May 2019 Church & State Magazine - May 2019

California Nixes Travel To South Carolina Over Foster Care Discrimination

  Rob Boston

State officials in California have barred employees from traveling to South Carolina to protest that state’s decision to allow religion-based discrimination in foster care. 

“The state of California stands strongly against any form of discrimination,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “California will now bar state-funded or sponsored travel to South Carolina.”        

Becerra noted that South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster sought a waiver from the U.S. Health and Human Services Department allowing Miracle Hill Ministries, a taxpayer-supported child-placement agency, to refuse to work with anyone who’s not an evangelical Protestant. Federal officials granted the waiver. 

Jewish and Catholic women who wanted to mentor children in Miracle Hill’s care were subsequently turned away by Miracle Hill. Americans United is suing on behalf of a Catholic woman, Aimee Maddonna, who was told by Miracle Hill that she is the “wrong” religion to help children in need. (See “Fostering Discrimination,” April 2019 Church & State.) 

The Charleston Post and Courier reported that California’s ban on travel to South Carolina took effect April 15.

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