October 21, 2021

SCOTUS unanimously sides with Catholic org on forced same-sex adoptions

The Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that Catholic Social Services cannot be barred from serving as a foster care provider in Philadelphia because it will not place children with same-sex couples.

The unanimous 9 to 0 ruling offered an important victory for those who desire to serve in foster care without changing beliefs regarding family and marriage.

Yet SCOTUSblog tweeted, “While today’s decision in Fulton v. Philadelphia is a win for a Catholic group seeking to participate in the city’s foster program, it stops short of the broad endorsement of religious freedom the challengers had hoped for.”

“Philadelphia took this extraordinary action not in response to any legal violation, nor in response to any complaint it received, but because of CSS’s religious beliefs and practices regarding marriage, which City officials read about in the local paper,” the ruling said.

“The City will renew its foster care contract with CSS only if the agency agrees to certify same-sex couples. The question presented is whether the actions of Philadelphia violate the First Amendment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the opinion.

“CSS believes that certification is tantamount to endorsement. And religious beliefs need not be acceptable, logical, consistent, or comprehensible to others in order to merit First Amendment protection,” he added.

The case is a win for CSS, but similar cases will continue. Conservatives feel confidence in the unanimous ruling, though the win is more limited in scope than some desired.

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