US Supreme Court Ruling on Fulton vs Philadelphia

US Supreme Court Ruling on Fulton vs Philadelphia

One Colorado, the state’s leading advocacy organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) Coloradans, released the following statements after the US Supreme Court released a decision on Fulton vs Philadelphia.

“While we further examine the details of this case, it’s important to highlight that the Court did not give a license to discriminate based on religious beliefs. We want to let Coloradans know that government agencies will continue to enforce laws protecting LGBTQ people and others from discrimination. Much like Colorado’s Masterpiece Cakeshop decision from 2018, the ruling was decided based on the unique circumstances under which anti-discrimination laws were applied in this specific case. Our state’s anti-discrimination laws will continue to be applied consistently and fairly.”

  • Nadine Bridges (she/her), MSW, Executive Director, One Colorado

“This decision is yet another example of why Congress needs to pass explicit and consistent protections for LGBTQ people at the federal level. The current patchwork policy leaves too many gaps and room for discrimination. No one should be discriminated against — not in foster care, not in housing, or transportation, or any area of public life. Our nation’s laws need to reflect that, and the U.S. Senate needs to pass the Equality Act.” 

  • Branden Shafer (he/him), Political & Organizing Manager, One Colorado  

On June 17th, the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Philadelphia’s treatment of Catholic Social Services (CSS) violated the agency’s constitutional rights because the City’s contract had a mechanism for allowing individualized exceptions to its non-discrimination policy that it did not grant to CSS.

Background

In 2018, the City of Philadelphia ended one of its contracts with Catholic Social Services to provide foster care services. The agency had refused to certify same-sex couples as foster parents, which violated both the city’s nondiscrimination law and the city’s contract for foster care services. Catholic Social Services sued, arguing that Philadelphia’s non-discrimination law and contract were unconstitutional, and that the agency’s religious beliefs give it the right to refuse to certify same-sex couples as foster parents—and that it likewise has a right to keep receiving taxpayer funding for those services even though it discriminates.