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Rohan Mohanty, left, and Stephen Miller, right, of Cozen O'Connor. Courtesy photos Rohan Mohanty, left, and Stephen Miller, right, of Cozen O’Connor. Courtesy photos

Governments often work with private organizations to provide foster-care services. Sometimes, religious organizations step forward to assist with this important work. This occurred in Philadelphia in 2018 … but it resulted in a dispute about whether the city could direct a religious organization to provide foster-care services in a manner that conflicted with the organization’s religious principles. The U.S. Supreme Court will resolve this First Amendment dispute in the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia.

This case presents another instance of religious principles intersecting with evolving social views on same-sex marriage. Catholic Social Services (CSS), an agency that partnered with the city to provide foster-care services, refused to certify same-sex couples to be foster parents. CSS claimed that doing so would contravene its religious principles. City officials broke the impasse; the city suspended CSS’s contract.

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