Today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia finds that Philadelphia had violated the constitutional rights of Catholic Social Services by canceling the agency’s contract when they refused to work with same-sex couples on the basis of their religious beliefs. The decision allows for governments to continue to enforce non-discrimination laws that protect LGBTQ people and others, but they must do so neutrally.
“When child welfare agencies deny service to same-sex couples, it stigmatizes LGBTQ people and could reduce the number of homes available for children in need,” said Christy Mallory, Legal Director at the Williams Institute. “Today’s ruling underscores the importance of governments and agencies to have inclusive non-discrimination laws and policies that protect the rights of LGBTQ people.”
Recent Research Findings
- An estimated 114,000 same-sex couples are raising children, including 28,000 male same-sex couples and 86,000 female same-sex couples.
- Same-sex couples raising children are seven times more likely to be raising adopted or foster children than different-sex couples.
- A 2021 report found the majority of cisgender LBQ women (56%) said that having a child was somewhat or very important to them. LBQ women of color were more likely to feel it was very or extremely likely they would have children one day.
- The children ofLGB and transgender parents fare as well as children of non-LGBT parents.
- Nearly 20% of youth in foster care in Los Angeles are LGBTQ—twice the number of LGBTQ youth estimated to be living outside of foster care. LGBTQ youth had a higher number of foster care placements and were more likely to be living in a group home, two challenges to finding permanent homes.
- 3 million LGBT adults are religious, reporting that religion is an important part of their daily life or that they regularly attend services.
For more information on the impact of the Court’s decision on same-sex couples, read the Williams Institute’s amicus brief.