HRC Responds To Presidential Guidance on Faith-Based Initiatives

offices of faith-based initiatives within the executive branch at the
Department of Agriculture and the Agency for International Development. In
the order's guidance, the administration stated for the first time that
religious organizations that receive federal funding under this initiative
must comply with state and local civil rights laws, including those that
protect people from discrimination based on sexual orientation. This is a
departure from an earlier proposal from the Bush administration, H.R. 7,
which would have allowed faith-based organizations receiving federal money
to discriminate against the gay community in hiring and employment,
regardless of local non-discrimination laws. The new guidance also states
unequivocally that organizations that receive federal funding under this
initiative cannot discriminate in providing services.

The Human Rights Campaign expressed hope that the new policy will be
reflected in any future efforts by the administration to expand charitable
choice. HRC remains concerned, however, with the administration's position
that religious organizations receiving federal funding can discriminate
based on religion in hiring and employment practices. HRC maintains that
organizations that federal funds should not be allowed to discriminate on
any basis.

For the full text of HRC's news release, visit:
http://www.hrc.org/newsreleases/2002/021212faith.asp

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