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LGBTQ Discrimination In Foster Placement

A Texas couple was recently denied the right to foster a refugee child because the only agency in their region discriminates against LGBTQ couples. The Catholic Charities of Fort Worth contracts with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to place foster children with eligible families. In conjunction with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, it uses millions of dollars in federal grant money to help unaccompanied refugee children find stable living situations. In denying the couple, the Catholic Charities of Fort Worth told them that they were ineligible because they did not "mirror the Holy Family."

Discrimination against same-sex couples is tragically common. Many states, including Texas, are open about discriminatory policies barring same-sex couples from adopting. Here in Michigan, the fight to secure equal rights for families that don't fit the outdated model of a mother, father and their biological children is ongoing. In the case at hand, the couple has filed a lawsuit on the grounds that the Fort Worth group is using federal funds for religious purposes in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Discrimination in family law

LGBTQ individuals face challenges when it comes to securing equal protection in the family law arena. The challenges come from employers, private entities and even the courts themselves. Legal action is often necessary to secure basic rights in areas including:

  • Child custody
  • Adoption
  • Paternity
  • Equitable parenthood
  • Child support
  • Access to family leave and other workplace protections

While advances have been made, the work to gain truly equal footing under the law is just beginning. The LGBTQ community needs and deserves strong advocates to overcome the many obstacles placed in their path. Justice demands nothing less.

Source: ABA Journal, "Same-sex coule sues federally funded refugee adoption agency for discrimination," by Lorelei Laird, 23 February 2018

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