The Supreme Court on Monday said it would consider whether religious adoption agencies can turn away same-sex parents, potentially carving out a means for groups that rely on taxpayer funds to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The case of Fulton v. Philadelphia presents a major opportunity for religious conservatives to win a ruling with national consequences that would let private organizations sidestep civil rights policies while competing for funds on equal footing with secular organizations. The Philadelphia department works with — and funds — several private groups that assist, including Catholic Social Services, run by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. In March , nearly four years after the Supreme Court found same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, city officials saw an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer that said Catholic Social Services CSS had a policy of categorically refusing service to same-sex couples seeking to become foster parents. After the city cut off parts of the CSS contract for placing children in homes — but continued to fund other parts CSS, such as group homes — the religious group sued the city.
Adar v. Smith
Florida court strikes down gay adoption ban | Reuters
A Grand Rapids federal judge has halted a new state policy that bans state contracts with foster and adoption agencies that refuse to work with gay couples. District Judge Robert Jonker wrote in his Thursday opinion. The opinion comes none too soon for St. Vincent, whose contract for adoption services with the state expires on Monday. Shortly after taking office, Nessel agreed to change state policy so contracts with agencies that refused to work with gay couples would be terminated. Vincent must choose between its traditional religious belief, and the privilege of continuing to place children with foster and adoptive parents of all types," Jonker wrote. Nessel tweeted late Thursday in response to the development: "Now and forever I will fight to support the constitutional precepts of separation of church and state and equal protection under the law for all Michigan residents and all Americans.
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LGBT adoption in the United States
The disputes have put religious freedom center stage and may provide clues about how the justices will handle a blockbuster case involving same-sex couples. More: Supreme Court hears Philadelphia foster parent dispute. Six years later: The impact of the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling.
T he United States has witnessed a remarkable shift in LGBTQ rights and visibility in the 50 years since the Stonewall uprising — and in just the last few years, LGBTQ people have won the right to marry, have hit a record high in representation on television and have seen the first openly gay major presidential candidate begin his campaign. And just as advocates fought their battle American culture, they also did so in the courts, including the U. Supreme Court. Over the last half a century, the court first denied and then affirmed that LGBTQ people have the right to consensual sex, and then the right to marry whom they choose.