Philadelphia suspended its foster care contract with Catholic Social Services after they refused to work with a gay couple.
Catholic Social Services sued for a temporary restraining order to continue its foster care work with Philadelphia arguing religious liberties.
On Friday, Federal Judge Petrese B. Tucker opined that the city had a right to force the agency to adhere to the city’s nondescrimination policies and the motion for temporary restraining order was denied.
Pennsylvania’s 116th legislative district Representative Toohil (R-Luzerne County) has stated she is considering proposing Pennsylvania state tax credits of $500 and $1000 for Pennsylvania families who foster or adopt a child.
According to this article, newly installed U.S. Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch’s dissent in Pavan v. Smith demonstrates that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision establishing the same marriage equality for same-sex couples as for opposite sex couples may be subject to future attacks.
Pavan v. Smith involved an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court after the Courts in the State of Arkansas refused to issue birth certificates of both same-sex married parents. The U.S. Supreme Court, citing its Obergefell decision, issued an opinion that same-sex married couples must receive the same treatment as opposite sex married couples (ie., the spouse of the parent giving birth via an anonymous sperm donor can be added to the child’s birth certificate) in accordance with Obergefell. In essence, had the couples been opposite sex, the State of Arkansas would have issued the birth certificates and now must do so for same-sex couples pursuant to Obergefell.
Justice Gorsuch dissented insisting that the State had a biological reason entitling the State to the benefit of at least presenting its argument before the US Supreme Court. This dissent is troubling because opposite sex married couples who are artificially inseminated with gametes from an anonymous sperm donor (ie., wives) are permitted to have their non-biological husband added to their child’s birth certificate, but Justice Gorsuch was arguing that non-biological men should be treated differently based on the gender of the person whom they married.
This dissent signals Justice Gorsuch’s intention to (a) lead the conservative judicial movement; and (b) weaken Obergefell.
According to this article, the State of California has banned state travel to the State of Texas after Texas enacted a law permitting adoption agencies to turn away adoptive families based on religious beliefs against sexual orientation.
According to this article, the count is up to five. Five states now provide or are moving forward to providing for faith-based religious protections for adoption agencies which place a child’s needs and best interest below the religiously held beliefs of the adoption agency. Essentially allowing an adoption agency to ignore a child’s best interests over religiously held beliefs.
The five states are: Alabama (passed on May 3, 2017), South Dakota (passed in March 2017), Virginia (passed in 2012), Texas (pending legislation), and Oklahoma (pending legislation).
Georgia was moving in this direction, but the bill died when the legislature adjourned without acting on it in March 2017.
According to this article, a bill in the Texas House just passed permitting faith-based adoption agencies to reject adoptive parents based on the agencies religiously held beliefs. It has been argued that the rejections may include gay, divorced, non-Christian, Jewish, etc.
According to this article, three chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ committees signed a letter to Pennsylvania Representative Mike Kelly on April 10, 2017 voicing their support for the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act which would allow U.S. adoption agencies to legally exclude same-sex couples from consideration for adoption based on their “sincerely held religious beliefs and moral convictions.” The Bishops support carving out a religious exception to state anti-discrimination laws that would allow religious adoption agencies to continue to receive state dollars.
The three chairs are: (1) The chairman of the US Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty; (2) the chair of the bishops’ Subcommittee for Defense and Promotion of Marriage; and (3) the Chairman of the Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development.