Family Equality Council Condemns License to Discriminate Amendment Adopted in House Appropriations Bill

NEW YORK — Today members of the House Appropriations Committee approved an anti-LGBTQ amendment to an existing bill providing funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The amendment, approved by a 29-23 vote, was offered by Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL), and would create a federal “license to discriminate” in child welfare services. If the amendment remains in the final bill, child placing agencies that receive taxpayer funding would be allowed to turn away qualified prospective parents based on the agency’s religious or moral beliefs.

The amendment would allow child placing agencies to turn away qualified adoptive and foster parents, enabling discrimination against LGBTQ people, same-sex couples, interfaith couples, single parents, or other prospective parents that don’t pass an agency’s religious litmus test. By allowing child placing agencies to turn away prospective parents, this amendment limits the pool of available homes for children, which ultimately harms all kids in care.

“This attempt by the federal government to use taxpayer funds to limit the number of homes for children in foster care is abhorrent. We have a crisis in our foster care system today caused by a shortage of adoptive and foster parents, and this amendment will simply make that crisis worse.  Instead of expanding the pool of qualified homes for these youth in government care, it limits it,” said Denise Brogan-Kator, chief policy officer at Family Equality Council.

About Family Equality Council

Family Equality Council advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality Council believes every LGBTQ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at

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