Earlier this month, in a first-of-its-kind case, a federal judge ruled that a Christian adoption provider’s religious freedom claims must submit to the government’s sexual and moral standards.
Catholic Social Services simply wanted to continue serving Philadelphia’s needy children in accordance with its beliefs, as it had for decades, but the city severed ties with the group when it refused to violate its faith and agree to place children in homes without both a mother and a father. A federal court signed off on the city’s stance.
Aside from the preliminary problem of considering a religious organization to be a public accommodation (usually reserved for commercial establishments), the trouble truly started when the court analyzed the organization’s free exercise claim.
As the court recognized, the Supreme Court’s recent opinion in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission requires cases such as this to “be resolved with tolerance.” But the court then proceeded to settle this one with significant intolerance toward Catholic Social Services.
It glossed over the fact that the mayor of Philadelphia made hostile comments about the specific religious tenets of Catholic Social Services, discounting the statements as “irrelevant” because “comments the mayor made relating to Catholicism do not demonstrate targeting in light of the fact that [the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services] also closed Bethany Christian Services’ referrals intake, a non-Catholic agency.”
Read the full story from The Daily Signal
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