Bigotry behind religion’s fig leaf – workers world
The June 17 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Fulton v. Philadelphia represents a fanatic attack on the rights of LGBTQ2S + people.
In Philadelphia, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal; the city does not have the right to contract with companies or agencies that discriminate. In 2018, Philadelphia terminated its contract to place children in foster care with Catholic Social Services, due to its stated refusal to provide services to same-sex couples. The contract was only to be renewed if CSS ended its discriminatory policy.
When CSS sued – joined by three foster parents who supported its backslid position – a lower court ruled in Philadelphia’s favor, saying its policies did not violate the First Amendment’s “free exercise of religion” clause. The church-based agency argued that its faith-based belief that “marriage is a sacred bond between a man and a woman” could not legally be used by Philadelphia to end its relationship with CSS. The city’s foster care process normally involves cooperation with private agencies with which it contracts. (supremecourt.gov)
The SCOTUS decision – which was unanimous, meaning all three “liberal” judges agreed – countered the lower court, declaring that Philadelphia’s non-discrimination laws included a clause allowing the city to make ” exceptions ”. The High Court ruled that CSS was therefore entitled to a “free exercise” exception under the First Amendment.
In other words, the legal language prohibiting discrimination becomes obsolete when this discrimination is carried out under the guise of “religious freedom”. This religious loophole is commonly used to deny basic civil rights to LGBTQ2S + communities. In this case, it harms the children waiting for a foster home.
While the impact of this decision is limited, as it is specific to the Philadelphia “exception” allocation, it opens the door to larger SCOTUS actions supporting bigotry. Three of the most right-wing judges – Samuel Alito, Amy Coney-Barrett and Neil Gorsuch – wrote a dissenting opinion complaining that the ruling was “a bit of a decision that leaves religious freedom in a confused and vulnerable state.” (La Colline, June 17)
False religious defense
The history of Christianity does not support the position of the CSS, which is led by the Catholic diocese. The Catholic Church would have the public believe that same-sex couples have been denied recognition since the inception of the Church, on the basis of religious belief in the “sacred bond”. This myth was exploded by John Boswell’s groundbreaking 1994 work, “Same Sex Unions in Pre-modern Europe. “
The book “proves that for much of the past two millennia, in parish churches and cathedrals across Christendom, from Ireland to Istanbul and in the very heart of Rome, same-sex relationships have been accepted as valid expressions of a God-given ability to love and to another person, a love that could be celebrated, honored and blessed both in the name and through the Eucharist in the presence of Jesus Christ. (Irish Times, August 11, 1998)
Before the arrival of settler colonialism, Indigenous cultures recognized many kinds and partnership relationships.
The tribunal truly validates the long history of patriarchal misogyny and anti-LGBTQ2S + oppression – rooted in private property relations and continuing under medieval European feudalism, settler colonialism, movable slavery and capitalism – that Church and State have a horrible history to defend. .