In today’s News:
New York rules for faith-based adoption
A federal court has concluded that a New York-Based Christian adoption agency cannot be forced to close because of its policy of only placing kids in married heterosexual families. New Hope Family Services filed suit against state officials after it was told that its faith-based policy of only placing children in married heterosexual homes violated a 2013 state law. U.S. District Court Judge Mae D’Agostino granted New Hope a preliminary injunction against the New York Office of Children and Family Services’ (OCFS) interpretation of the law. In her decision on Monday, D’Agostino concluded that the OCFS interpretation of the state adoption law against New Hope “demonstrates some animosity towards particular religious beliefs.”
Supreme Court will hear adoption case
In a related story, on Nov. 4, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia to decide whether the city can shut down Catholic Social Services (CSS), an adoption and foster care provider, because of the organization’s religious beliefs about marriage. CSS has worked with foster families in the Philadelphia area for more than a century. It has always believed that a child is best raised by a married mother and father and has served children and families according to this belief. But in March 2018, just days after the city issued an urgent call for 300 more foster families, it cut all referrals to CSS. The city of Philadelphia claims Catholic belief concerning marriage is bigotry according to its law. By all accounts, any same-sex couple in Philadelphia that wants to adopt may do so. In fact, four Philadelphia agencies have received the LGBT Human Rights Campaign’s “Seal of Approval.” No same-sex couple has ever even asked Catholic Social Services for help fostering or adopting kids.
Court asked to dismiss charges against a journalist
Sandra Merritt of the Center for Medical Progress has filed a petition to the California Supreme Court asking it to review and dismiss all eight remaining felony charges pending against her. Merritt’s requests were previously denied by the San Francisco Superior Court and the California Court of Appeals. Multiple counts have already been dismissed. The criminal investigation and heavy-handed tactics began under then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris, now senator and vice presidential candidate, and then her replacement, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who filed 15 charges for Merritt’s undercover journalism work in exposing Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in baby body parts. Becerra has not shown probable cause for any of the motivated charges. Merritt did not violate any laws but used legal undercover techniques to investigate and expose potential fetal-trafficking abuses and crimes being committed by Planned Parenthood. Under California law, conversations that “may be overheard” are, by definition, not “confidential,” and can be recorded without consent.