42 U.S.C. § 300x-65 - Services provided by nongovernmental organizations

Cite as:42 U.S.C. § 300x-65
Currency:Current through P.L. 116-135 (03/26/2020)
 
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(a) Purposes

The purposes of this section are-

(1) to prohibit discrimination against nongovernmental organizations and certain individuals on the basis of religion in the distribution of government funds to provide substance abuse services under this subchapter and subchapter III-A, and the receipt of services under such subchapters; and

(2) to allow the organizations to accept the funds to provide the services to the individuals without impairing the religious character of the organizations or the religious freedom of the individuals.

(b) Religious organizations included as nongovernmental providers

(1) In general

A State may administer and provide substance abuse services under any program under this subchapter or subchapter III-A through grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements to provide assistance to beneficiaries under such subchapters with nongovernmental organizations.

(2) Requirement

A State that elects to utilize nongovernmental organizations as provided for under paragraph (1) shall consider, on the same basis as other nongovernmental organizations, religious organizations to provide services under substance abuse programs under this subchapter or subchapter III-A, so long as the programs under such subchapters are implemented in a manner consistent with the Establishment Clause of the first amendment to the Constitution. Neither the Federal Government nor a State or local government receiving funds under such programs shall discriminate against an organization that provides services under, or applies to provide services under, such programs, on the basis that the organization has a religious character.

(c) Religious character and independence

(1) In general

A religious organization that provides services under any substance abuse program under this subchapter or subchapter III-A shall retain its independence from Federal, State, and local governments, 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 or local government shall require a religious organization-

(A) to alter its form of internal governance; or

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

in order to be eligible to provide services under any substance abuse program under this subchapter or subchapter III-A.

(d) Employment practices

(1) Substance abuse

A religious organization that provides services under any substance abuse program under this subchapter or subchapter III-A may require that its employees providing services under such program adhere to rules forbidding the use of drugs or alcohol.

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