A U Houston’s Letter in the Chronicle

Here’s a letter from our Chapter Treasurer published in the Houston Chronicle on Feb. 1, 2020.

Religious freedom

Regarding “Faith-based adoption adds providers,” (A11, Jan. 23): The lawsuit Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston and Texas Department of Family and Protective Services versus the federal Health and Human Services presents a number of concerns to religious and non-religious citizens alike.

These two plaintiffs together bringing this suit is an assault on church-state separation. The fact that a Texas state agency would join a suit to free a religious group from anti-discrimination laws illustrates the state government’s view of civil rights.

The effect of a decision in favor of the state and its contractor, the archdiocese, would allow the archdiocese to discriminate against the LGBTQIA community along with other groups the archdiocese doesn’t like. Such policies could put a significant strain on the foster care system if agencies turn away otherwise qualified parents who don’t pass a religious litmus test, leaving too many kids without a home.

Such a decision would set a precedent for other religious groups and other state contractors to be freed from federal anti-discrimination laws. Other state contractors will be encouraged to ignore inconvenient anti-discrimination laws.

This lawsuit is a flagrant attempt to use the argument of religious freedom as a sword to attack the civil rights of others. The state is encouraging the wielding of this sword. We must sound alarms and resist this attack on our civil rights.

Keith Thompson, Americans United for Separation of Church and State — Houston Chapter Treasurer

Attached is a copy of the letter in .pdf. form.