In response to the United States Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling today in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia that the city may not bar a Catholic agency from screening out potential LGBT foster parents, the Los Angeles LGBT Center issued the following statement:
“The Center is deeply disappointed by today’s decision by the United States Supreme Court. On its surface, this case was about whether a private foster care agency can use their religious beliefs to justify excluding LGBTQ+ people from its publicly-funded services. But on a deeper level, the Court has reaffirmed a pattern that is all too familiar to our community: there is an asterisk on the legal and ethical notion that ‘all people are created equal’ that excludes millions of LGBTQ people. While the justices attempted to uphold the dignity of LGBTQ people in the process, those sentiments ring hollow, especially when they fail to acknowledge that the very foster parents who pass legal muster—given the Court’s decision—may ultimately cause further harm to LGBTQ foster youth.
“The Court’s reasoning ignores the plight of LGBTQ foster youth, who make up a disproportionately high percentage of the foster youth population and experience higher rates of negative health outcomes and psychological and physical trauma. And, to be clear, the mistreatment of and discrimination against LGBTQ people in the foster care system is not limited to Philadelphia or the state of Pennsylvania. At the Center, we hear firsthand the horrendous stories from our young people about their mistreatment and denial of services because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. LGBTQ foster youth deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They deserve better than survival; they deserve the right to thrive, which includes the ability to have LGBTQ foster parents.
“Given today’s failure by the Court to fully support LGBTQ foster youth, we call on Los Angeles County to proactively support our young people. We demand that the County Board of Supervisors immediately fund LGBTQ-specific services so LGBTQ foster youth in their care can become healthy, equal, and complete members of society.”
Take action at lalgbtcenter.org/DCFS