Religious organizations were threatened by the federal government with having their contracts stripped from them, should they not conform their activities to also accommodate the LGBT community, the Washington Times reported over the weekend. This, after President Barack Obama's administration issued a rule intended to stop "discrimination."
“The United States also needs to do more to institutionalize efforts to promote LGBT rights,” [National Security Adviser Susan] Rice said in a speech at American University last week on the state of gay rights around the world.“As part of that commitment, I’m pleased to note that just yesterday a new rule went into effect that explicitly prohibits discrimination by USAID contractors. This rule means that any organization that contracts with USAID must ensure that all people can benefit from its federally funded programs, regardless of race, religion, disability — or sexual orientation and gender identity,” she said.
“It’s a major step toward ensuring that American assistance is provided in a fair and equitable manner,” she said.
According to Roger Severino, director of the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, this opens up something of a can of worms that would end up violating the contractors religious beliefs:
Of course everyone that is eligible for aid should receive it, but the new rule is a solution in search of a problem and threatens religious aid organizations that provide vital services in reasonable and culturally sensitive ways. For example, disaster relief agencies may now be required to open their women’s shower and sleeping facilities to biological males who self-identify as women or be stripped of all funding for alleged ‘gender identity discrimination.’
This is not the first time the Obama administration has threatened action against organizations or institutions that do not cater to the LGBT community. In May, the president handed down a directive that stated all schools must allow transgender students to use whichever bathroom they please, or face lawsuits and revocation of federal aid.
Recently, Obama has threatened to veto the National Defense Authorization Act, should it contain language that would protect religious organizations for discriminating in dealing out grants or contracts in accordance with their belief system.