WASHINGTON — Lambda Legal is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold appeal court rulings saying that reject religious discrimination as a basis for discrimination by adoption agencies.
According to The Hill, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a lawsuit brought by Catholic Social Services (CSS) and three foster parents against Philadelphia in 2018. The city had excluded the organization in city services because it refused to allow same-sex couples to become foster parents from the city’s foster care system.
Both the federal district court in Philadelphia and the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the city, denying CSS’s request for a preliminary injunction and ruling that Philadelphia had not acted out of hostility toward the group’s religious beliefs, The Hill reported.
“By imposing their religious view of what families must look like and seeking to discriminate against same-sex couples, CSS simply hurts the children they claim to serve,” said Lambda Legal Senior Counsel Karen L. Loewy. “Allowing discrimination to limit the number of potential parents for the more than 440,000 children in the foster care system deprives children of loving homes.”
Lambda Legal submitted a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of itself and nine local, state, and national organizations that serve LGBTQ youth urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold a lower court ruling denying CSS request that Philadelphia be ordered to place children in CSS’s foster care program while allowing CSS to refuse to recruit and license same-sex couples seeking to foster children in need of loving homes.
The Hill reported that CSS told the court that Philadelphia is violating the First Amendment by excluding the group over its religious beliefs. In a filing with the court last year, the group pointed out that there are other foster services that contract with the city that same-sex couples can use and that CSS has never turned away potential foster parents based on their sexual orientation.