Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) attorney Gregory S. Baylor explains that the Department of Labor enforces an executive order that tells entities that contract with the federal government that they cannot discriminate in employment.
"That's not a problem in and of itself," he continues. "The problem is that the executive order says even religious employers can't discriminate on the basis of religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity."
The order does include an exemption that gives religious organizations at least some freedom to exercise their hiring rights and maintain their character through the identity of the people they choose to be on their workforce.
"What this proposed rule is about is undermining that freedom, making it smaller, [and] reducing the scope of the exemption's protection," says Baylor. "That's why Alliance Defending Freedom has come out in opposition to this proposed change."
ADF has issued the following public comment to the Department of Labor:
The U.S. Constitution protects the right of all Americans to operate freely according to their religious beliefs. This freedom isn't abandoned simply because an individual or organization enters into a contract with the federal government. ADF is extremely disappointed by the Department of Labor's proposal to rescind a Trump administration regulation that clarified the ability of faith-based organizations to adhere to their religious beliefs while maintaining partnerships with the government. Eliminating these faith-based nonprofits jeopardizes the vital services these organizations provide to our most vulnerable citizens—from placing foster children in forever homes to providing impoverished citizens with shelter and job training. We urge the Biden administration to keep these regulations in place, ensuring that faith-based organizations aren't forced to choose between their religious mission and providing aid to those who need it most.