Religious adoption agency can’t exclude gay parents, judge rules
In a ruling hailed as “historic,” a federal judge sided with the city of Philadelphia and same-sex foster and adoptive parents.
A federal judge on Friday ruled against a religious organization that refused to place foster children with gay families on religious grounds.
Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ruled that the city of Philadelphia can require the foster and adoption agencies with which it contracts to abide by the city’s nondiscrimination policies. The decision marks the first time a federal court has ruled that such agencies may not turn away same-sex couples who don’t meet the agencies’ religious criteria.
The dispute began in early March when the commissioner of Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) discovered that two of the 30 foster care agencies with which it has contracts — Catholic Social Services and Bethany Christian Services — had policies that deny their publicly funded services to same-sex couples.
Following this discovery, DHS stopped working with the two organizations, noting that their policies regarding LGBTQ families violated the nondiscrimination clause included in the contract they entered into with DHS.
NBCNews.com, July 19, 2018 by Julie Moreau
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