Supreme Court rules for Catholic agency not working with possible same-sex couple foster parents

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday the city of Philadelphia violated a Catholic Foster Care Agency's First Amendment rights when it froze the group's contract for refused to work with same-sex couples as potential foster parents. 

Philadelphia refusal to contract with Catholic Social Services "for the provision of foster care services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny, and violates the First Amendment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote.

Roberts said that the group "seeks only an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else,” He also wrote, according to the Associated Press. 

Catholic Social Services is affiliated with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

The case dates back to 2018.  The city has said it requires the two dozen-plus foster care agencies with which it works not to discriminate as part of their contracts. The city asked the Catholic agency to change its policy. The city stopped referring children to the agency after group decline to change its policy, the wire service also reports. 

 Prior, to the high court ruling, lower courts had sided with Philadelphia in cased filed by the agency.