"Time and again, we see that
when the LGBT agenda conflicts with religious liberty, according to
President Obama, religious liberty must lose." -Robert Severino
(Washington, DC)—[CBN News]
A new rule from the Obama administration threatens to take away federal
contracts from religious relief organizations and charities if they
discriminate against LGBT people in providing services. (Photo: Public Domain)
"This rule means that any organization that
contracts with USAID must ensure that all people can benefit from its
federally funded programs," National Security Advisor Susan Rice said
during an event Wednesday at American University in Washington. "It's a
major step towards ensuring that American assistance is provided in a
fair and equitable manner."
However, Robert Severino, Director of the
Heritage Foundation, says the new rule will be an entirely new problem,
rather than a solution.
"For example, disaster relief agencies may
now be required to open their women's shower and sleeping facilities to
biological males who self-identify as women or be stripped of all
funding for alleged gender identity discrimination," Severino said.
According to a report in the Washington Times,
private contractors and non-profits receive $16 billion in funding from
USAID every year. That money often goes towards fighting poverty,
starting schools, and eradicating disease.
Critics of the rule accuse the Obama
administration of potentially taking away critical aid in an effort to
push an LGBT agenda—just as it threatened to pull federal funding from
schools that didn't comply with the Department of Education's
transgender bathroom guidelines.
"The newest USAID rule is more than the
latest in a long line of affronts and hostilities to traditional
religious belief by the Obama administration; it's also a further
delineation of priorities," Nate Madden writes in an article
for Conservative Review.
"Time and again, we see that when the LGBT
agenda conflicts with religious liberty, according to President Obama,
religious liberty must lose," Severino said.
Gay rights organizations are now asking the Obama administration to expand the rule to cover discrimination in employment.
"While this is a step forward, we
ultimately hope to see all implementers across all U.S. foreign affairs
agencies—including USAID—include nondiscrimination policies that cover
not only the services they provide, but also the people they hire,"
David Stacy, Director of Government Affairs for the Human Rights
Campaign, said. "No organization supported by U.S. taxpayer dollars
should turn anyone away because of their sexual orientation or gender