The Supreme Court on Thursday denied a
request to force the city of Philadelphia to reinstate a foster care
agency's contract that ended after the agency refused to place
children with gay couples.
In March, Philadelphia stopped
referring children to two foster care providers after learning that
they had refused to license same-sex couples to be foster parents.
Catholic Social Services (CSS) sued the
city, arguing that its right to free exercise of religion and free
speech were being violated.
CSS turned to the Supreme Court after a
federal court in Pennsylvania sided with city officials and refused
to issue a preliminary injunction ordering Philadelphia to resume
referrals of cases to CSS.
On Thursday, the high court also
refused to issue a preliminary injunction as the case continues
through the courts.
In its two paragraph order, the court
said that three justices – Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Neil
Gorsuch – would have granted the agency's request. Five of the
court's nine justices are needed to grant an injunction.
CSS said that the decision would force
its foster care program to close.