On June 17, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Catholic foster care agencies can reject gay couples from adopting children. This was a huge victory for religious liberty and a resounding defeat for LGBTQ activists.
It was these activists who launched a contrived assault on the rights of Catholic social service agencies—no gay or transgender couple had ever complained that they were discriminated against by these Catholic entities—and now their effort to impose their secular beliefs on Catholics has been rejected.
Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the six members who joined his majority opinion (others offered their own opinions), noted that the Catholic agency named in the lawsuit only sought “an accommodation that will allow it to continue serving the children of Philadelphia in a manner consistent with its religious beliefs; it does not seek to impose those beliefs on anyone else (our italics).”
The First Amendment guarantees religious liberty, and that provision means little if it only means the right to worship. The right to freely exercise one’s religious beliefs in the public square is central to religious liberty, and while that right—like all other constitutional rights—is not absolute, it must be seen as presumptively constitutional.
This decision makes it more difficult for LGBTQ activists to argue that sexual orientation and sexual identity are analogous to race. They are not. Race is an ascribed characteristic, and as such it is an amoral attribute. Sexual orientation (at least when it is behaviorally operative) and sexual identity are achieved, and to that extent they are normative, thereby making them legitimate categories for moral judgment.
There are some who argue that to deny a gay couple the right to adopt children is morally wrong. This position contends that the only thing that matters to children is love. While love is a necessary element, it is not sufficient. Children need proper formation, and that is difficult to do, at best, when they have two parents of the same sex. Boys and girls need mothers and fathers, and while that is not possible in every situation, it remains the gold standard, departures from which should be discouraged.
Those who support diversity should hail this high court ruling. No one is forced to go to a Catholic foster care agency when seeking to adopt children; we should respect the diversity these places entail.
Naturally, anti-Catholic bigots maintained that we have too many Catholics on the Supreme Court. Guess they didn’t notice that two Jews and one Protestant were on the same side as the Catholic justices.