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Marshall leads states’ letter opposing proposed LGBTQ foster policy

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is leading an effort, along with 18 of this colleagues in other states, to oppose recent federal rules on foster homes that he said could discriminate against and discourage faith-based providers.

In a letter sent Monday to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Marshall questioned proposed policies to mark providers as “safe” or “unsafe” based on the degree to which LGBTQ children would be “affirmed” in their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Given the high correlation between persons of faith and foster-care, the proposed rule threatens to directly harm children in need by limiting the number of available foster homes, risk kinship placements, and increase costs for states, Marshall’s office said today.

“Since the first century, Christians across the globe have answered the call to provide a home and a family to children who had neither,” Marshall said. “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.”

In September, the White House announced several new regulations on the foster care system, some of them related to gay children and teens.

“LGBTQI+ youth face profound disparities in the foster care system,” the statement said. “Because of family rejection and abuse, LGBTQI+ children are overrepresented in foster care where they face poor outcomes, including mistreatment and discrimination because of who they are. To address these disparities, President Biden signed an Executive Order directing HHS to protect LGBTQI+ youth in the foster care system.”

Marshall’s letter said states need faith-based organizations in their foster care system. The proposed rule reports that 391,000 children were in foster care in 2022, and anticipates that the number of children in foster care will begin increasing again, with an estimated 416,500 in foster care by 2027.

Other attorneys general signing the letter were from Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.

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