The Family Research Council just made an attack against the South Carolina LGBTQ community and I'm not going to play "Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms with the hate group.
From the Family Research Council's Washington Update:
First, the LGBT lobby tried to take away custody from parents. Now, it wants to stop people from becoming parents altogether! That's the goal in South Carolina, where some extremists are trying to shut down a religious adoption service for trying to place kids in Christian homes.
"For 29 years," attorney Betsy Tanner wrote, "Miracle Hill has gladly served all foster children of any race, national origin, religious beliefs, sex, disability, or political belief. And for 29 years, Miracle Hill has recruited foster families who share its nondenominational Christian religious belief. Miracle Hill has always been clear regarding its religious identity and conviction that all staff -- paid and unpaid -- are followers of Jesus Christ."
That was never a problem, until last year, when the state's Department of Social Services insisted the organization doesn't have the right to make religious beliefs a requirement of foster parents. That was devastating news to the leaders at Miracle Hill, who had probably watched this controversy play out with other Christian agencies in places like D.C., Illinois, and Massachusetts – and knew the ending wasn't a happy one. Faced with the choice of closing their doors or violating their convictions, Catholic Charities chose the former.
Fortunately for Miracle Hill, they have an advocate in South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, who's promised to fight for a waiver with federal officials. "The licensing and participation of faith-based entities in the state foster care system is a constitutionally-protected practice," he argued. "It is important that religious organizations not be required to sacrifice the tenets of their faith in order to serve the children of South Carolina."
For now, Miracle Hill will hold its breath and wait. But they certainly appreciate the governor's support for religious freedom. "I think he'll get a clarification from Washington that our practice is not illegal," CEO Reid Lehman explained. "And then we just ask that the state recognize that as well." Thanks to the Trump administration, there's already a year's worth of precedent defending organizations like Lehman. Maybe eventually, the other side will get the message: fighting the First Amendment is a losing battle!
FRC is telling a two lies with its first paragraph:
First, the LGBT lobby tried to take away custody from parents.
FRC is, with the help of a link from right-wing fake news source The Federalist, distorting a situation in Ohio in which the grandparents of a transgender boy was awarded custody because his parents did not want him taking hormone therapy. The grandparents supported the child's change of gender, as did the child's medical team. There was no implied invisible gay lobby attempting to snatch children from parents. There were only grandparents concerned for the health of their grandchild because his parents's actions were triggering suicidal thoughts in him. And a medical team which wanted the child to receive the therapy as soon as possible so as to decrease his suicidal risks.
Now for the BIG lie:
Now, ("the LGBT lobby'') wants to stop people from becoming parents altogether! That's the goal in South Carolina, where some extremists are trying to shut down a religious adoption service for trying to place kids in Christian homes.
Here is the problem. The article FRC linked and referred to in order to get its information (from The Greenville News) said NOTHING about this being a case of religious liberty vs. the LGBTQ community. In fact, there is nothing in the article about the LGBTQ community.
According to the article, this is the controversy:
In an op-ed delivered to The Greenville News, Betsy Tanner, an Upstate foster parent and adoption attorney, wrote that Miracle Hill has become one of the largest private foster-care providers in the state, supporting families in eight counties.
Currently, she wrote, 161 children receive care in those foster families. Last year 31 of those children achieved permanency when adopted by the families caring for them.
"For 29 years, Miracle Hill has gladly served all foster children of any race, national origin, religious beliefs, sex, disability, or political belief," Tanner wrote. "And for 29 years, Miracle Hill has recruited foster families who share its nondenominational Christian religious beliefs. Miracle Hill has always been clear regarding its religious identity and conviction that all staff — paid and unpaid — are followers of Jesus Christ."
But in 2017, Tanner wrote, the state Department of Social Services began interpreting federal and state regulations to say that Miracle Hill does not have the freedom to require foster families share its religious beliefs.
"Based on this new interpretation, SCDSS has given Miracle Hill 30 days to either abandon its religious convictions or shut down its ministry as a foster child placing agency," Tanner wrote.
And there is NOTHING mentioned about the LGBTQ community in Tanner's op-ed. either .
In other words, neither the South Carolina LGBTQ community nor the LGBTQ community in general have anything to do with the Miracle Hills situation. It's simply a case of a state agency battling an agency which only recruits foster parents sharing its religious beliefs.
It's plain to see that FRC manufactured LGBTQ boogeymen out of thin air for this situation. After all, their supporters need someone to attack and we are always their best targets.