LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Christian leaders from across Kentucky are celebrating the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in the case of Fulton vs. Philadelphia announced on Thursday.
The nine justices sided with a Catholic foster care agency that says its religious views prevent it from working with same-sex couples as foster parents.
The court’s opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, said, “The refusal of Philadelphia to contract with CSS (Catholic Social Services) for the provision of foster care services unless it agrees to certify same-sex couples as foster parents cannot survive strict scrutiny, and violates the First Amendment.”
Reaction from Christian leaders around Kentucky was swift and encouraging because of its potential impact on Sunrise Children's Services, which has been embroiled in a nearly identical situation with the Beshear administration.
"The unanimous ruling from the Supreme Court on the Fulton vs. Philadelphia case signals good news for the defense of religious liberty in America," said Kentucky Baptist Convention Executive Director-Treasurer Todd Gray.
Kent Ostrander, executive director of The Family Foundation, weighed in on the ruling.
“Today’s 9-0 unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Fulton decision has renewed the age-old American standard. In this major victory for religious liberty, we are reminded that ‘Live and Let Live’ is the motto of true American tolerance," he said. “This is in contrast to the culture’s more recently-defined use of the word ‘tolerance’ – tolerance goes both ways."
Richard Nelson, executive director of the Commonwealth Policy Center, said the ruling makes it obvious that Gov. Andy Beshear must renew the contract with Sunrise.
"The Supreme Court ruling made clear that government cannot discrimmate against faith-based agencies that operate according to their religious principles," Nelson said. "The similarities in the Philadelphia case with Kentucky's refusal to renew Sunrise Children's Services are striking. As a result, the unanimous ruling from our nation's highest court makes it difficult for Gov. Andy Beshear to do anything less than renew the contract with Sunrise. We believe failture to do so would be a violation of the recent ruling."