By Currents News Staff
A unanimous Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling is being called a victory for religious freedom.
SCOTUS ruled in favor of a Catholic foster care agency in Philadelphia. They say that the city refusing to work with Catholic Social Services (CSS) because of a faith-based practice they follow violates religious liberty.
“This is a victory for our beautiful city and for all of the children in our community who are counting on us to give them a fighting chance,” explained Toni Simms-Busch. She was one of the plaintiffs in the case, along with fellow foster care mom, Sharonell Fulton. Both women are Catholic.
“Their faith motivates all aspects of their work,” Toni said. “Their approach to ministry results in stronger foster families. Families that can continue to serve those in need, when others are burnt out.”
The case started when Catholic Social Services’ contract with the city of Philadelphia was frozen. The agency’s religious objections prevented them from placing children with same-sex couples.
The loss sparked a battle that’s spanned years and made it all the way to the high court, based off the idea that the city violated the First Amendment.
Now the agency and two foster moms can finally rest easy.
All nine justices ruled in favor of Catholic Social Services, saying Philadelphia was forcing them to violate their religious beliefs.
The opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts stated that Catholic Social Services just wants to continue serving children while staying true to their religious beliefs – not to impose those beliefs on others.
The Becket Fund, which defends religious liberty, represented the moms and Catholic Social Services in the case.
Montse Alvarado, the Executive Director of the Becket Fund said, “Every single justice said that religious freedom is not a second-class right, it’s front and center the bedrock of our constitution and our freedom in America.”
Still, some of the more conservative justices, including Samuel Alito, think the decision could have done more to solidify religious liberty.
As part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Catholic Social Services has been serving the city for over 200 years. Through this ruling, they can now continue to do so.