30 Civil Rights Groups Urge Supreme Court to Uphold Anti-Discrimination Laws, Support Same-Sex Foster Parents

Contact: Charmaine Riley, [email protected], 202.548.7166
Don Owens, [email protected], c. (202) 934-1880

WASHINGTON –The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, The Leadership Conference Education Fund, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, along with 27 national, state, and local organizations, filed a “friend of the court” brief today urging the Supreme Court to affirm and reiterate that private entities that receive taxpayer-funded government contracts must follow anti-discrimination provisions.

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia addresses the question of whether Catholic Social Services (CSS) will be allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples seeking to become foster parents. The groups argue that if the Court accepts the claim that CSS is exempt from adhering to the anti-discrimination provisions of a city’s public contract on First Amendment grounds, such a holding could open the door to any private entity that offers services to the public to sidestep even the most basic of anti-discrimination laws—including those that forbid discrimination based on race.

“Such an outcome would hit hardest LGBT people of color—a population that is already particularly vulnerable to widespread discrimination, yet is more likely to foster the neediest of children. LGBT people are seven times more likely to be foster parents than non-LGBT couples, and same-sex couples of color are even more likely to be foster parents than white same-sex couples. Petitioners’ position would also disproportionately harm children of color, as same-sex couples are more likely than different-sex couples to adopt Black children—a group that is already overrepresented in the foster care system,” the groups wrote.

The amicus brief is available here, and the participating organizations are listed below:

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO (AFSCME)
Andrew Goodman Foundation
The Center for Constitutional Rights
Clearinghouse on Women’s Issues
Equal Justice Society
Feminist Majority Foundation
Impact Fund
LatinoJustice PRLDEF
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human
League of Women Voters of the United States
Legal Aid at Work
Matthew Shepard Foundation
National Center for Law and Economic Justice
National Crittenton
National Employment Law Project
National Employment Lawyers Association
National Health Law Program
National Homelessness Law Center
National LGBTQ Task Force
National Organization for Women Foundation
National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA)
NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
9to5, National Association of Working Women
Public Advocacy for Kids (PAK)
Rabbinical Assembly
Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)
Treatment Action Group

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 220 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its member organizations, visit www.civilrights.org.

The Leadership Conference Education Fund builds public will for federal policies that promote and protect the civil and human rights of all persons in the United States. The Education Fund’s campaigns empower and mobilize advocates around the country to push for progressive change in the United States. It was founded in 1969 as the education and research arm of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. For more information on The Education Fund, visit civilrights.org/edfund/.

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law – Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, was formed in 1963 at the request of President John F. Kennedy to involve the private bar in providing legal services to address racial discrimination. The principal mission of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is to secure, through the rule of law, equal justice for all, particularly in the areas of voting rights, criminal justice, fair housing and community development, economic justice, educational opportunities, and hate crimes. For more information, please visit https://lawyerscommittee.org.