Christian Adoption Agency Can Sue NY for Threatening Closure Over Not Placing Children With Same-Sex or Unmarried Couples
Jul 24, 2020
A Christian adoption agency's legal battle with the state of New York regarding its policy to place children only with married, heterosexual couples on religious grounds will continue under a federal appeals court ruling Tuesday.
Christian Adoption Agency Can Sue For Threatening Closure Over Not Placing Kids With Gay Couples
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that a lower court had prematurely tossed out a lawsuit filed by New Hope Family Services, a Christian adoption agency based in Syracuse, which sued the state Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) in May of 2019 after it was told it must change its “discriminatory” policy or shut down. Specifically, OCFS contends that New Hope’s policy violated a 2013 New York statute.
Tuesday’s ruling held that the lower court's dismissal was premature and sent the case back down to the trial court for further proceedings. At issue is whether the statute was religiously neutral or had been “informed by hostility toward certain religious beliefs.” The court’s opinion read, “It is plainly a serious step to order an authorized adoption agency such as New Hope—operating without complaint for 50 years, taking no government funding, successfully placing approximately 1,000 children, and with adoptions pending or being supervised—to close all its adoption operations.”
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