Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) worked with 18 other Republican colleagues to forward a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services on Monday that cautioned this new proposed policy, which adds new requirements on foster care families around the country, including forcing them to accept and validate a child's so-called "gender identity," is both a violation of the Constitution and actively discriminates against people who practice Christianity, according to Fox News.
This new policy forces foster parents to "utilize the child’s identified pronouns, chosen name, and allow the child to dress in an age-appropriate manner that the child believes reflects their self-identified gender identity and expression," per the letter.
Fox noted that the Supreme Court ruled, in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia back in 2021, that Philadelphia’s rejection of a contract with a Catholic social services group with the given reason that it would not approve same-sex partners as foster parents served to violate the First Amendment.
The GOP lawmakers pertinently pointed out that the HHS predicts the amount of children in the foster care system is expected to surge upwards, with a tally of 416,500 expected by 2027. There were reportedly 391,000 children living in foster care as of 2022.
In the letter, it is argued that "caring for children in need is a duty of the Christian faith," and that the exclusion of Christian families would undoubtedly harm the foster care system.
"The foster care system depends on individuals and organizations of faith," states the letter.
Given examples include Arkansas, where the AGs say that a faith-based group managed to recruit almost half of the foster homes in the state. Another is that every private placement agency is Christian in the state of New Mexico.
"States need faith-based organizations in their foster care system. The proposed rule will drive individuals and organizations of faith away, which will increase the strain on the system by reducing the number of available foster homes," wrote the attorneys general.
"The federal government should be searching for ways to increase the number of foster homes, not decrease them."
Attorney General Marshall told Fox News in a statement: "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."
He added, "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."
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