By Lawrence Hurley
The U.S. Supreme Court embraced religious rights over LGBT rights on Thursday by ruling in favor of a Catholic Church-affiliated agency that sued after Philadelphia refused to place children for foster care with the organization because it barred same-sex couples from applying to become foster parents.
The 9-0 ruling, written by conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, was a victory for Catholic Social Services, part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The organization accused the Democratic-governed city of violating the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and religion.
Catholic Social Services argued that Philadelphia had penalized it for its religious views and for following church teachings on marriage. The court did not rule on some of the broader legal questions raised by religious rights advocates.
The case, argued before the court in November, pitted LGBT rights against religious rights. It was one of the first major cases that former President Donald Trump’s third appointee to the court, Amy Coney Barrett, participated in after being confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October.