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

(a) In generalNotwithstanding any other provision of law, a religious organization, on the same basis as any other nonprofit private provider—
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 safeguardsNeither the Federal Government nor a State shall require a religious organization to—
alter its form of internal governance; or
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.

(f) Rights of program beneficiaries
(1) In generalIf an individual who is a program beneficiary or a prospective program beneficiary objects to the religious character of a program participant, within a reasonable period of time after the date of such objection such program participant shall refer such individual to, and the appropriate Federal, State, or local government that administers a designated program or is a program participant shall provide to such individual (if otherwise eligible for such services), program services that—
are from an alternative provider that is accessible to, and has the capacity to provide such services to, such individual; and
have a value that is not less than the value of the services that the individual would have received from the program participant to which the individual had such objection.
Upon referring a program beneficiary to an alternative provider, the program participant shall notify the appropriate Federal, State, or local government agency that administers the program of such referral.
(2) Notices

Program participants, public agencies that refer individuals to designated programs, and the appropriate Federal, State, or local governments that administer designated programs or are program participants shall ensure that notice is provided to program beneficiaries or prospective program beneficiaries of their rights under this section.

(3) Additional requirementsA program participant making a referral pursuant to paragraph (1) shall—
prior to making such referral, consider any list that the State or local government makes available of entities in the geographic area that provide program services; and
ensure that the individual makes contact with the alternative provider to which the individual is referred.
(4) Nondiscrimination

A religious organization that is a program participant shall not in providing program services or engaging in outreach activities under designated programs discriminate against a program beneficiary or prospective program beneficiary on the basis of religion or religious belief.

(g) Fiscal accountability
(1) In general

Except as provided in paragraph (2), any religious organization that is a program participant shall be subject to the same regulations as other recipients of awards of Federal financial assistance to account, in accordance with generally accepted auditing principles, for the use of the funds provided under such awards.

(2) Limited audit

With respect to the award involved, a religious organization that is a program participant shall segregate Federal amounts provided under award into a separate account from non-Federal funds. Only the award funds shall be subject to audit by the government.

(h) Compliance

With respect to compliance with this section by an agency, a religious organization may obtain judicial review of agency action in accordance with chapter 7 of title 5.

(July 1, 1944, ch. 373, title V, § 582, as added Pub. L. 106–554, § 1(a)(7) [title I, § 144], Dec. 21, 2000, 114 Stat. 2763, 2763A–620.)
Editorial Notes

Another section 582 of act July 1, 1944, is classified to section 290hh–1 of this title.