From Catholic Culture
By Robert G. Marshall
President Biden and Speaker Pelosi want adoption and foster care agencies shut down if they follow the teaching of Moses and Christ which embraces the truth that marriage is a relationship between one man and one woman. They support HR 5, the so-called “Equality Act,” which manipulates the meaning of the word “discrimination.”
HR 5 states “Discrimination can occur on the basis of the sex, sexual orientation, gender identity…as well as…the sex stereotype that marriage should only be between heterosexual couples.” Moreover, the bill radically expands the “public accommodation” section of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which currently bans racial discrimination in businesses like hotels, restaurants, entertainment and other services open to the public. Attorney Mary Hassan told a U. S. Senate Committee (3/17/21) that the proposed legislation expands discrimination claims to “wherever Americans ‘gather,’ even virtually:
Churches, synagogues, temples, faith-based schools, soup kitchens, and shelters for battered women will be subject to government coercion pressuring them to compromise their religious beliefs or risk endless litigation.
If a church does not agree with the sexual practices or the social policies of the LGBTQ+ agenda, they will be charged with illegally “discriminating” under the Civil Rights Act just as if they were burning crosses on front lawns and wearing white sheets to intimidate their African American neighbors.
Two revealing court cases
Two court cases illustrate the consequences of HR 5’s on adoption and foster care:
The first case, a non-Catholic married couple, Chad and Melissa Buck, adopted five children from St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities in Lansing, Michigan. Melissa reports that St. Vincent’s recruited more foster parents than seven of the eight child welfare agencies in the same service area. Melissa and Chad filed a lawsuit, Melissa Buck v. Gordon, with St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities to defend the faith requirements of St. Vincent’s and other Christian agencies for adoptions and foster care.
In 2017, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of a lesbian “married” couple, seeking to stop St. Vincent’s and other agencies which insist on the policty that marriage is only between a man and a woman.
Michigan’s Attorney General, Dana Nessel, despite a 2015 law allowing adoption agencies to follow their own faith guidelines, attacked the law she was supposed to defend. She reached a “settlement” with the ACLU that required foster care agencies to process applications from homosexual couples, rather than refer them to other agencies as the law provided.
As Federal district court Judge Robert Jonker noted (9/16/19): “What St. Vincent has not done and will not do is give up its traditional Catholic belief that marriage as instituted by God is for one man and one woman… Attorney General Nessel…considered beliefs like St. Vincent’s to be the product of hate. …[S]he…put St. Vincent in the position of either giving up its belief or giving up its contract with the State.… General Nessel’s statements create a strong inference that the State’s real target is the religious beliefs and confessions of St. Vincent, and not discriminatory conduct.… ”
This case is still pending.
The second case, Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, was heard by the U. S. Supreme Court on November 4, 2020. Sharonell Fulton and Toni Simms-Busch are two Catholic minority women who were chosen by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Social Services as caring foster parents for more than 45 children (roughly 70% of foster children are minorities from disadvantaged backgrounds).
In March 2018, the city of Philadelphia stopped placing children with foster parents who partner with Catholic Social Services (CSS). The City demanded that CSS change its policy of referring same sex or unmarried heterosexual couples to other agencies. Philadelphia insisted CSS place foster children with same-sex or unmarried couples.
The Trump Justice Department defended the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, pointing out that religious discrimination is evident in the City of Philadelphia’s claim that it
prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in places of public accommodation…and…it has a compelling interest in excluding Catholic Social Services from its foster-care program for as long as Catholic Social Services adheres to its religious objection to endorsing same-sex marriages.[Justice Department brief, pp, 6, 20, June 2020]
In arguments before the U. S. Supreme Court, Justice Alito stated, “if we are honest about what’s really going on here, it’s not about ensuring that same-sex couples in Philadelphia have the opportunity to be foster parents. It’s the fact that the City can’t stand the message that Catholic Social Services and the Archdiocese are sending by continuing to adhere to the old-fashioned view about marriage.”
The nature of marriage
In 2003 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger addressed the question of homosexual unions:
Marriage…was established by the Creator…. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman…. [M]an…was created ‘male and female’ (Gen 1:27). Men and women are equal as persons and complementary as male and female.… Marriage is…a communion of persons…involving the use of the sexual faculty. “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife and they become one flesh” (Gen 2:24). …God…blessed the man and the woman…. “Be fruitful and multiply” (Gen 1:28). …[M]en and women with homosexual tendencies must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. [But] laws in favor of homosexual unions are contrary to right reason…. [T]he State could not grant legal standing to such unions without failing in its duty to promote and defend marriage as an institution essential to the common good.
The Christian heritage of adoption
Adoption and foster parenting are foundational for all Christian churches. Joseph was the foster or adoptive father of Jesus. All four Gospels refer to Jesus as the son of Joseph (Lk 4:22; Jn 6:42; Mt 13:55; Mk 6:3). And the gospels of Matthew (1:1-17) and Luke (3:23-38) trace the heritage of Jesus back to King David, fulfilling Messianic prophesy.
Christians in the first century, 1800 years before the United States even existed, were rescuing children who were legally abandoned in public places.
In 1729, Catholic nuns of the Ursuline order, opened the first orphanage in territory later made part of the United States. They cared for children of settlers killed by a Native American Indian tribe. In 1817, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and her Sisters of Charity opened an orphanage in New York City followed by hospitals and orphanages in St. Louis, Cincinnati and all along the East Coast to assist immigrants (The Sisters Knew A Child Needs a Home).
Mother Joseph of the Sisters of Providence in 1856 went to Washington Territory where she and her sisters opened more than 30 hospitals, schools, and orphan homes in four states and British Columbia. Mother Joseph is one of nine women whose statues are found in Statuary Hall in the U. S. Capitol. Would Speaker Pelosi kick Mother Joseph out of the U. S. Capitol because she followed Christ on the reality of one man, one woman marriage?
America was founded, in part, as a haven against religious persecution. But when Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL) opposed the Equality Act in Floor debate and quoted Deuteronomy 22:5, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) mockingly retorted, “what any religious tradition describes as God’s will is no concern of this Congress.”
The deceptively named Equality Act, HR 5, is now in the U. S. Senate. Fines up to $500,000 per violation can be levied under the supposed Equality Act. There is still time to contact your U. S. Senators. Respectfully demand that they oppose this crude and blatantly anti-Christian “legislation”.
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