Scott on the Administration’s Continued Attempts to Promote Discrimination
“To be clear - this effort does not represent religious liberty; it is government-sanctioned discrimination.”
WASHINGTON – Ranking Member Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announcement on its decision to create a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Office for Civil Rights:
“Today, the Trump administration announced its decision to create a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division in the Office for Civil Rights. This announcement must be examined as part of the administration's broader pattern of promoting discrimination. There is no indication that patients’ access to appropriate health care will not be jeopardized. The administration has already issued a rule to allow virtually any employer or institution of higher education to deny preventive health services for women, and continues to take steps to open the door for discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community, those in interracial relationships, and minority religious groups. These actions make clear that so-called ‘religious liberty’ and moral views are being used as a knife to cut down the rights of others. To be clear – this effort does not represent religious liberty; it is government-sanctioned discrimination.
“This announcement comes just after the anniversary of the Religious Freedom statute drafted by Thomas Jefferson and adopted in Virginia in 1786. The Virginia Statute – codified over 2 centuries ago – warns us against allowing religious views to supersede civil rights by stating, ‘our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry.’ Unfortunately, it is clear that the administration has not heeded the warnings of our forefathers and continues to erode legally-protected rights and liberties.
“In light of the administration’s latest actions, I continue to press for the immediate passage of the Do No Harm Act, introduced by Congressman Joe Kennedy and me last year. The Do No Harm Act protects religious liberty and protects against discrimination by making clear that they cannot be used to cause harm to others by overriding discrimination laws such as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or health care services to which persons are otherwise legally entitled.”
Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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