Tag: allowing

Trump’s HHS Finalizes Rule Allowing Discrimination in Foster Care, Adoption, and Other Social Services

Trump's HHS Finalizes Rule Allowing Discrimination in Foster Care, Adoption,

Not letting a little thing like insurrection stop them, the Trump administration on Thursday finalized a rule that will allow foster care and adoption agencies, along with other public health and social service organizations receiving taxpayer funds, to discriminate against LGBTQ people and others.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services - Hubert Humphrey Building

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services – Hubert Humphrey Building. Photo credit: Sarah Stierch. Licensed under CC BY 4.0.

The rule, first proposed at the end of 2019 with a shorter-than-usual period for public comment, removes explicit protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, sex, and religion in programs receiving grants from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). These programs include not only adoption and foster care services, but also ones dedicated to preventing youth homelessness, HIV, STI, and substance abuse, among others. The rule was filed in its final form last Thursday, while the capitol was still reeling from the insurrection, and will be officially published Monday. It is set to go into effect on February 11, 2021.

Even before this new rule made it explicit, HHS had said it would stop enforcing nondiscrimination protections among federal grantees. LGBTQ advocacy organizations have already been fighting this policy. Lambda Legal and Democracy Forward, in March sued HHS in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of Family Equality, True Colors United, and SAGE, claiming the policy was “arbitrary and capricious” and that there had been no opportunity for public comment.

Lambda Legal Senior Attorney Sasha Buchert said of the new rule, “Even as Trump administration officials abandon ship, HHS has announced yet another dangerous rule that invites discrimination against the very people federal grant programs are meant to help. We call on the Biden-Harris administration to address discriminatory policies such as these immediately, and commit to eliminating them root and branch. But in the meantime, Lambda Legal is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to protect the LGBTQ community from harm.”

M. Currey Cook, director of Lambda Legal’s Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project, added that the rule “puts at risk some of the most vulnerable members of our communities, including LGBT people who are poor or experiencing homelessness; LGBT seniors and LGBT youth in out-of-home care, including children in foster care, people living with HIV, and many others.”

Denise Brogan-Kator, interim CEO of Family Equality, also observed that “Removing nondiscrimination protections from health and human services programs could literally endanger the lives of vulnerable populations disproportionately impacted by the pandemic, including the LGBTQ+2S community.”

“We are particularly concerned that the 34% of foster youth who identify as LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit, who are eligible for $400 million in direct relief under the most recent COVID-19 relief bill, will be excluded from services and supports under this new rule,” said Julie Kruse, Family Equality’s director of federal policy.  “Turning away those in need of health and human services during a pandemic is unconscionable.”

“Family Equality will sue HHS over this unlawful action,” asserted Brogan-Kator.

Iain Lee criticises BBC for allowing caller to use racist slurs live on air

Broadcaster Iain Lee comes out as bisexual

Broadcaster Iain Lee has criticised the BBC for allowing a caller to use racist slurs and make threatening remarks about gay people on air.

The BBC has faced backlash after married couple Mandeep “Sunny” and Gursharonjit “Shay” Grewal allowed a caller to remain on the air despite repeating racist slurs and threats about gay people.

The incident, which occurred on Sunny and Shay’s BBC Radio London show, saw a caller phone in during a chat about board games to mark National Monopoly Day on Friday (20 November).

The caller said: “Since I have moved to London from Greece, I have played Monopoly with my friend,” Metro reports.

“But in my country we play a game where you are a white nationalist and kill all the n*****s and gays.”

An uncomfortable sounding Shay simply replied: “Right,” but the caller was allowed to remain on air.

Why did BBC London allow a caller on to say ‘I f**king hate n-words and gays’ over and over again?

Sunny then asked the caller: “Maybe I’m losing you in translation. Explain to me when did you first discover Monopoly?”

After the caller explained their version of Monopoly, Sunny said: “Thank you for sharing that with us, I really appreciate that,” and went on to ask the caller if they wanted to “add to the conversation” about the ongoing controversy surrounding Priti Patel.

The caller replied: “I want to say that I f**king hate n*****s.”

The comment finally prompted the show’s presenters to terminate the call, with Sunny apologising to listeners.

“I don’t understand where he was going with that conversation but he’s obviously someone who doesn’t understand how you come on to engage here on the radio,” Sunny said.

The caller repeated the racist slur eight times on air, and also made a number of anti-gay remarks.

Iain Lee hit out at BBC Radio for allowing a caller to make racist and homophobic comments on air

Iain Lee, who used to present a show on talkRADIO, hit out the presenters and producers of the show on Twitter, writing: “Why did BBC London allow a caller on to say ‘I f**king hate n-words and gays’ over and over again? Absolutely incredible listening. The host asked him more questions after he’d said it!”

He continued: “It makes me so angry. Amateur hour with kids producing. And I can’t get a gig.”

When Lee faced criticism from Twitter users who insisted that the incident was a “mistake”, he replied: “One n-word is a mistake. Eight or nine is incompetence on the part of the presenters and producers. One threat to kill a gay person is one too many.

“I’m not accusing them and the producer of racism, but dangerous incompetence that can’t be allowed.”

A spokesperson for the BBC told Metro: “An on-air apology was made and it has been removed from BBC Sounds. This was clearly a malicious call and we are looking into how this happened.”