In an unanimous ruling given on Thursday, the Supreme Court decided that Philadelphia broke the religious rights of Catholic Social Services (CSS), more specifically the group’s foster care program that does not allow same-sex couples to foster children.
“The refusal of the city of Philadelphia to work with CSS in relation to foster care services unless the group agrees to accept same-sex couples violates the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment., the court said in their decision.
Chief Justice John Roberts spoke for the majority in the case, which was called Fulton v. Philadelphia, saying that “CSS wants only an ability to keeping serving the children of Philadelphia in such a way that it does not break its religious beliefs. It does not seek to force its beliefs onto other people. The refusal of Philadelphia to partner with CSS for the measure of foster care unless it certifies same-sex couples cannot get past strict analysis, and breaks the First Amendment.”
CSS goes further than refusing certification of foster parents who are same-sex couples, the group will also not certify unmarried straight couples either. Catholic doctrine says that the correct environment for the raising of children is a home with a married mother and father. Although same-sex couples might be “civilly married,” the Church does not see these types of arrangements as genuine marriages.
The High Court also unanimously decided previously this month that people with TPS (temporary protected status) cannot change to become lawful permanent residents if they came to the US illegally:
“The Supreme Court unanimously said Monday that an illegal’s TPS does not allow him to then become a permanent resident of the U.S.”
Associate Justice Elena Kagan, one of the Supreme Court’s liberal justices, spoke about the decision for the case. She said federal immigration law only accepts “lawfully admitted” people to then apply for LPR, but since Jose Sanchez came to the US illegally in the 90s, he cannot now get LPR status.
Author: Blake Ambrose