Federal court says Philadelphia has the right to cut ties with foster care agency after it refused to place children with same-sex couples

A federal court in Pennsylvania sided with the city of Philadelphia, saying that the city had the right to terminate a foster care agency’s contract after it refused to place children with same-sex couples. In March, Philadelphia stopped referring children to two foster care providers after learning that they had refused to license same-sex couples to be foster parents. Catholic Social Services (CSS) sued the city, arguing that its right to free exercise of religion and free speech were being violated.

via On Top Magazine

“First and foremost, this is a victory for children in Philadelphia who need a loving home and can’t afford to have good families turned away for failing to meet a religious litmus test,” said Reggie Shuford, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. “We’re proud that the city is committed to ensuring that no qualified family that comes forward to care for a child in need is turned away because of their sexual orientation or other reasons unrelated to the ability to care for a child. And we’re thrilled that the court rejected the claimed constitutional right to discriminate against loving families.”

Several states have passed laws allowing adoption and foster care agencies to refuse gay couples, including Alabama, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Kansas.