Under a proposed rule adoption and foster care agencies can receive federal grants in spite of discriminating against gay couples on the basis of religious freedom. The claim by the Christian right is that it is these adoption agencies that are being discriminated against. Poor them.

Rules surrounding foster care and adoption services are supposed to place the interests of children; first, last and always. Children are best served with the largest pool of eligible adoptive and foster care parents. That is just common sense.

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Every year about 25,000 kids age out of foster care. Nearly one-third will end up homeless and only one-half will be gainfully employed. The solution is for there to be more eligible adoptive parents without compromising on parental qualifications.

Furthermore, children are assigned to different agencies by the state. If a child is unlucky enough to be assigned to Catholic Charities, for example, he or she will be denied placement with a highly qualified gay couple and could be placed with a less qualified opposite-sex couple.

The Christian right claims that nondiscrimination drives agencies out of business. When agencies have placed religious dogma over what is best for children, other agencies have filled the gap. The problem is not an insufficiency of adoptive and foster care agencies. The problem is an insufficiency of adoptive and foster parents. Discriminatory agencies increase that insufficiency.

Lastly, but still important, is the problem of the government will awarding tax dollars to discriminatory agencies.

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The comment button is in the right hand column. You can be assured that religious conservatives have flooded HHS with comments. Our arguments make more sense because they favor the needs of children over the agencies that place them.

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.