|HUD No. 20-209
HUD Public Affairs
December 14, 2020
HUD SECRETARY BEN CARSON APPLAUDS WHOLE OF GOVERNMENT APPROACH TO PROTECTING RELIGIOUS LIBERTY
Nine government agencies unite to ensure religious organizations are treated equally
WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) joined the Agency for International Development and the Departments of Justice, Labor, Homeland Security, Education, Health and Human Services, Veterans Affairs, and Agriculture to issue the joint final rule regarding the implementation of Executive Order 12831. This joint rule will ensure religious and non-religious organizations are treated equally by the federal government and clarifies that religious organizations do not lose legal protections and rights due to participation in federal activities and programs.
“For many Americans, houses of worship serve a wide variety of purposes in communities, which oftentimes expand far beyond the practice of one’s Faith,” said Secretary Ben Carson. “That is why, especially during this global pandemic, there must be a unified effort not to encroach upon religious liberty, but to ensure that places of worship are best able to respond and serve the needs of communities across our nation. It is powerful to see many federal agencies advocate for equal treatment and against any discriminatory practices, consistent with law.”
The final rule ensures equal treatment by removing regulations that were first imposed in 2016 by the Obama Administration, which burdened religious organizations, but not secular organizations. It also prohibits imposing future requirements that impose similar burdens solely on religious organizations.
The rule changes will pertain to faith-based organizations that apply for, or participate in, social service programs supported with federal financial assistance. This includes grants, vouchers, certain contracts, and other awards of funds. There are many religious organizations providing aid and assistance to under-served communities throughout the country.