Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete Buttigieg has slammed President Donald Trump’s decision to allow publicly funded adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBTQ families.
“It’s a huge step backward,” Buttigieg told the Washington Blade. “It’s bad enough that discrimination is taking place across the country, but when discrimination is being supported with federal funds, it takes away, first of all the movement justice and equality, but also an opportunity for the federal government to show leadership in advancing equality.”
The administration announced Friday it would allow adoption agencies and other social programs receiving Health and Human Services grants to refuse service for LGBTQ individuals and others who offend their religious sensibilities, on the basis of so-called religious freedom.
That includes refusing to place children with same-sex couples and other rainbow families, denying HIV services to gender and sexual minorities, and turning queer youth away from homeless shelters.
The decision rolls back a 2016 executive order by then-President Barack Obama that prohibited recipients of federal grants from discriminating based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
Buttigieg said that the move by the Trump administration is unfortunately consistent with “a whole bunch of things they’ve done on the administrative side.”
The first openly gay candidate to participate in a nationally televised presidential debate, Buttigieg is married to a man, Chasten Buttigieg, and has stressed the fragile rights of LGBTQ Americans.
He’s noted repeatedly that his marriage became legal in the United States based only on a Supreme Court decision that could turn on one vote.