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House votes to block rule forcing foster families to affirm ‘gender identity’ or risk losing children
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House votes to block rule forcing foster families to affirm ‘gender identity’ or risk losing children

The House voted Tuesday to pass an amendment to a bill that would block funding to a proposed rule that forces foster families to affirm a child’s “gender identity,” the Daily Caller News Foundation reported.

In September, the Biden administration’s Department of Health and Human Services proposed a rule that would essentially require foster families to affirm the “self-identified gender identity” of the children in their care. Families who refuse to use a child’s preferred pronouns or “chosen name” could see their children forcibly “transferred” to another home.

According to HHS, the proposed rule protects children by ensuring “safe and appropriate placement.”

“In certain cases, we anticipate that a report from a LGBTQI+ youth that they feel their placement is not safe or appropriate should merit a response of great urgency from the agency,” the rule stated.

While families are able to apply for a religious exemption, HHS’ proposed rule says that the agency shall “assess whether applying the requirement furthers a compelling interest and whether there are less restrictive alternatives available.”

The Biden administration previously praised the proposed rule for ensuring that LGBT-identifying children are “placed in foster homes where they will be protected from mistreatment related to their sexual orientation or gender identity, where their caregivers have received special training on how to meet their needs, and where they can access the services they need to thrive.”

Republican Illinois Rep. Mary Miller joined Republican Oklahoma Rep. Josh Brecheen to introduce the Protecting Religious Freedom for Foster Familiar Act.

Miller wrote on X earlier this month, “The Biden Administration is now targeting foster parents in their push to erase parental rights and force their extreme transgender agenda on young children.”

On Tuesday, the House voted to support the amendment to the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2024 that would block funding to HHS’ rule. The amendment prohibits the National Health Service from directing funds from the appropriations bill to “finalize, implement, administer, or enforce” the proposed rule, the DCNF reported.

Brecheen, the author of the amendment, stated, “The federal government should not force foster families to violate their sincerely held religious or moral beliefs in order to house children. President Biden’s bureaucrats continue to pursue an anti-Christian, far-Left agenda — all without the authority of Congress. With this legislation, we are fighting back.”

Original cosponsors of the bill included Republican Representatives Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Barry Moore of Alabama, and Eric Burlison of Missouri.

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