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Ken Paxton, Texas AG, sues to block Biden administration crackdown on religious adoption agencies

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued to stop the Biden administration from forcing religious foster and adoption services to care for same-sex couples or risk losing federal funding , claiming that the rule violates religious freedom rights.

The lawsuit filed Monday seeks to protect Texas from the federal government’s enforcement of an Obama-era rule prohibiting private religious social service agencies from discriminating on the basis of gender identity, gender and homosexual status, known as the SOGI rule.

“There are so many vital religious institutions in Texas and across the country that can help ensure adopted children are protected and able to find good homes,” Paxton said. “The SOGI rule would force them to either adopt a radical awakening program or abandon their mission to help children. It is not fair.”

The rule was approved in the final days of the Obama administration but was never enforced.

A federal court earlier this year struck down the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the policy, “and the Biden administration remained committed to enforcing it,” the statement said.

The lawsuit asked the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Division of Galveston, to issue a declaratory judgment saying that the State and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services “do not violate the SOGI Rule by working with religious social service providers to better serve foster children.

Last year, Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra announced that the department had reversed waivers for three states — Texas, South Carolina and Michigan — to nondiscrimination requirements based on religious objections.

“HHS will not condone the general use of religious exemptions against any person or of blank checks to permit discrimination against any person, including especially LGBTQ+ people in taxpayer-funded programs,” the department said in a statement. a press release dated November 18, 2021.

Mr. Paxton argued that “children in foster care will suffer” if the state is prevented from working with faith-based child placement agencies.

“It’s a shame that the Biden administration is playing politics with our foster care and adoption services, and this lawsuit is about putting our children first and protecting religious freedom,” Paxton said. .



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