Sunday, September 08, 2019

Trump Administration accused of inflating number of complaints to justify anti-LGBTQ religious exemption policy

You mean the Trump Administration may have lied again? Color me not shocked.

Sometimes when Trump acts like a colossal jackass, he takes attention away from issues which need media coverage. In this particular case, the week-long embarrassing controversy he initiated involving Hurricane Dorian and Alabama sucked up all of the air while a serious charge about one of his policies went unnoticed.

From Bloomberg:

President Donald Trump’s plan to let doctors and hospitals refuse services based on their religious beliefs or moral convictions should be scrapped without a trial or put on hold until litigation over the policy is resolved, a federal judge was told by states and cities that sued. 
Evidence produced since the lawsuit was filed in May shows that the administration, in seeking to justify the rule, vastly inflated the number of complaints filed by religious health-care providers who claimed they were discriminated against or forced to provide services that violate their personal beliefs, the almost two dozen states and cities said Thursday in a court filing. 
The government “falsely cites to evidence that it does not actually have,“ according to the group, which includes New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii and Chicago. 
The clash over the so-called conscience rule is emerging as a major test of Trump’s ability to broadly expand protections for religious businesses and employees who might be accused of discriminating against women, religious minorities and the LGBTQ community for refusing to provide services. 
In May of this year, the Department of Health and Human Services announced a new policy which would allow healthcare workers to refuse to treat patients or provide services if they voiced a religious objection.

According to LGBTQNation:

The rule would allow workers to refuse to provide basic health care like birth control, refuse to treat women who have had abortions, and discriminate against gay or lesbian individuals and their families, including their children. The change is part of the Trump administration’s push to give Christians a license to discriminate under the guise of “religious freedom.”

Conservative and religious right groups praised this new policy, which was supposed to be implemented in July.  But lawsuits filed by 16 healthcare groups and physicians, organizations such as the Center for Reproductive Rights, Lambda Legal, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State,  and several states forced the Trump Administration to delay implementation of the policy until November.

We will see what happens next, that is if Trump doesn't decide to pull another stunt to grab all of the media's attention.