"My Trusty Gavel" by Brian Turner / CC BY 2.0

Court Upholds Philadelphia’s Stance Against Anti-Gay Foster Care Agencies

Apr 24, 2019

By David G. McAfee

Finally, something we can celebrate. The city of Philadelphia’s decision not to send foster children to agencies that refuse to work with same-sex couples was unanimously vindicated by an appellate court.

local Republican may have said not sending kids to such faith-based agencies amounted to “anti-religious” discrimination, but the Third Circuit Court of Appeals said otherwise.

In a 3-0 decision, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Catholic Social Services failed to show that the placement freeze amounted to religious persecution or bias, violating its First Amendment rights to free speech and religious freedom.

Circuit Judge Thomas Ambro said Philadelphia was trying merely to stop what it considered a “clear violation” of a city anti-discrimination law covering sexual orientation, making a preliminary injunction inappropriate.

“The question in our case is … whether CSS was treated differently because of its religious beliefs,” Ambro wrote. “Based on the record before us, that question has a clear answer: no.”

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