Philadelphia, Pa., Nov 1, 2018 / 18:00 pm America/Denver (CNA).
Foster parents in Philadelphia will be in court next week, asking a judge to allow a Catholic agency to continue placing kids in foster care during a lawsuit that charges the city has unjustly discriminated against the agency.
“This is an important question – can the city end the ministry of an organization that has provided foster care for a century all over a political disagreement because that agency will not provide written certifications for same sex couples?” Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket, told CNA.
In March, city officials stated that Philadelphia would no longer allow Catholic Social Services (CSS) to place kids in foster care. The officials cited the group’s unwillingness to place foster children with same-sex couples due to its religious beliefs on traditional marriage.
However, “No same-sex couple had ever actually approached Catholic [Social Services] and asked them to provide this certification,” said Windham.
CSS asked the U.S. Supreme Court in July for an injunction that would allow the organization to continue placing children in foster care while the legal action was decided. The court declined, but three justices, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch, agreed with the request. Five justices are needed to grant an injunction. That question will now be put to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in oral arguments Nov. 6.