WASHINGTON, June 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — The U.S. Supreme Court has delivered a unanimous judgement in favor of religious freedom in a case which had pitted so-called homosexual rights against a Catholic foster care agency’s conscience rights. Meanwhile, conservative justices as well as pro-homosexual activists are characterizing the ruling as having no relevance for similar cases before courts.
In a ruling issued this morning, all nine justices sided with Catholic Social Services (CSS) against the city of Philadelphia in a case known as Fulton v. The City of Philadelphia.
Philadelphia had stopped referring children to CSS for foster care because CSS would not vet same-sex couples as foster parents, as the Catholic agency believes that marriage is a bond between one man and one woman. The question before the court was whether the actions of Philadelphia violated the First Amendment Rights of CSS.
Chief Justice Roberts, who delivered the opinion of the Court, wrote:
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.
Justice Alito noted that the city government had threatened the welfare of children awaiting placement in foster homes at a time when there was already an “acute shortage of foster parents,” and “went so far as to prohibit the placement of any children in homes that CSS had previously vetted and approved.”
“The City apparently prefers to risk leaving children without foster parents than to allow CSS to follow its religiously dictated policy, which threatens no tangible harm,” continued Justice Alito.
Today’s ruling is being hailed by many as an important victory.
“With more than 400,000 kids in foster care, we should be doing everything we can to support organizations that connect children in need with loving families. Discriminating against faith-based foster care providers because of their beliefs is not only unconstitutional, it makes it harder to get more kids into the safe, stable homes they deserve,” declared Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri. “The Supreme Court’s decision is a victory for religious liberty and for every child in the foster care system.”
“The decision today by the Supreme Court is a substantial win for religious liberty. In a time of growing hostility towards religion the Supreme Court’s reaffirmation of this fundamental freedom is even more critical,” said Family Research council President, Tony Perkins in a statement.
“Increasingly, the Left refuses to tolerate the slightest deviation from their political orthodoxy regardless of who suffers as a result. While we stop to celebrate and thank God that the Supreme Court reaffirmed religious liberty today, we are fully aware and prepared for the attacks of the Left on this fundamental, God-given freedom to continue unabated,” concluded Perkins.
“The Supreme Court’s decision today is a great win for all children who are in need of a forever home. The staggering number of children in foster care demands an all hands on deck approach that allows for all people, no matter their religious beliefs, to open their homes and their hearts to a son or daughter who needs a family,” commented Leigh Fitzpatrick Snead, an adoptive mother and Fellow for The Catholic Association. “The state should not require foster care agencies to compromise, violate, or abandon their religious beliefs or identities as a condition of serving these children in need.”
A “wisp of a decision”
While clearly a victory for religious liberty in general, and Catholic social service organizations in particular, Justice Samuel Alito, who was joined in his concurring opinion by Justice Clarence Thomas and Justice Neil Gorsuch, warned that today’s ruling did not go far enough:
This decision might as well be written on the dissolving paper sold in magic shops. The City has been adamant about pressuring CSS to give in, and if the City wants to get around today’s decision, it can simply eliminate the never-used exemption power. If it does that, then, voilà, today’s decision will vanish — and the parties will be back where they started …
Not only is the Court’s decision unlikely to resolve the present dispute, it provides no guidance regarding similar controversies in other jurisdictions. From 2006 to 2011, Catholic Charities in Boston, San Francisco, Washington, D. C., and Illinois ceased providing adoption or foster care services after the city or state government insisted that they serve same-sex couples. Although the precise legal grounds for these actions are not always clear, it appears that they were based on laws or regulations generally prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. And some jurisdictions have adopted anti-discrimination rules that expressly target adoption services.
Today’s decision will be of no help in other cases involving the exclusion of faith-based foster care and adoption agencies unless by some chance the relevant laws contain the same glitch as the Philadelphia contractual provision on which the majority’s decision hangs. The decision will be even less significant in all the other important religious liberty cases that are bubbling up.
LGBT organizations interpreting today’s ruling on behalf of religious freedom are echoing Justice Alito.
“Supreme Court in Fulton rules in favor of religious adoption agency, but on narrow grounds (specific to the City of Philadelphia contract),” wrote Shannon Minter in a tweet.
“A narrow decision that leaves existing law largely unchanged & creates no sweeping new religious exemption,” said Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR).
In the latest in a series of official endorsements by the GOP, the Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel recently issued a statement promoting so-called "pride" month and the agenda of the LGBT movement.
By forcing the LGBT agenda on the party faithful and would-be Republican voters, the RNC is seriously disrespecting their mostly conservative and Christian values.
Please SIGN this urgent petition to the RNC telling them to stop promoting the normalization of homosexual and transgender lifestyles, and the sexualization of politics in the United States.
Ever since Romney McDaniel took over as the head of the RNC in 2017, the leadership of the party has been tying itself, ever-more-closely, to this socially, morally and politically corrupt agenda, much to the dismay of the party faithful.
This is a colossal mistake for the party and society for three reasons:
- Attempting to normalize a lifestyle which is objectively disordered, is wrong and deceptive. The natural family and marriage between one man and one woman should be supported, not practices which have a decidedly destructive effect on individuals and society.
- If the party gives in to the LGBT agenda now, LGBT activists will never be satisfied. They will force the GOP to push more and more aberrant views, practices, policy and laws. That will be unhealthy for society and, ultimately, bad for the party, as people, who would otherwise support the party, will be driven away by pandering to this agenda which is based on personal, rather than societal, issues.
- By spending time and resources trying to court the LGBT community, which makes up 1-2% of the voting population, the GOP is losing opportunities to gain the support of much larger constituencies in the country, like Hispanic and Black voters, who make up 26%+ of the vote. Recent elections prove that Hispanics and Blacks can be won over to the party on economic policy and other substantive issues, rather than on identity politics.
Of course, people with homosexual inclinations must be respected, but the normalization of homosexuality (and, other sexually-confused inclinations) in society must be rejected.
Ultimately, the Republican Party should stand for the common good, not just the good of the individual based on sexual practices which do not actually benefit society. Otherwise, they will become indistinguishable from the other major party.
Please SIGN and SHARE this urgent petition which tells the GOP to stop promoting the harmful LGBT agenda and the so-called 'pride' events which endanger the innocence and morals of everyone involved.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
'GOP national chair endorses LGBT ‘pride’ month, vows to keep growing ‘big tent’' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/gop-national-chair-endorses-lgbt-pride-month-vows-to-keep-growing-big-tent
'GOP chair praises LGBT activist group’s work to ‘transform’ the Republican party' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/rnc-chair-praises-gay-organization-for-advocating-lgbt-rights
'Pride Month shows: Christians must opt out of mainstream culture in America' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/pride-month-shows-christians-must-opt-out-of-mainstream-culture-in-america
**Photo Credit: hafakot / Shutterstock.com
“The Court has emitted a wisp of a decision that leaves religious liberty in a confused and vulnerable state,” concluded Justice Alito in his 77-page opinion. “Those who count on this Court to stand up for the First Amendment have every right to be disappointed — as am I.”