The ruling saw no violation of the First amendment in barring agency because of its policy not to place children with same-sex couples.
A federal appeals court ruled on April 22 that Philadelphia may bar Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia from placing children in foster care because of the agency’s long-standing policy not to conduct evaluations of homes where same-sex couples reside.
With this ruling, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit upheld a city policy instituted in March of 2018 to freeze all foster care placements facilitated by the archdiocese’s Catholic Social Services.
According to a report from the Catholic News Service, the Catholic agency, which had worked with the city for over 50 years, served 127 foster children a day, with placements among 100 families at a time.
Sharonell Fulton, a single mother who had fostered over 40 children in 26 years, joined other foster parents in filing a lawsuit against the city.
“As a single mom and woman of color, I’ve known a thing or two about discrimination over the years,” Fulton said. “But I have never known vindictive religious discrimination like this, and I feel the fresh sting of bias watching my faith publicly derided by Philadelphia’s politicians. Today’s court ruling lets Philadelphia continue that religious discrimination.”