By Oscar Lopez. The cases reflect a growing tension in the United States between civil rights advocates opposing discrimination and religious groups seeking the right to operate according to their spiritual beliefs. A spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, which funded the refugee foster care program through a grant to the U. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the Department did not comment on pending litigation. During its next term starting in October, the U. At the state level, the debate is also gaining momentum.
Reverend Matthew Bode has been with his husband since , after the two met through mutual friends in the Michigan community where they do social-justice work. In , they wed at a public religious ceremony attended by loved ones. Both men knew they wanted to be parents at some point, though neither felt the need to have a biological child. So, about a year and a half ago, they started to foster children in Detroit, a city Bode has called home since
The Trump administration submitted a brief to the Supreme Court on Wednesday arguing that a taxpayer-funded organization should be able to refuse to work with same-sex couples and others whom the group considers to be in violation of its religious beliefs. The brief was filed by the Department of Justice in the case Fulton v. The latter argument cites a recent Supreme Court case in which the government intervened on behalf of baker Jack Phillips who refused to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple due to his religious beliefs. The high court awarded a narrow victory to Phillips on the grounds that the Colorado Human Rights Commission had shown hostility toward his religious views. Catholic Social Services sued Philadelphia in after the city ended its contract with the faith-based service provider upon learning the organization would not consider same-sex couples as potential parents for foster children.
Palusky wrote. The announcement is a significant departure for the year-old organization, which is the largest Protestant adoption and foster agency in the United States. Bethany facilitated 3, foster placements and 1, adoptions in , and has offices in 32 states. The organization also works in refugee placement, and offers other services related to child and family welfare.