BENKOF: Latest LGBTQ Cause — Keeping Orphans Parentless

David Benkof Contributor
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It’s time for LGBTQ activists to look at themselves in the mirror.

On Monday, the Supreme Court accepted a case for next term that in theory pits nondiscrimination against religious freedom, but in practice pits a theoretical pro-gay “statement” against desperate children who need homes.

And gay activists are not siding with the orphans.

When the City of Philadelphia found out in 2018 that Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services had a policy of placing foster kids only in two-parent opposite-sex homes, it canceled city contracts with those agencies. The Catholic group and several foster parents sued the city for violating their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and religion, and a three-judge panel sided against them.

Same-sex families that want to foster (or adopt) kids have lots of choices. Two dozen other agencies in Philadelphia place kids into homes with gay parents, and the city does targeted outreach to the gay community to recruit foster parents. Neither the media nor the defendants have pointed to a single lesbian or gay family that has been shut out of the foster system because of discrimination.

In fact, same-sex couples are heroically raising children in foster homes at remarkable rates: gay homes are seven times as likely to be raising a foster child than other homes.

The question before the Court — and American society — is whether agencies that DO place kids only in opposite-sex, two-parent homes according to their religious beliefs should be shut down. And if they are shut down, children will suffer. Philadelphia —the city which is refusing homes affiliated with religious-based agencies — has said it can’t place every home-less kid until it finds an additional 300 more foster families.

No serious person thinks Catholicism (for example) is going to change its theology in response to a government policy. Every serious person knows that if forced to choose, agencies affiliated with certain faiths will get out of the foster/adoption business.

Bizarrely, the main argument against the religious liberty claim is that children will suffer. Gay adoption activist Denise Brogan-Kator told Vox, “If you turn away a qualified, loving family that wants to open their home to a child, then you’re not placing a child.”

Brogan-Kator is either disingenuous or blinded by her own ideology, because it’s the government’s anti-religion policy that’s keeping children from being placed, not the policies of those agencies.

Again, dozens of agencies in Pennsylvania alone place kids in same-sex homes, and nobody is suggesting the government shut those down. The “non-discrimination” position is solely rhetorical: it’s that the government should make a statement of intolerance toward certain religious beliefs and practices; not that the number of foster placements should be expanded.

In the five years since the legalization of same-sex marriage, gay activists have been sore winners. They have aimed to demolish anyone — from wedding cake designers to chicken chain charities to foster agencies — who does not publicly celebrate homosexuality as completely equivalent to heterosexuality.

It’s time to calm down.

No lesbian wedding has ever gone cakeless because of bigotry in the Christian baking sector. No gay jock was ever subjected to “conversion therapy” because Chick-fil-A gave money to the Fellowship for Christian Athletes. And no same-sex family that wants to foster is being stopped by some Big Bad Religious Foster Monopoly.

For years, gays asked to be left alone. Now that they have power, gays can be a little gracious and leave other people alone, too.

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