Catholics Denied Adoption Massachusetts

Catholic Beliefs Incompatible with Adoption in Massachusetts

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Grotesque Anti-Catholic Discrimination

Date: August 11, 2023
Source: Washington Examiner
Author: Washington Examiner Editorial Board

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The Washington Examiner Editorial Board criticizes the state of Massachusetts for what they describe as “grotesque anti-Catholic discrimination” against a couple who wanted to become foster parents[1]. Mike and Kitty Burke, a Catholic couple, are suing the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families for allegedly denying them the opportunity to adopt children due to their religious beliefs on transgender procedures for children[2]. The Burkes’ lawsuit argues that Massachusetts is violating the First Amendment’s protection against religious discrimination[1].

The article cites the 2021 Supreme Court case Fulton v. Philadelphia, in which the court unanimously ruled that the city could not bar Catholic Social Services from placing children in foster homes even though the Catholic group would not approve of same-sex couples as parents[1]. The editorial argues that Massachusetts should not be allowed to ignore the Fulton precedent or the First Amendment[1].

Their faith is “not supportive and neither are they,” – Mass Adoption Official

The lawsuit states that Massachusetts’ interpretation of its regulations acts as an “absolute bar” for Catholics who follow the basic teachings of their religion[2]. The Burkes made it clear throughout the process that “all children should be loved and supported, and they would never reject a child placed in their home,” according to the filing[2]. However, a Massachusetts adoption official wrote that the couple’s faith is “not supportive and neither are they,” despite admitting they are “lovely people”[2].

In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston Stopped Adoption Services

This case highlights the ongoing tension between religious freedom and anti-discrimination laws in the United States. In 2006, Catholic Charities of Boston announced it was getting out of the adoption business due to the issue of adoption to same-sex couples[3]. To operate in Massachusetts, an adoption agency must be licensed by the state and pledge to obey state laws barring discrimination, including the ban on orientation discrimination[3]. With the legalization of gay marriage in the state, discrimination against same-sex couples would be outlawed as well[3].

The Washington Examiner Editorial Board calls for a “major slapdown” against Massachusetts for its treatment of the Burkes and argues that the state is violating prohibitions against religious discrimination[1].

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