SCOTUS to Decide Whether Faith-Based Foster Agencies Can Reject Same-Sex Couples

Catholic Agency Wants To Discriminate While Accepting Taxpayer Funds

The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear a case challenging whether faith-based agencies can reject same-sex couples who want to be foster parents. The dispute is between the city of Philadelphia and a Catholic charity, and the High Court will weigh whether the enforcement of discrimination laws takes precedence over religious freedoms.

The case could ultimately overwrite a decades-old SCOTUS decision that said religious beliefs don’t provide people or groups exemptions from general laws, NBC News reports. The court will hear an appeal brought by Catholic Social Services, which had its contract with the city of Philadelphia canceled after it said that it would not consider same-sex couples as potential parents for foster children. The charity’s original lawsuit said endorsing same-sex couples as foster parents would violate its beliefs about marriage, but lower federal courts said the city acted properly.

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals, based in Philadelphia, ruled that “religious belief will not excuse compliance with general civil-rights laws.” The court will hear the case, Fulton v. Philadelphia, during its next term, which will begin in October

The Daily Beast

NBC News

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