As part of a broader effort to rip down Trump-era religious liberty safeguards, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has removed several faith-based exemptions for child welfare agencies. HHS’ interest in rescinding the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) ability to enforce the First Amendment and Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a historic act used in the previous administration’s policies on sexuality and gender, was reported by Fox News last week. In an internal memo, OCR Director Lisa Pino said that the devolution of authority resulted in erroneous determinations on particular situations.
Who revocation had been recorded in the Federal Register as of Wednesday. HHS has revoked many exceptions for faith-based institutions like foster care agencies that refuse to partner with same-sex couples. The waivers granted to South Carolina, Texas, and Michigan, according to HHS, were comprehensive and “inappropriate.” Members of Congress have already condemned Becerra and sponsored legislation to stop his actions. Hence, the recent step by HHS, which applies to nonprofits that get federal funding, is sure to draw much more scrutiny.
Roger Severino, the former director of the Office of Civil Rights under Trump and now a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, told Fox News. These atrocities are the latest in a long line of attacks on religious liberty that began the day Biden entered the office and will most likely continue until he and his extremist HHS Secretary relinquish power.