After hearing arguments in a case involving LGBTQ discrimination and foster parenting in Philadelphia, the Supreme Court appeared to lean in favor of a Roman Catholic adoption agency that wouldn’t certify same-sex couples to foster children.
The adoption agency case (Fulton v. City of Philadelphia) arose after the city of Philadelphia learned in 2018 that Catholic Social Services, a foster care services provider affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, would not certify same-sex couples as suitable parents for children in the city’s foster care system.
After Philadelphia learned about CSS’ policy, the city stopped referring the group new children, citing a city law prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination, and updated its 2019 contract with foster care services providers to explicitly forbid such discrimination against potential parents.
Catholic Social Services argues that Philadelphia’s exclusion of it from the city’s foster care system amounts to religious discrimination, in violation of the First Amendment’s protections for religious exercise.
This case is the first to come before newly-confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett. Barrett’s history of anti-LGBTQ views were raised during her Senate confirmation hearings last month.