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Marshall, AGs: Biden foster care proposal ‘discriminatory’ against Christian families

Attorney General Steve Marshall has made faith-based organizations throughout Alabama a priority since entering office in 2017. This time around, Marshall is fighting to protect faith-based adoption and foster care from a rule proposed by the Biden Administration that he has labeled as ‘discriminatory.’

Marshall, joined by nineteen other Republican attorneys general, issued a stark warning against a new rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) that could lead to the exclusion of Christian families from the foster care system.

“Since the first century, Christians across the globe have answered the call to provide a home and a family to children who had neither. Alabama boasts a particularly strong faith-based foster care and adoption community, and I will fight this Administration for them every step of the way,” Marshall said.

“Joe Biden continues to harass our State and others like it by implicitly threatening to withhold federal funding for children in need if we do not conform to his ideology, but our values are not for sale.”

RELATED: Ivey signs law to make adoption easier

The rule in question — the “Safe and Appropriate Foster Care Placement Requirements” — mandates that foster parents acknowledge and support a foster child’s self-identified gender identity and expression. This includes using chosen pronouns and names, and allowing children to dress in a manner they believe reflects their gender identity.

The AGs argue this rule violates constitutional rights and discriminates against Christians.

They contend that it indirectly seeks to accomplish what the Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional in 2021’s Fulton v. City of Philadelphia case, where it was decided that Philadelphia could not refuse to contract with a Catholic social services group that wouldn’t certify same-sex couples as foster parents.

RELATED: AG Marshall to Gavin Newsom: ‘Alabama will not permit abortionists to defy our laws’

The rule would specifically require states to label certain foster care providers as “safe,” or by omission “unsafe,” based on the degree to which LGBTQ children would be “affirmed” in their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Under the policy, for a foster home to be deemed a “safe and appropriate placement,” the foster parents must use the child’s identified pronouns and chosen name, allow the child to dress in ways the child believes reflects his or her self-identified gender identity and expression, and facilitate access to “gender-affirming” medical care.

There were 391,000 children in foster care in the U.S. in 2022, and it is anticipated that the number of children in foster care will increase again, with an estimated 416,500 in foster care by 2027.

Austen Shipley is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News.

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