Supreme Court unanimously rules for Church; Philadelphia can't discriminate against Catholic foster agency that bans gays

Thu. June 17, 2021 3:16 PM by Gerald Farinas

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 9-0 decision favoring religious rights against LGBTQ persons wanting to foster children in a Catholic agency.

Philadelphia had denied the Archdiocese of Philadelphia—and its Catholic Social Services department—placement of children with them because they have a ban on LGBTQ couples from fostering or adopting.

All the justices decided that forcing Catholic Social Services to promise it would certify LGBTQ couples as caregivers denied the Church and its agency their First Amendment religious freedoms.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote that Catholic Social Services “seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else.”

The justices also cited that Philadelphia's non-discrimination law does not count in this particular case—as foster care is not open to anyone but rather must meet specific assessments.