An appeals court has revived a Christian adoption agency’s lawsuit against officials in New York state who are seeking to force the charity to place children with unmarried and same-sex couples instead of referring them to other providers.
New Hope Family Services filed a lawsuit against state officials after it was told that its policy of only placing children in married heterosexual homes violated a 2013 state law.
In 2018, New York’s Office of Children and Family Services concluded that New Hope violated a 2013 state law prohibiting discrimination against applicants for adoption services on the basis of sexual orientation and marital status.
A three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled Tuesday to send the case back down to the district court, ruling in favor of the Christian charity.
Circuit Judge Reena Raggi authored the panel opinion, writing that New Hope had a valid “suspicion of religious animosity” in light of how state law was being used against the Christian adoption agency.
“… for New Hope to continue its adoption ministry in New York, OCFS insisted that it ‘compromise’ — i.e., abandon — its own religious views about family and marriage and subscribe to the state’s orthodoxy on such matters,” wrote Raggi.
“Construed in this light, the allegations cannot be dismissed for failing to state a plausible Free Exercise claim.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski