Last year, President Trump approved the State of South Carolina’s issuing a waiver to a faith-based adoption agency. Essentially, the Miracle Hill Ministries didn’t want to place foster children with members of the LGBTQ community. So, they applied for a waiver under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993.
Never before had this sort of waiver been issued to an adoption agency. Clearly, many agreed that this waiver served as a license for the adoption agency to discriminate against LGBTQ couples.
This week, the House Ways and Means Committee ruled that the waiver approved by the Trump Administration set out to intentionally harm members of the LGBTQ community. They have asked the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to rescind the waiver issued to Miracle Hill Ministries in 2019.
They have asserted that Trump and South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster are using the state’s foster care system as a testing ground for LGBTQ discrimination. They have even found internal evidence of such a claim.
The House Ways and Means Committee found emails between staff members confirming that they saw the waiver as a license to discriminate.
The reason this is so important is that the Miracle Hill Ministries adoption agency handles about 15% of all foster care placements in South Carolina. By allowing them to refuse services and placements to gay individuals, the waiver is going to hurt the children.
The other issue is that, now that Miracle Hill has been given approval to discriminate, it is only a matter of time before other faith-based agencies ask for the same thing.
If you feel you have been denied a foster care placement in South Carolina due to your being LGBTQ, call our office right away.