Fulton v. City of Philadelphia (U.S. Supreme Court, 2020)

Separation of Church & State
Discrimination

U.S. Supreme Court ,

Separation of Church & State
Discrimination

At issue in this case is a religiously affiliated, taxpayer-funded foster care agency seeking to discriminate against same-sex couples applying to be foster parents. Invoking the Free Exercise Clause, the agency claims that its religious beliefs about same-sex marriage supplant a local anti-discrimination law’s prohibition on sexual orientation discrimination. In rejecting this claim, ADL’s amicus brief asserts that the sought exemption is not permitted by the Free Exercise Clause because the law is neutral to religion and serves a public interest of the highest order — eradicating discrimination. It would violate the Establishment Clause by favoring the agency’s religious beliefs over the civil rights of others. Furthermore, the harm from a ruling in the agency’s favor would not be limited to LGBTQ+ people because it would open the door wide open to discrimination against religious minorities, undermining religious liberty protections found in anti-discrimination laws across the nation.