In a filing before the U.S. Supreme
Court, the Trump administration has argued that
religiously-affiliated adoption agencies can refuse child placement
into LGBT homes.
The 35-page brief was filed by the
Department of Justice.
In 2018, the city of Philadelphia
learned that Catholic Social Services was refusing to place children
with gay and lesbian couples, a violation of the contract the agency
signed with the city.
Catholic Social Services sued the city
after it threatened to terminate its contract. The agency claims that
under the First Amendment it can refuse placements with gay families
for religious reasons.
Catholic Social Services turned to the
high court after the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the
The DOJ, which is not a party to the
case, argued in its brief that Philadelphia has “impermissibly
discriminated against religious exercise” under the First Amendment
of the U.S. Constitution with its non-discrimination requirement.
“Governmental action tainted by
hostility to religion fails strict scrutiny almost by definition,”
DOJ lawyers wrote. “This court has never recognized even a
legitimate governmental interest – much less a compelling one –
that justifies hostility toward religion.”
Catholic Social Services is being
represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which advocates
for religious freedom.
A decision from the Supreme Court in a
case involving LGBT workplace discrimination is expected this month.
In that case, DOJ lawyers argued that employers should be allowed to
discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Trump Supreme Court brief “reversed engineered” to conclude it's
OK to fire gay workers.)