The Obama administration announced a rule last week that threatens to strip federal contracts from religious relief organizations and charities that adhere to traditional views of gender and sexuality, continuing a trend of governmental hostility toward religion.
National Security Adviser Susan E. Rice said the rule prohibits organizations that contract with the U.S. Agency for International Development from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in the administration of aid.
Roger Severino, director of the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, said the rule will create more problems than it solves.
“Of course everyone that is eligible for aid should receive it, but the new rule is a solution in search of a problem and threatens religious aid organizations that provide vital services in reasonable and culturally sensitive ways,” Mr. Severino said. “For example, disaster relief agencies may now be required to open their women’s shower and sleeping facilities to biological males who self-identify as women or be stripped of all funding for alleged ‘gender identity discrimination.’”
Private contractors and nonprofits, many of them Catholic charities or religious humanitarian organizations, receive $16 billion in funding from USAID every year to fight poverty, start schools and eradicate disease, among other endeavors.