Transcript for SCOTUS’ unanimous decision on religious liberty in LGBTQ case
There was another major case decided today a closely watched high stakes clash over religious liberty and LG BTQ writes the case involves screening of Foster care parents in the city of Philadelphia and whether a Catholic social services agency can be denied a contract. Because of its refusal to work with same sex couples here's ABC senior Washington reporter Devin Dwyer with a unanimous. Decision. The first test on LG BT writes for the supreme court's six to three conservative majority. And getting unanimous agreement. The justices siding with the Catholic social services agency in its contract dispute with the city of Philadelphia over same sex Foster parents. To the city it's pretty straightforward he ventured into a contract that says very explicitly that you are to serve all in any. I'm and that's not that's neat you know mutually applied to all providers. In 2018 to city canceled its contract with Catholic social services. In a bid to root out discrimination against gay and lesbian couples in Foster care there have been no complaints against out of social services the agency refused to certify LG BT people as Foster parents as a matter of faith. Accusing the city of targeting its beliefs in violation of the First Amendment. Lower federal courts sided with the city but today all nine justices of the US Supreme Court voted to reverse course. The important thing all along has been in the Catholic social services. Is able to continue serving chance like it's done for 200 years and this unanimous Supreme Court decision let's. Dudack Chief Justice John Roberts taking narrow aim at fine print in the city's policy which allows exemptions to the anti discrimination rules writing. This city is burdened the religious exercise of Catholic social services through policies that do not meet the requirement of being neutral and generally applicable but Roberts making clear the city's interest in fighting discrimination. Is a wing 81. For society's come to the recognition they gay persons in gay couples he says. Cannot be treated as social outcasts or is inferior in dignity and worth. Which says that nondiscrimination laws can and will continue to apply to all cash including religious institutions. But if you do apply these laws you have to make sure you applied them in a neutral and generally applicable way. The stakes for Foster care have been significant. There are currently 4100. Kids in Philadelphia's resource Holmes including about 360 children in group facilities awaiting placement with the family. Studies show a disproportionate number are LG BTQ. The public Foster kids. They're kids and that comes our and their kids there aren't here. Shannon and Paige Davis who been Foster parents in Philly for seven years. See recruiting more same sex Foster parents is an urgent priority. I grew up Catholic went group Christian who still go to church on Sundays take us time eliminate families facing a mean things sacks. Is eliminating a potential loving home for a child. We don't want people to dissuade at pierce Dylan recruited recruiting. Gambling is grandma and parents aren't seeing couples should be out by parents and I certainly don't want folks in the community to be just Swedish. This particular thing that was deliberate. Philadelphia's Foster care network has 24 private agencies that scream parents' Catholic social services is the only one to deny same sex couples. The agency among ten Catholic Foster parents like Sharon L Fulton sidelined by the contract dispute hope the partnership with the city resumed soon. I have room in my house. And time in my life. And I want to make a difference Catholic social service does wonderful work. And we have children that hurt. And we need to service. Antique chest and her neck her decision she is relieved you know this has been a long fight it's been three years without allowing any children to be placed her Omer other homes and cap and social services and don't just a big sigh of relief today. This city says it's still deciding whether to resume a contract with CSS under an exemption to its anti discrimination policy. Or whether to revise its policy and keep them boxed out. There are more homes for children when Cabot social services is allowed to serve. I think the courts made it pretty clear what the city needs to do next year. We want to understand what does this and how we'll look forward as a city and ultimately impacts and bankrupt the country. LG BT rights advocates tonight C they're relieved the conservative court. Didn't go further the decision was not a suite a huge victory but this is a good outcome in that the port again it is is finally saying. That discrimination has no place in our Boston paradox insistence. And anywhere really in our democracy.
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