During a town hall-style meeting in Iowa recently, atheist activist Justin Scott asked Republican Senator Joni Ernst if she was okay with taxpayer funding being used to support adoption and foster care facilities that discriminate against same-sex couples on the basis of religion. Several Catholic and evangelical-run agencies refuse to put kids in the home of (otherwise excellent) gay couples. Should taxpayers be supporting their discrimination?
Ernst’s answer was, as expected, yes. She’s fine using taxpayer funding to support bigotry as long as it’s Christians doing the discriminating. But as Justin pressed her on the issue, notice how she answered the question while pushing back against the (accurate) language he used.
ERNST: If they’re a Catholic-based organization, I would support them assisting families in finding a child or helping a child. If they are other types of organizations that will find homes for children, regardless of the situation in the home, as long as it’s a safe environment, whether it’s a single parent or same-sex couple parents, I would support funding there as well. So the ultimate goal should be that we are finding safe homes for children.
SCOTT: And I can appreciate that, but the agencies that specifically discriminate using taxpayer money, do you support sending money their way, knowing —
ERNST: I will support sending money to any organization that is finding a safe loving home for children that need homes.
SCOTT: Even if they discriminate.
ERNST: I wouldn’t say discrimination. I would say based on their religion, yes.
SCOTT: So you’re find with religion being weaponized?
ERNST: I would not use that phraseology…
She won’t use the word “discrimination,” but she supports faith-based discrimination. As long as religion is the excuse they’re using, we should reward them for their bigotry. It’s the Republican way.
Kudos to Justin for pressing her on the issue. Even if her answer was a foregone conclusion, it’s always good to get these bigots on record. You never know when it’ll come back to haunt her.
I would love to hear Ernst answer whether she would support, with federal dollars, a Muslim-run adoption agency that refused to put kids in homes with Christian parents.
(Featured image via YouTube)