President Barack Obama issued an executive order instituting a series of reforms to the Office of Faith-Based and Community Partnerships, incorporating recommendations made by the office’s Advisory Council last spring. Reverend Harry Knox, Director of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion and Faith Program and former member of the Advisory Council issued the following statement:
“The reforms embodied in today’s executive order are important steps toward assuring all Americans, including LGBT people, that their government will protect all communities – religious and secular – as it seeks to serve the most vulnerable among us. As a former member of the Council, I am pleased to see our consensus recommendations put into action. Unfortunately, today’s order does not address the troubling Bush Administration policy allowing faith-based organizations to discriminate in hiring using taxpayer dollars. Until this administration makes clear that religious groups cannot circumvent federal, state and local antidiscrimination protections to discriminate against LGBT employees, the faith-based initiative will remain a deeply flawed program.”
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