U.S. Senator Ben Sasse praised the Department of Health and Human Services' decision to protect faith-based adoption agencies. On Friday, HHS released new rules that would end discrimination against religious Child Placing Agencies.

“This is good news for a lot of adoption agencies, and good news for the First Amendment,” said Senator Sasse. “In America everyone — people of faith, or no faith at all — can follow their conscience and serve their neighbors. This new HHS rule is a win for religious liberty, and I’m glad the Administration is standing up for this core American principle. With progressives proposing unconstitutional measures like eliminating faith-based organizations’ tax-exempt status or imposing religious tests on government officials, it’s encouraging to see this common-sense rule for religious freedom. Nebraskans want to make sure that faith-based adoption agencies keep helping kids out of some unimaginably hard circumstances.”

Additional Background:

On Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a Notice of Nonenforcement. This notice informs the public that certain Obama-era regulatory provisions in the Uniform Administration Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements for HHS awards will not be enforced due to serious religious liberty concerns.

The Obama-era rule allowed for faith-based discrimination by expanding the non-discrimination clause in the Social Security Act to include religion. Once that happened, Child Placing Agencies faced the dilemma of throwing out their religious beliefs when placing children in homes in order to receive grant funding or lose their licenses.

The proposed rule changes two provisions that had conditioned funding for grant recipients in a way that threatened faith-based providers.

Sasse is a co-sponsor of Senator Enzi’s Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act which would prevent providers of child welfare services from being excluded from providing services based on their religious beliefs.