Catholic Social Services is one of the top-rated foster agencies in the city of Philadelphia, providing crucial foster care services that benefit both foster children and those who take them in. Their work is desperately needed at a time when the city has more than six thousand children in foster care, and is urgently calling for foster parents who are willing to take one or more of them in. Even so, Philadelphia decided to bar CSS from providing needed services simply because the agency is unwilling to place children with same-sex couples due to the agency’s religious beliefs.
CSS is now taking Philadelphia to court over the city’s blatant disregard for its right to hold non-politically correct beliefs regarding marriage and parenting. Catholic Social Services’ legal team has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania requesting that the court allow CSS to continue its important work while the case develops.
In its complaint, CSS notes that it is currently serving more than 120 foster children, supervising about 100 different foster homes and has 35 open foster homes with loving parents who are willing to take in foster children, but have been denied the opportunity because Philadelphia doesn’t like CSS’ religious beliefs. What is more, CSS provides invaluable support to foster parents who are caring for children with special needs. Without the assistance that CSS provides, foster parents caring for these children would be unable to continue doing so.
The case pending against the city of Philadelphia also notes that there have been no complaints against the agency from same-sex couples, and in fact no same-sex couple has been impeded from taking in foster children due to CSS operations. In fact, there are no fewer than twenty-six other foster care agencies in the city and CSS always refers potential foster parents that it cannot work with to these agencies so that they can get the help and assistance they desire. To say that CSS is standing in the way of same-sex couples who want to foster children is absurd, as there is no evidence that this is the case; in fact, the city does not even appear to be trying to prove such a point.
The decision by the city of Philadelphia to block CSS from operating without changing its religious beliefs is nothing more than an attempt to score political points at the expense of at-risk children who desperately need assistance.
Unfortunately, CSS in Philadelphia isn’t the only dedicated Christian agency at risk due to the legalization of gay marriage. Catholic archdioceses involved in placing children in foster care in Boston, Washington, DC, San Francisco and the state of Illinois have already been banned from handling foster children. Other cities and states, thankfully, have taken the opposite course of action, protecting Christian services from having to violate their religious beliefs while they perform important services for the good of the community.
Alabama, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma have all passed laws allowing state-licensed welfare agencies to deny foster care or adoption placements based on their religious beliefs.
Given the fact that thousands of children are in desperate need of loving foster care and adoption, it would seem that any city or state would do everything in its power to work with those who are willing to help potential parents connect with those who need them. Unfortunately, in today’s politically correct landscape, this is not always the case.
Cities and states that desperately need help are denying those who want to help the opportunity to do so unless the potential helpers renege their religious beliefs regarding marriage. Denying one of the best foster agencies in the city to serve those in need is an outrageous infringement of the agency’s First Amendment rights.
~ 1776 Christian