Supreme Court Staying Out of Fight Over LGBTQ Foster Care Placements

The dispute between Catholic Social Services (CSS) and the city of Philadelphia over foster care will not be handled by the Supreme Court.

Last spring, Philladelphia’s department of human services suspended new placement of foster children in CSS’ program because the agency would not certify same-sex couples as foster parents. CSS went to federal district court to argue that the city’s policy was in violation of their right to freely exercise their religion. Though their appeal is being reviewed, CSS was denied temporary relief to put the “freeze” on hold by the district court as well as the 3rd Circuit.

In their application to the Supreme Court for relief, CSS states that the city’s “vindictive conduct will lead to displaced children, empty homes, and the closure of a 100-year-old ministry.” The city states that CSS’ contract with the department of human services requires it to comply with nondiscrimination laws and policies.

Though the Supreme Court ultimately declined to intervene, Justices Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch all indicated that they would have granted CSS’ application.

Additional Resources

Fulton et al v. City of Philadelphia et al — Docket Report

Divided court stays out of foster care dispute, SCOTUSblog, August 30, 2018

Photo credit: