Kelly Stands with Faith-Based Child Welfare Organizations as Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Landmark Case on Religious Liberty

Feb 24, 2020

Washington, D.C. - Today, the Supreme Court of the United States announced it would consider an appeal of a ruling by the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Sharonell Fulton, et al. v. City of Philadelphia. U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) issued this statement on the SCOTUS decision:

“Faith-based adoption and foster care providers have played an extraordinary role in providing loving homes to vulnerable children throughout American history. Philadelphia’s attempt to force these organizations to choose between operating according to their faith and closing is an assault on the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious liberty and an unnecessary threat to the well-being of our kids. I thank the Supreme Court for agreeing to hear this incredibly important case.”

Background

The city of Philadelphia announced in March 2018 that it would no longer contract with faith-based organizations that only place children in homes with parents of the opposite sex.

Representative Kelly believes this is a threat to religious freedom and children seeking loving homes. Accordingly, in successive Congresses he introduced the Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act. If enacted, this legislation would prohibit discrimination against child welfare providers who decline to carry out certain services that conflict with their sincerely held religious beliefs. The Inclusion Act would have no affect the activities of other child welfare service providers. It would simply protect faith-based agencies from being singled out for their religious beliefs.

In 2019, Representative Kelly also joined several of his colleagues in the House of Representatives and the Senate on an Amicus Brief in support of Catholic Social Services, the organization that filed the lawsuit in this case.

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