Pope Francis’s Statement Endorsing Same-Sex Civil Unions Undermines the Moral Legitimacy and Legal Arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia
"On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which presents the question whether a city may exclude a Roman Catholic adoption agency from its foster care system because the agency refuses to work with gay couples, in violation of the City’s nondiscrimination laws. While the parties’ legal arguments and most commentary focus on the extent to which religious entities can claim exemptions from neutral, generally applicable laws, recently released statements by Pope Francis create tension between the petitioners’ moral claims and their legal arguments. Here we provide a brief background of the case and explore the meaning of the Holy Father’s statement in the context of Roman Catholic teachings. We propose that properly understood, his statement weakens, if not entirely undermines, the adoption agency’s moral legitimacy and legal arguments, and we argue that their continued litigation of the issue actually contravenes his call for civil protections for all families."
Charles Binkley (@CharlesBinkley) is the director of Bioethics at the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics published in Verdict: Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia.
Nov 5, 2020
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