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Gov. Henry McMaster Statement on U.S. Department and Health and Human Granting Religious Freedom Waiver Request

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January 23, 2019

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Governor Henry McMaster today released the following statement in response to the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to grant the governor’s request for a waiver allowing the South Carolina Department of Social Services to license faith-based Child Placing Agencies without those agencies being required to abandon their sincerely held religious beliefs:

“By granting this waiver, President Trump and Secretary Azar have shown the entire world that, as Americans, our fundamental right to practice religion, regardless of our faith, will not be in jeopardy under this administration. With young people in need of stable foster homes throughout our state, I am determined to protect each and every one of the Child Placing Agencies that have been called to help us fill those needs.”

The governor requested the waiver in a February, 2018 letter to now Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Steven Wagner.

A copy of the HHS letter granting the waiver can be found here.