New Hope Family Services, Inc. v. Poole (U.S.C.A. 2nd Circuit, 2019)

Discrimination

2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ,

Discrimination

New York State bars all state licensed adoption agencies from discriminating against prospective adoptive parents because of sexual orientation and gender identity, among other characteristics. At issue in this case is a free exercise challenge by a religious child placement agency that did not want to place children with same-sex couples. ADL joined an amicus brief in support of New York State filed by a diverse group of civil rights organizations. It asserts that as matter of law the Free Exercise Clause is not violated where there is a mere conflict between a faith-based entity’s religious beliefs and civil or criminal law. Furthermore, the finding of a violation in this instance would open the door to discrimination in adoption on the basis of religion and other covered categories.