Monday, September 11, 2023

USCCB responds to proposed HHS LGBTQI+ nondiscrimination rule

 General Counsel | USCCB

The Office of General Counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has submitted a nine-page response to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Proposed Rule to Advance Non-discrimination in Health and Human Service Programs for LGBTQI+ Community.

The rule, the USCCB warned, could mandate Catholic social service agencies “to house biological men who identify as women in single-sex facilities” and could require Catholic agencies to place migrant children with same-sex couples as foster parents.

“Any charity that has separate men’s and women’s bathrooms or changing areas could be required to allow men to use the women’s facility and vice versa; any charity may be required to address an employee or beneficiary by pronouns that do not correspond with his or her biological sex,” the USCCB continued.

“The [proposed rule], by placing unconstitutional conditions on participation in government programs, threatens our capacity to carry out this service,” the USCCB warned. 

“In the end, those hurt the most will be those whom we serve: victims of domestic violence, refugees and newcomers, children, the homeless, the sick, and the poor.”

In addition, the rule’s “religious exemption scheme offers no assurance to religious charities that they will be able to participate in HHS-funded programs without being made to violate their beliefs.”