David Christensen, the Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Family Research Council, sent an urgent email to supporters Thursday morning asking them to call their legislators to co-sponsor the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act of 2014. The legislation, spearheaded by Representatives Mike Enzi (R-Wy.) and Mike Kelly (R-PA) would prevent government from withholding funds for child welfare service providers simply because they believe in traditional marriage.
From Christensen's email:
In California, Massachusetts, Illinois, and D.C. religious adoption and foster care providers have had their government funding pulled and have been forced to end services, simply because they continue to believe in the importance of a child having a mom and a dad.
It's a sad sign of the times that some states have preferred to sever longstanding partnerships with faith-based providers rather than allow them to continue caring for and placing children informed by traditional moral beliefs about the family.
Since its introduction, progressive groups have decried this legislation as homophobic. They label it a “political tool to oppose marriage equality or civil unions for same-sex couples”:
The bill would force the government to continue to contracting with any organization that provides services to children, regardless of how their religious tenets affect the way they provide those services. Though the text doesn’t mention “same-sex” anywhere, it specifically references “some States, including Massachusetts, California, Illinois, and the District of Columbia,” four places where recognition of same-sex unions conflicted with Catholic Charities, which refused to provide adoption services to those couples.
Rep. Kelly responded to these charges:
"Nothing in the Inclusion Act prevents any child welfare service provider from participating in child welfare services," Kelly told Townhall.
"Nothing. It simply ensures that a provider will not be excluded in any manner from participating in such services on the basis of its religious and moral beliefs, which is one reason the Act is called the Inclusion Act."
Kelly also emphasized it's supposed to be about the children:
"The essence of this bill is 100 percent inclusive and child-focused. We live in a time when children throughout our nation are relying on adoption and foster care services to ensure they have the love, stability, and protection that a family offers. Squeezing faith-based child welfare providers out of communities in need because they don’t have the “right” beliefs does not help children—it only hurts them. While we all have our own unique political and social views, the well-being of our children must always transcend them. To ensure a positive outcome for as many children as possible, tolerance in this space is required."
This bill is not about denying couples rights, but providing safe homes for children. Adoption and foster care are wonderful, lifesaving alternatives for young moms dealing with unplanned pregnancies who may be considering abortion.
Here is the full text of the legislation. Maybe I’m not the best at interpretation, but I’ve yet to find the section on hate crime. With liberal progressives trying to cut welfare providers' funding just because of their religious beliefs, it's easy to see where the real discrimination lies.