Texas teams up with far right religious law firm to sue for ‘right’ to use foster agencies that discriminate against gays
Ken Paxton speaks to CNN (screen grab)

Texas, according to The Dallas Morning News, has an "unconstitutionally hazardous system of long-term foster care."


So it's not surprising that for National Adoption Month, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is working to make it even worse.

As if there aren't already enough children in need of good homes, AG Paxton has teamed up with a far right wing law firm once dubbed "God's Rottweilers" to file a lawsuit suing the Trump administration for the "right" of the state to contract with foster care agencies that discriminate against LGBTQ people and same-sex couples.

This appears to be no run-of-the-mill little lawsuit.

Paxton and six other lawyers from the Texas Office of the Attorney General are representing the State of Texas, and also the Texas Department of Family & Protective Services. They are joining the Washington, D.C.-based Becket Fund for Religious Liberty which is representing the Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, in suing the federal Dept. of Health and Human Services and Secretary Alex Azar.

Texas and the Catholic Archdiocese are asking the court to invalidate an Obama-era HHS nondiscrimination rule. Texas  would like to give special rights to, as Bloomberg Law puts it, "organizations holding sincere religious beliefs that prevent them from placing children with people who don’t share those beliefs."

The Obama-era rule bans the federal government from granting taxpayer funds to foster care programs that discriminate "on the basis of age, disability, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, or same-sex marital status."

NCRM expects the Trump administration will not defend the HHS rule in court and will ask the judge to invalidate the rule as Texas requests.

“We will always protect our country’s long and proud tradition of faith-based adoption,” President Trump said in February during his speech at the National Day of Prayer. In May it was reported the administration was working on a plan that would allow adoption agencies, even those supported with taxpayer funds, to refuse to let same-sex couples adopt.

That plan was being drafted under the eye of right wing religious activist Roger Severino, Trump's head of the Health and Human Services Department’s Office of Civil Rights.

Severino once served as CEO and counsel for the Becket Fund. He also once served as the Director of the DeVos family's Center for Religion and Civil Society in the Institute for Family, Community, and Opportunity.