The United States Supreme Court’s ruling on religious freedom could affect the Ky adoption dispute.
Kentucky’s dispute with a Baptist adoption agency that denies LGBTQ adoptive parents could be affected by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of a Catholic organization that also rejects same-sex couples.
Thursday, the tribunal de grande instance sided with Catholic social services, a private agency that sued the city of Philadelphia for refusing to renew an adoption and foster care contract because of local anti-discrimination laws.
Kentucky has been locked in a similar battle with Sunrise children’s services, a Baptist organization that has so far refused to renew its contract because of a clause prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.
The fight has become a top priority for elected Kentucky Republican officials, who accuse Democratic Governor Andy Beshear of violating the organization’s religious freedoms.
It’s unclear exactly how the ruling will affect the Kentucky contract dispute, but at a press conference Thursday, Beshear said the Supreme Court ruling likely settled the matter, while saying he believed it was ‘an adoption organization would prevent LGBTQ parents.
âIn terms of contract and placement, we will follow federal law, and if that means this case solves it, it solves it,â Beshear said.
âPersonally, I have great friends who are gay parents. They are wonderful people, they are raising an amazing son. I’m concerned about any group that doesn’t see this and the amazing families that are there. “
Sunrise Children’s Services has worked with the state since the 1970s. The organization is affiliated with the Kentucky Baptist Convention, which considers homosexuality a sin, does not recognize same-sex marriage, and opposes the ordination of same-sex ministers. .
Beshear said the non-discrimination clause was included in Sunrise’s new contract as part of a Supreme Court ruling last summer affirming protections for LGBTQ jobs.
On Thursday, he said the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services feared that without the clause, the state could lose federal funding.
âIt’s a pretty legitimate concern if you’re worried about losing every dollar that goes to every provider of the foster care system. If that solves all of this, we will move forward with Sunrise as a supplier, âsaid Beshear.
After the ruling, Kentucky Republican officials quickly issued statements renewing their calls for Beshear to remove the language from the Sunrise contract.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron said the decision “is a victory for all Kentuckians and Americans of faith”.
âWe will continue to fight to ensure that the sacred freedoms of our Constitution are upheld for Kentuckians and faith-based organizations across the Commonwealth. To that end, we urge Governor Beshear to reinstate the contract with Sunrise Children’s Services in light of this unanimous decision from the country’s highest court. Sunrise must be allowed to continue serving the children of Kentucky, âCameron said in a statement.
Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles called the decision “a victory for religious freedom and for non-profit religious organizations.”
âToday’s unanimous decision applies here in Kentucky to the standoff between Gov. Andrew Beshear’s administration and Sunrise Children’s Services and underscores the position I laid out a few weeks ago: Previous Governors l ‘have done,’ Quarles said in a statement.
House Speaker David Osborne said the ruling âclearly supports our state’s ability to continue a relationship that has brought Kentucky’s most vulnerable children into the care of an organization with a clean track record.
Sunrise Children’s Services serves approximately 1,000 children and has been locked in a 21 year old federal prosecution on allegations that she indoctrinates children in her care, allegedly violating the separation of church and state because the organization receives public funds.