama-era rule that included sexual orientation as a protected trait under anti-discrimination protections.

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said that restricting the work of faith-based organizations, as the Obama rule threatened to do, was unfair and serves no one, "especially the children in need of those services."

The Family Research Council, a conservative advocacy group, said charities would no longer have to choose between "abandoning their faith or abandoning homeless children."

But LGBT groups said the administration's plan would reduce the pool of qualified parents wanting to adopt or foster a child. They said that nearly 123,000 foster children are awaiting adoption, and the rule would make even fewer families available to them.

"It is outrageous that the Trump administration would mark the start of National Adoption Month by announcing a rule to further limit the pool of loving homes available to America's 440,000 foster children," said Julie Kruse, director of federal policy at Family Equality. "The American public overwhelmingly opposes allowing taxpayer-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away qualified parents simply because they are in a same-sex relationship."

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