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Congressional leaders want the Donald Trump administration to reverse a decision allowing religious groups discriminating against LGBTQ individuals to receive federal funding.
Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., wrote a letter signed by more than 100 members of Congress demanding the administration withdraw its rule change, according to the Daily News.
"This proposed rule single-handedly removes comprehensive protections from discrimination applied to all grants administered by HHS, thus permitting discrimination in federally funded adoption and foster care agencies, elder abuse programs, and many other HHS-funded health and human service programs that serve millions of Americans," the letter reads.
The move comes a month after the Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule change that would allow federal contractors to discriminate against LGBTQ people and others who offend the contractors' religious beliefs. That reversed an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in 2014 stating contractors could not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The change in particular impacts work under the Department of Health and Human Services, which overseas such work as foster services and HIV treatment. The shift allows adoption agencies to refuse to place LGBTQ youth or prospective parents.
The Trump administration now argues that the Obama-era anti-discrimination policy "imposed regulatory burden and created a lack of predictability and stability for the department and stakeholders with respect to these provisions' viability and enforcement."
Velazquez said there's no proof the regulation burdens agencies at all. Moreover, that shouldn't be used to justify denying services to those in need.
"Agencies getting government grants to serve the public shouldn't get to pick and choose whom they will serve," reads the letter from lawmakers.