Greeneville children’s home fights for right to make placement consistent with beliefs

Published 11:13 am Friday, December 3, 2021

A Tennessee Christian children’s home filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against the Biden administration to challenge its rule that requires the agency to violate its religious beliefs or lose needed funding. Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys represent Holston United Methodist Home for Children in Greeneville, a nationally accredited Christian nonprofit that operates throughout East Tennessee and Southwest Virginia by caring for abused and neglected children through its residential and foster care services.
Holston United Methodist Home for Children receives some of its reimbursement for services through Title IV-E, administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to help sustain its child-placement activities. A 2016 HHS rule issued at the end of the Obama administration required the faith-based agency to violate its religious beliefs by placing children in homes that do not align with their faith, such as non-Christian families; same-sex couples; or unmarried, cohabiting couples. During the Trump administration, HHS issued religious exemptions to this rule so faith-based agencies could operate according to their religious beliefs, but HHS recently rescinded all of those religious exemptions.

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