Attorney General Paxton filed a lawsuit today defending faith-based groups and the State of Texas from being forced to adopt woke political views that violate the religious liberty and moral conscience of faith-based organizations and limit Texas’s ability to help at-risk children.
During the Obama Administration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) promulgated a rule that recipients of federal funding related to foster care and adoption services could not discriminate on the basis of so-called gender identity, sexual orientation, and same-sex marriage status (“SOGI Rule”). Later, in 2019, Texas filed a suit in federal district court to strike down the SOGI Rule. The court found the case moot after it accepted in good faith HHS’s promise that it would not enforce the SOGI Rule and would instead issue a new rule repealing it.
Trump’s efforts to repeal the SOGI Rule were vacated by a federal court earlier this year, however, and the Biden Administration has remained committed to enforcing it. To protect Texas children, this new lawsuit has been filed to end the SOGI Rule once and for all and to ensure that Texas is not required to discriminate against faith-based providers who desire only to help the most vulnerable among us.
Consistent with state law, the State of Texas—through its Department of Family and Protective Services—works with faith-based organizations in providing foster care and adoption services without requiring those organizations to violate their beliefs about sexual behavior or the nature of marriage. The Biden Administration’s SOGI Rule threatens Texas with the loss of federal funding unless it refuses to work with those faith-based organizations.
“There are so many vital religious institutions in Texas and around the country that can aid in making sure foster children are protected and able to find good homes,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The SOGI Rule would force them either to adopt a radical woke agenda or surrender their mission of helping children. That’s not right. It’s a disgrace that the Biden Administration is playing politics with our foster care and adoption services, and this lawsuit aims to put our children first and to protect religious freedom.”
To read the full lawsuit, click here.