STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Supreme Court rejects request from Catholic foster care non-profit that refused to certify married same-sex couples

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against a Catholic foster care non-profit in Philadelphia that refuses t...

Posted: Aug 31, 2018 4:56 AM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 4:56 AM

The Supreme Court on Thursday ruled against a Catholic foster care non-profit in Philadelphia that refuses to certify married same-sex couples as prospective foster parents out of religious objections to same-sex marriage.

In a one sentence order, the justices let stand a lower court ruling that had blocked Catholic Social Services from taking on new applicants to its foster program.

Belief, religion and spirituality

Catholics and catholicism

Christianity

Demographic groups

Families and children

Foster care

Gays and lesbians

Government and public administration

Government bodies and offices

Government organizations - US

Law and legal system

Law courts and tribunals

Marriage

Politics

Population and demographics

Religious groups

Sex and gender issues

Social assistance and welfare

Society

US federal court system

US federal government

US Supreme Court

The ruling is a loss for Catholic Social Services, which had asked for an emergency injunction while the dispute plays out in the lower courts. Justices Samuel Alito, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas noted they would have granted the request. It would have taken five votes to grant the request, but it's unclear what the final vote count was because justices don't have to publicly reveal their vote in such situations.

The group receives city funds when it places a child in foster care, but it will not comply with Philadelphia's anti-discrimination ordinance that the city says requires all groups that certify prospective parents to do so regardless of the applicants' religion, race, marital status or sexual orientation.

A lower court blocked the charity from taking any new candidates to serve as foster parents while the case plays out in the lower courts. The ruling meant that there would not be any new placements of foster children within the non-profit's in home foster care program.

The case is the latest clash between religious freedom and same-sex marriage to reach the high court. Last term, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of a baker who refused to make a cake for a same-sex couple out of religious objections to same-sex marriage.

In court papers, lawyers for the Catholic Social Services argued that the city "cannot demand that religious groups parrot its views as a pre-condition to serving foster children" and "it cannot retaliate against" the group by "shutting down Catholic's foster care programs" without violating its religious freedom.

The city of Philadelphia argued that Catholic Social Services is one of 30 nonprofit agencies that provide services for foster parents and children in the city's public child welfare system through contracts with the city's Department of Human Services. They say that no one is "compelling" the group to apply for the city-funded contracts and that the group can simply choose not to participate.

"The contract obligates CSS to adhere to the City's long-standing non-discrimination policies and laws in performing the services required," city lawyers write.

"The freedom of religion entitles faith-based organizations to participate in government programs on the same terms as other contractors; it does not entitle faith-based government contractors to alter the government services provided to confirm to their religious beliefs, or to opt out on religious grounds of some of the contract provisions," they wrote.

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
83° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 86°
Albert Lea
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 85°
Austin
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 86°
Charles City
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 85°
Rochester
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 83°
Tracking storm chances through the day
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Tattoo Warning

Image

Back to School Sleep

Image

Police Investigate Vandalism

Image

Planned Parenthood Withdraws From Title X

Image

Chateau Theatre Enters New Phase

Image

Joice Library gets State funding

Image

New Location for Rochester Warming Center

Image

Last Safe City Nights

Image

Sara's Daybreak Forecast - Storms start the day

Image

Sara's Daybreak Storm Update - Tuesday

Community Events