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Adoption agencies should be able to reject gay couples in the US, Trump’s administration argues

The Justice Department of the administration of US President Donald Trump filed a Supreme Court brief that backs a Catholic group that refuses to work with same-sex prospective parents. The gist of their argument: faith-based organizations should be allowed to discriminate according to their faith.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels.com

LGBTQIA hate from the US of A.

On June 3, the Justice Department of the administration of US President Donald Trump filed a Supreme Court brief that backs a taxpayer-funded Catholic group that refuses to work with same-sex prospective parents.

This brief was filed in the case Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which revolves around the refusal of Catholic Social Services (CSS), a religious nonprofit that operates a child welfare agency, to place adoptive and foster children with same-sex couples even if this violates the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance.

In 2018, CSS sued Philadelphia after the city ended its contract with the faith-based service provider when it learned that the organization refuses to consider same-sex couples as potential parents for foster children. CSS used the “it’s against our religion” card as defense, claiming that providing services to same-sex couples violated its constitutional rights to free religious exercise and free speech, including – in this case – to discriminate.

CSS initially lost the case in lower courts, which led to the appeal reaching the US Supreme Court.

By backing discrimination, Trump’s administration argues that organizations should be able to refuse to work with same-sex couples and others whom the group considers to be in violation of its religious beliefs.

For this administration, “Philadelphia has impermissibly discriminated against religious exercise,” and that the city’s actions “reflect unconstitutional hostility toward CSS’s religious beliefs.”

The right to discriminate is actually a common demand of religious denominations/organizations even when they are supposedly pushing for equality.

In the Philippines, for example, the Roman Catholic Church – via the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) – actually released a statement partially supporting the anti-discrimination bill in 2015. However, CBCP’s statement stressed its desire to still be allowed to discriminate, particularly in: 1) determining who should be admitted to priestly or religious formation, who should be ordained and received into Holy Order, or who should be professed as members of religious communities and orders; and 2) for Catholic schools to be allowed to discriminate on who they can admit or retain.

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Back to the US, and as a side note: Eleven states actually have laws allowing state-licensed agencies to claim religious exemptions in the foster care and adoption process.

And yet in 2017 alone, it is estimated that about 443,000 children were in foster care across the US, according to a Department of Health and Human Services. Annually, around 50,000 children are adopted through the child welfare system, but about 20,000 others just “age out” before being placed with an adoptive family. Meaning: straight people won’t adopt them, but they won’t allow able LGBTQIA foster parents to adopt them either.

The US Supreme Court will hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia in its next term, which starts this October.

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