Thursday, October 27, 2016

Faith-based contractors could still discriminate (in helping refugees), according to new defense bill rider; more TG litigation on healthcare

A well-hidden anti-LGBTQ provision could threaten the defense appropriations bill in the stalled (and vacationing) lame duck Congress, according to Karoun Demirjian in the Washington Post, p. A17, Thursday AM.

The provision would seem to allow federal contractors with a faith basis (like LSS or Catholic Charities) to discriminate in hiring and service if religion compelled them to.  This could affect the delivery of services to refugees, or even more sensitively, to asylum seekers in some cases.  (Actually, allowing faith-based agencies discrimination in religion sounds dangerous in other immigration areas too – but there are groups like CAIR and Ayuda that specialize in helping specific ethnicities.)

The Defense authorization bill gets passed at the end of the calendar year, and in 1993 became notorious because that’s when “don’t ask don’t tell” was officially codified into law, to be repealed in 2011.

Think Progress is reporting on a new lawsuit allowing religious groups to refuse to care for transgender people at all if they do so on religious grounds.  Does this mean a Catholic-owned hospital could refuse to treat a TG person for, say, appendicitis? Just posted this morning on FB.

Update: Later Oct. 27

The House has passed the bill, story.

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