The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in its first major LGBT rights case since the swearing-in of Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

With its new 6-3 conservative majority, the Supreme Court appears poised to rule in favor of a religiously affiliated foster care agency that is seeking a First Amendment right to reject couples based on their sexual orientation.

The high court in February agreed to hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia on the day after the general election.

In 2018, Philadelphia threatened to terminate its contract with Catholic Social Services (CSS) after it learned that the agency was refusing to place children with gay and lesbian couples, a violation of the contract it signed with the city. Catholic Social Services sued the city, claiming a First Amendment right to refuse placements with gay families for religious reasons. The agency turned to the Supreme Court after losing its case in lower courts.

Attorneys for the city argued in a brief 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.”

During Wednesday's hearing, Justice Clarence Thomas appeared to question whether LGBT couples make suitable parents.

“Don't you think it's in the best interest of the child to also have a pool [of suitable homes]? That is beneficial to the child?” Thomas asked. “I don't understand why that isn't also in the best interest of the child.”

Justice Samuel Alito suggested that the city was more interested in silencing the agency's message against same-sex marriage than supporting gay couples.

“If we are honest about what's really going on here, it's not about ensuring that same-sex couples in Philadelphia have the opportunity to be foster parents. It's the fact that the city can't stand the message that Catholic Social Services and the archdiocese are sending by continuing to adhere to the old-fashioned view about marriage,” Alito said.

Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was appointed to the bench by President Donald Trump, also signaled skepticism against the city, saying that it had “created a clash” and had been “looking for a fight.”

The Trump administration has sided with Catholic Social Services. In a brief filed in the case, the Trump administration argued that the city had “impermissibly discriminated against religious exercise” with its non-discrimination requirement. On Wednesday, government lawyer Hasim Moopan argued that the city was “cutting off homes from the most vulnerable children in the city to spite the Catholic Church.”

Barrett and Justice Neil Gorsuch, both of whom were appointed by Trump, also questioned the city's arguments, with Gorsuch noting that Philadelphia had shifted from arguing that CSS had violated its contract to saying that its actions were prohibited under the city's non-discrimination ordinance.

Catholic Social Services is being represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which argues that LGBT protections interfere with religious freedom.

A decision is expected in January.