OPINION: The state shouldn't make helping children harder


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.

Why does the Beshear administration see the need to change the tolerant rules observed by its predecessors?

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?

How does it help anybody?

More and more we are seeing Woke politics insert themselves into every area of life and public policy. That's the nature of ideology, but it shouldn't be this way. If people think that grinding their gender ideology axe should take the place of basic human welfare, then they need to find some profession other than administering state programs.

Get elected to the legislature and champion your cause there. But don't make up laws that no one ever passed and then use them to make the good work of other people harder.

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. Children shouldn't be put in the middle of ideological battles like this.

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.

The Beshear administration needs to take a powder and consider why it was that previous administrations chose a different path.

Martin Cothran is a senior policy analyst for the Family Foundation of Kentucky.


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