THE NEUTRAL ZONE
Last week, the Trump administration submitted a 35-page brief to the Supreme Court regarding a 2018 dispute between Philadelphia and a Catholic foster care agency that “does not work with LGBTQ people because of the church’s view on homosexuality.” The question presented within the brief was as follows: “Whether the City of Philadelphia’s termination of a contract that allowed Catholic Social Services to help place children in the City with foster parents, on the basis of Catholic Social Services’ unwillingness to endorse same-sex couples as foster parents, violated the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment.
The government stated that Philadelphia’s actions in placing a freeze on Catholic Social Services showed that the state “has impermissibly discriminated against religious exercise” and “reflect[ed] unconstitutional hostility toward Catholic Social Services’ religious beliefs.”
Civil rights advocates have warned of potential far-reaching impacts of a Supreme Court ruling. Leslie Cooper, deputy director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, stated if the Supreme Court accepts the Trump administration’s claims, then it could harm “anyone who depends on a wide range of government services will be at risk of discrimination based on their sexual orientation, religion or any other characteristic that fails a provider’s religious litmus test.”
Supreme Court ready to spark fury on gay and transgender rights – Washington Examiner – 6/7/2020
No matter how the court rules, the decision is expected to heighten partisan disagreements. If the court does not extend protections, it will draw the ire of gay and transgender activists. If it rules for them, outcry is expected from religious groups worried that their ability to hire people who align with their beliefs will be restricted.
Trump administration asks Supreme Court to make it legal to ban same-sex couples from adopting – LGBTQ Nation – 6/4/2020
The Trump administration is trying to use that decision to force local and state governments to work with adoption and fostering agencies that discriminate against LGBTQ people, effectively showing that legal decisions about homophobic bakers are about much more than cake. LGBTQ advocates argue that allowing adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples will ultimately harm children in foster care by reducing the families available to take them in.
Trump admin to Supreme Court: Let adoption agencies reject LGBTQ families – Washington Blade – 6/3/2020
In the latest example of the Trump administration seeking to enable legal discrimination against LGBTQ people, the Justice Department is calling on the U.S. Supreme Court to allow religious-affiliated adoption agencies to refuse child placement into LGBTQ homes. […] The U.S. government isn’t a party to the case, known as Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, so the brief is completely voluntary.
Supreme Court to decide if adoption orgs have a right to refuse same-sex parents – LifeSiteNews – 6/5/2020
The Trump administration and conservative Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) are weighing in on the side of religious adoption agencies in Philadelphia, as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to decide whether those agencies have a right to choose to place children only in homes with both a mother and a father.
NY AG James on Twitter, 6/6/2020: Another attack on #LGBTQ+ rights from the Trump Administration, and this time during #pride. We cannot risk the potential for children to become part of a loving family over a taxpayer-funded agency’s religious beliefs.
Melanie Iglesias on Twitter, 6/5/2020: Denying LOVING LGBT members who want to adopt a child in need under the guise of religion, while children are pouring into the system, makes me sick to my stomach. #notmypresident
Rochelle Riley on Twitter, 6/5/2020: A year ago, #DonaldTrump vowed to help religious adoption agencies turn away same-sex couples. https://t.co/clvS4HK96a A year later, his administration has filed a brief with the Supreme Court to do just that.
KGNS News on Twitter, 6/7/2020: Adoption agency should be able to reject gay couples, Trump administration argues