Photo Credit: Beckett
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has denied an injunction to a faith-based foster agency that, along with three foster parents, had sued the City of Philadelphia for canceling its contract due to a city non-discrimination ordinance that prohibits agencies from turning away homosexuals. Without a contract, the agency will no longer be able to provide foster homes for Philadelphia children who are in government custody.
“CSS’s theme devolves to this: the City is targeting CSS because it discriminates against same-sex couples; CSS is discriminating against same-sex couples because of its religious beliefs; therefore the City is targeting CSS for its religious beliefs. But this syllogism is as flawed as it is dangerous,” wrote Judge Thomas Ambro on behalf of the three-judge panel.
“It runs directly counter to [case law] that, while religious belief is always protected, religiously motivated conduct enjoys no special protections or exemption from general, neutrally applied legal requirements.”
As previously reported, following the release of an article last year by The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Department of Human Services decided to suspend its partnership with Catholic Social Services (CSS) after learning it does not place children in same-sex households.
The matter began with a news lead surrounding Bethany Christian Services, as two lesbians told the outlet that they had been provided with referrals and advised that the organization had never placed children in homes without both a mother and father.
In reporting on the occurrence, The Philadelphia Inquirer decided to also reach out to Catholic Social Services to ask about
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