Dear Editor May 17, 2021
This piece is respectfully submitted by Martin Cothran Senior Policy Analyst of The Family Foundation
The Beshear Administration is rejecting Sunrise
Recently, the Louisville Courier-Journal ran a story by one of its liberal reporters about the Beshear Administration’s attempt to impose ideological requirements on Sunrise Children’s Services, a Baptist-sponsored adoption and foster care service, that the Administration knows the group cannot meet.
But you wouldn’t have known that by reading the headline to the news story, “Sunrise Children’s Services rejects state contract to continue care.” If you didn’t read the fine print, you’d think Sunrise just wasn’t interested in helping children anymore.
If there’s someone involved in this dispute who doesn’t want to help children, it isn’t Sunrise Children’s Services. And Sunrise isn’t rejecting anything. In fact, it is the current administration which is the one threatening rejection.
The Beshear Administration is demanding that Sunrise comply with a requirement that conflicts with its religious mission. It wants Sunrise to agree to state hiring guidelines that would require it to hire people who disagree with its fundamental Christian convictions.
Kentucky’s executive branch began to include sexual orientation in state non-discrimination guidelines several years ago. But past administrations, acknowledging the importance of not interfering with religious freedoms, have exempted Sunrise from these requirements.
These rules don’t belong there anyway. State lawmakers have never voted to put them into state law. They are the pure product of activist government bureaucrats who think they know better than elected officials what rules to place on Kentuckians.
The Administration’s primary concern should be to help children. In what way does putting a religious charitable organization in a position of either denying its own principles or forsaking the children it assists help those children?
The Beshear Administration is basically telling a Baptist service organization that they can either continue to serve children as long as they give up being Baptist, or continue being Baptist and give up serving children.
This is a position no group should be put in.
Maybe the Administration thinks it is helping itself by advocating for the causes of its liberal constituency. But it needs to find another way to do this that doesn’t put the well-being of children at risk.