US Supreme Court will start hearing LGBT+ foster care case today
The US Supreme Court is about to start hearing oral arguments in a case about whether foster care agencies can discriminate against LGBT+ people, Jews or Mormons.
However the case – Fulton v City of Philadelphia – could have far wider implications.
It could give religious government contractors the right to discriminate in services from soup kitchens to homeless shelters to refugee resettlement to disaster relief.
The case dates back to March 2018.
That month, the city of Philadelphia discovered two of the agencies it hired to provide foster care services to children in the city’s care would not, based on their religious objection, accept same-sex couples as foster parents.
Philadelphia informed the agencies that it would no longer refer children to them unless they agreed to comply with nondiscrimination requirements. The city makes the requirements part of all foster care agency contracts. One of the agencies agreed to do so.
However, the other, Catholic Social Services (CSS), sued the city. It claims the US Constitution gives it the right to opt out of the nondiscrimination requirement.
Future of LGBT+ parenting in the balance
The Supreme Court will now start hearings within the next few hours.
It could barely come at a more sensitive time, just a day after the US elections, with the result of that vote still in the balance.
It also comes shortly after the Trump administration managed to win a seat for Amy Coney Barrett on the Supreme Court. The case will therefore be a test of how an overwhelmingly – six to three – conservative court bench deals with LGBT+ and discrimination issues.
Naturally, the Trump administration has already intervened in the case. In August it filed a brief that accused Philadelphia of an ‘unconstitutional hostility toward Catholic Social Services’ religious beliefs’.
Also intervening are multiple LGBT+ and advocacy groups. They will argue excluding same-sex couples is particularly against the interests of LGBT+ children needing a new home.
Moreover, research shows how vital rainbow families are to adopted and foster children. Same-sex couples raising children are seven times more likely to be raising adopted or foster children than their different-sex counterparts.
Overall, an estimated 114,000 same-sex couples are raising children, including 28,000 male same-sex couples and 86,000 female same-sex couples.
If the religious lobby wins, it could undermine future generations of LGBT+ adults’ ability to become parents.
Published on GayStarNews Read the original article
Author: Tris Reid-Smith