42 U.S.C. § 290kk-1 - Religious organizations as program participants

Cite as:42 U.S.C. § 290kk-1
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) In general

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, on the same basis as any other nonprofit private provider-

(1) may receive financial assistance under a designated program; and

(2) may be a provider of services under a designated program.

(b) Religious organizations

The purpose of this section is to allow religious organizations to be program participants on the same basis as any other nonprofit private provider without impairing the religious character of such organizations, and without diminishing the religious freedom of program beneficiaries.

(c) Nondiscrimination against religious organizations

(1) Eligibility as program participants

Religious organizations are eligible to be program participants on the same basis as any other nonprofit private organization as long as the programs are implemented consistent with the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to restrict the ability of the Federal Government, or a State or local government receiving funds under such programs, to apply to religious organizations the same eligibility conditions in designated programs as are applied to any other nonprofit private organization.

(2) Nondiscrimination

Neither the Federal Government nor a State or local government receiving funds under designated programs shall discriminate against an organization that is or applies to be a program participant on the basis that the organization has a religious character.

(d) Religious character and freedom

(1) Religious organizations

Except as provided in this section, any religious organization that is a program participant shall retain its independence from Federal, State, and local government, including such organization's control over the definition, development, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs.

(2) Additional safeguards

Neither the Federal Government nor a State shall require a religious organization to-

(A) alter its form of internal governance; or

(B) remove religious art, icons, scripture, or other symbols,

in order to be a program participant.

(e) Employment practices

Nothing in this section shall be construed to modify or affect the provisions of any other Federal or State law or regulation that relates to discrimination in employment. A religious organization's exemption provided under section 2000e-1 of this title regarding employment practices shall not be affected by its participation in, or receipt of funds from, a designated program.

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