By Pete Williams
The Supreme Court said Monday it will take up a dispute between the city of Philadelphia and a Catholic charity over the suitability of same-sex parents to provide foster care. The issue is when enforcement of laws against discrimination goes too far, violating religious freedom.
The case could lead the court to reconsider its 30-year-old decision that said citing religious beliefs does not provide an exemption from general laws that apply to everyone. That decision has long been a target of conservatives, who believe it restricts religious freedom. But civil liberties groups say overturning it would blunt efforts to fight discrimination.
The court agreed to hear an appeal brought by Catholic Social Services, one of 30 agencies that contract with Philadelphia to find homes for abused and neglected children. After learning in 2018 that the group would not consider same-sex couples as potential parents for foster children, the city ended its contract with the charity for that service.
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