Supreme Court rules unanimously in favor of Catholic Foster Care Agency
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of a Catholic Foster Care Agency saying the city of Philadelphia violated their First Amendment right to free exercise when it froze a contract with them over their religious beliefs about marriage.
In the opinion delivered by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court held that, “The refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS for the provision of foster care services unless CSS agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.”
As the Court explained the case in their opinion they said, “Catholic Social Services is a foster care agency in Philadelphia. The City stopped referring children to CSS upon discovering that the agency would not certify same-sex couples to be foster parents due to its religious beliefs about marriage.”
After this discovery, the city halted its work with CSS saying they would resume their contract if the agency would agree to certify same-sex couples as foster parents. Philadelphia argued that they could not be forced to work with agencies to businesses that violated its anti-discrimination laws.
In a concurring opinion from Justice Alito he said CSS has not been approached by any same-sex couples, “but if that were to occur, CSS would simply refer the couple to another agency that is happy to provide that service—and there are at least 27 such agencies in Philadelphia.”
Finishing the opinion, Chief Justice Roberts 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. In view of our conclusion that the actions of the City violate the Free Exercise Clause, we need not consider whether they also violate the Free Speech Clause.
This story is developing and will be updated
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