Elsewhere online
May 11, 2016

Obama Urged to Rescind Memo Allowing Bias by Faith Groups

A group of prominent constitutional lawyers is calling on the White House to withdraw a George W. Bush-era legal memo that allows religious nonprofits to discriminate in hiring for federally funded programs, ProPublica writes.

An analysis published Tuesday by the Columbia Law School’s Public Rights/Private Conscience Project that includes contributions from legal scholars at George Washington, Emory, Brigham Young, and other universities argues that the 2007 memo has been used by faith charities to deny services they say conflict with their beliefs. President Obama criticized the memo while a candidate in 2008 but has taken no action on it.

The Bush administration produced the memo after Christian aid charity World Vision objected to a nondiscrimination clause in a $1.5 million federal contract to mentor at-risk children. World Vision contended it should be allowed to hire only Christian employees for the program. In recent months, the Obama White House has taken states to task for passing laws critics say allow discrimination against sexual minorities on faith grounds.