The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral
arguments in a case challenging Philadelphia's ability to prohibit
adoption agencies working with the city from discriminating against
same-sex couples on the day after the general election.
The high court said that it would hear
Fulton v. City of Philadelphia on November 4. The court agreed
to hear the case in February.
In 2018, the city 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.
The Third Circuit Court of Appeals
upheld a lower court ruling denying a preliminary injunction in favor
of Catholic Social Services and refused to revisit the case before
the full court.
The Trump administration filed a brief
in the case in favor of Catholic Social Services. The administration
argued that the City of Philadelphia had “impermissibly
discriminated against religious exercise” with its
Attorneys for the city argue that the
U.S. Constitution “does not entitle CSS to perform those services
on the city's behalf, with City funds, pursuant to a City contract in
a manner that the City has determined would be harmful to its
residents and the thousands of children it has a duty to protect.”
Catholic Social Services is being
represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which argues
that LGBT protections interfere with religious freedom.
A ruling is expected as early as