Judge denies Catholic Social Services discrimination claim in foster care case

By Julia Terruso

Philadelphia can require its foster care agencies to adhere to its nondiscrimination polices, a federal judge said Friday in a decision that could have national repercussions.

U.S. District Court Judge Petrese B. Tucker found that the city did not violate the religious liberties of Catholic Social Services (CSS) when it suspended its contract with the agency for foster-care services after discovering that the agency would not work with same-sex couples.

The Department of Human Services had a legitimate interest in ensuring “that the pool of foster parents and resource caregivers is as diverse and broad as the children in need of foster parents,” Tucker wrote in a decision Friday denying CSS’s request for a temporary restraining order to resume its work for the city.

The city welcomed the news.

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