Vice President Mike Pence made an appearance at a National Adoption Month event held by the Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday where he praised Donald Trump for proposing a rule that would allow taxpayer-funded faith-based adoption agencies to deny LGBTQ people child placement in their homes.
The Washington Blade reports Pence told the crowd that he “couldn’t be more proud” of the rule he said demonstrates the Trump administration’s understanding of “the role that communities of faith play in adoption.”
“We’ve reversed the rule implemented in the closing days of the last administration that jeopardized the ability of faith-based providers to serve those in need by penalizing them for their deeply held religious beliefs,” said the Vice President. “We will stand for the freedom of religion and we will stand with faith-based organizations to support adoption.”
He also commended HHS Secretary Alex Azar and his staff for “promulgating the new rule that respects the freedom of religion of every American, but also recognizes the vital role that faith-based organizations play in adoption in this country.”
Pence ended his remarks saying, “And I’ll make you one more promise: Child welfare providers will never be forced to choose between their faith and serving those in need — not on our watch.”
The HHS proposal would reverse a regulation implemented in the last months of the Obama administration prohibiting recipients of federal grants from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Pence noted statistics that claim “four out of five families have pointed to faith and church support as a factor in successful fostering.”
But what Pence failed to mention is that same-sex couples are “four times more likely to be raising an adopted child and six times more likely to be raising foster children than heterosexual couples,” according to AmericanAdoptions.com.
“The Trump-Pence White House has proposed a horrific federal regulation that would permit discrimination across the entire spectrum of HHS programs receiving federal funding,” Human Right’s Campaign President Alphonso David said in a statement when the rule was announced.
Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, told Out, “Research has shown LGBTQ families provide the same kind of love, protection, and support as other families, and no child should be denied that kind of environment.”
Ellis added, “The Trump Administration has once again demonstrated how they prefer to prioritize the gross work of anti-LGBTQ activists over the safety and well-being of our children.”