The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Catholic foster care and adoption agencies that want to refuse to adopt out kids to same-sex couples who want them on the grounds that forcing them to do so would violate the agencies’ First Amendment rights. The case came before the court after the city of Philadelphia was sued for refusing to send foster care referrals to Catholic Social Services after they decided that kids would be better off in horrid group homes than adopted into loving families with same-sex parents.

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This decision overturns the one made by Philadelphia’s 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2019. Catholic Social Services claimed it was the city’s fault that local foster care homes were sitting empty, even though they could have resumed their contract at any time simply by letting queer people adopt children through their agency.

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Experts have stressed that although this is a small blow to LGBTQ+ rights, the ruling only applies to this case due to unusual circumstances around the way CSS operates. Therefore this should not open a window for every Christian adoption or foster care agency to demand the right to keep kids who need parents out of queer homes.

“Fulton applies only to this contract, which had an unusual system of individualized, discretionary exemptions,” wrote ACLU attorney Josh Block. “It does not apply to civil rights laws, none of which have the same types of individualized exemption process.”

Still, many are understandably unhappy that the entire Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing a Catholic organization to discriminate against same-sex or otherwise queer prospective parents because that would be discriminatory against homophobic Christians. Only one of those forms of discrimination actually causes harm to children as well as to the entire population of LGBTQ+ Americans, but whatever.



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*First Published: June 17, 2021, 10:38 am