In a unanimous 9-0 decision last Thursday, June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Catholic Social Services, which said it would not violate its religious beliefs by placing foster children with same-sex couples.
The American Family Association (AFA) applauds the ruling. The high court said the city of Philadelphia was wrong to limit its relationship with CSS as a result of the agency's policy, which declined to place children with same-sex couples (either married or unmarried). Chief Justice John Roberts, in the majority opinion, said that CSS "seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else."
Ed Vitagliano, executive vice president of AFA, said of the court's decision, "This ruling is monumental. It establishes a bulwark against the efforts of sex and gender radicals to strip away the religious liberties protected in the First Amendment. Christians must never stop defending what is right—and we appreciate the courage of the folks at Catholic Social Services for their willingness to fight for the rights of the rest of us too."
Vitagliano added, "The fact that this ruling was unanimous is also an encouragement, although we realize the decision does not address the religious liberties of individual Christians such as the florists, photographers and bakers who have been under legal assault for years now. Our prayer is that, at some point, the Supreme Court will also uphold their constitutional rights as well. All in all, however, this is a good day for religious freedom for people of every faith."
In his opinion in the case—Fulton v. City of Philadelphia—Roberts also noted that no same-sex couple has ever asked to work with Catholic Social Services, which is affiliated with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. If that were to happen, the couple would be referred to one of the 20-plus other agencies that work with same-sex couples, CSS has said.
The opinion also noted, "The refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS for the provision of foster care services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny, and violates the First Amendment."
For over 40 years, AFA has operated within the mission to inform, equip and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission. Find AFA Action Alerts here.
AFA—founded in 1977—has long been on the front lines of America's culture war. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country, with nearly a million online supporters and approximately 160,000 subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry's monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 180 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner.
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