Supreme Court Votes 9-0 To Let Catholic Adoption Agencies Block LGBTQ Foster Parents

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on June 17, 2021, in favor of a Catholic agency receiving government funding that argued being forced to work with same-sex foster parents violated their “religious freedom,” a major ruling against LGBTQ rights and in favor of religious liberty that could have far-reaching implications on government-funded agencies’ ability to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and against other groups that go against their religious beliefs.

Catholic Social Services, a nonprofit organization that contracted with the city of Philadelphia and its foster care system, sued the city in 2018 after Philadelphia stopped sending the agency foster children upon discovering the agency refused to work with married LGBTQ couples seeking to be foster parents.

Philadelphia argued CSS violated the city’s anti-discrimination laws by discriminating against the same-sex couples, while the Catholic agency argued working with LGBTQ foster parents went against their religious beliefs, taking the case to the Supreme Court after the district and appeals courts ruled in Philadelphia’s favor.

The court ruled that Philadelphia’s refusal to contract with CSS violated the agency’s First Amendment rights to exercise their religious beliefs.

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