The Supreme Court today issued a narrow ruling in Fulton v. Philadelphia, a case regarding a tax-payer funded contract with a social service agency that discrimates against LGBTQ people. The court did not rule that there is a constitutional right to discriminate based on religious beliefs, which the agency had sought.
Nancy Haque, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, had the following comment:
“When our fundamental civil rights are up for debate at the Supreme Court, it is distressing, no matter what the outcome is. Today’s decision is disappointing, but importantly the court did not recognize a license to discriminate based on religious beliefs. Our understanding of the ruling is that it is quite limited in scope and will not impact any potential adoptive or foster parents in Oregon.
“Our Oregon Equality Act prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people, and the same is true in many other states. This has not changed. These protections are important because it is what helps our state be a welcoming and inclusive place.
“We are grateful to Senator Jeff Merkely for championing the federal Equality Act to ensure explicit protections from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. We are also grateful to the entire Oregon Congressional delegation for their leadership on LGBTQ-inclusive policies. We must continue to raise our voices and make it clear that we want a country where all of us are protected from discrimination. It is time for Congress to act now.