We’re counting down 10 of the biggest stories The Chronicle of Social Change published in 2019. Each day, we’ll connect readers with a few links to our coverage on a big story from this past year.
In 2018, three states – Kansas, Oklahoma and South Carolina – passed legislation that permits discrimination by faith-based child welfare providers in choosing who they serve. Those three join seven other states that let government-funded providers choose clients based on sexual orientation, marital status or religion.
Legal battles over the legislation have already started in some states, and advocacy groups in other ones are contemplating similar challenges. The issue of using taxpayer dollars for child welfare services, but following religiously-influenced selection processes, seems destined for the Supreme Court one day.
This year, the battle over faith-based discrimination jumped to the federal level. The year began with the Trump administration giving one state a waiver to let faith-based groups write their own rules for choosing foster and adoptive parents, or children, to help. The year ends with Trump recently eliminating protections against faith-based discriminating put in place by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
Must Read: President Trump rescinded the Obama-era rules that prohibited federally-funded child welfare providers from following religious principles in taking clients.
Also Read: Miracle Hill, which only recruits Christian foster homes, earned a controversial waiver from the Trump administration.