Fox News contributor Jonathan Turley reacted Thursday on "America Reports" to the Supreme Court's unanimous decision that a Catholic foster agency shouldn't be banned from participating in Philadelphia's foster program because it excludes same-sex couples, calling it a "major decision for religious rights."
JONATHAN TURLEY: This is a major decision for religious rights, and it’s also the decision that some of us thought was the most important of those pending cases we’ve been waiting for. What is surprising is it's 9-0. There are concurrences, but the Court is speaking with one voice saying the city of Philadelphia violated the free exercise clause of the Constitution. They're saying that you need to accommodate the religious values of these organizations, particularly when you obviously can do so. You have exceptions for other groups. It’s a very powerful statement, not just in its ruling but in its unanimity …
They saw the ability of the city to make available adoption services without denying religious beliefs and values to these organizations. These Catholic charities play a very significant role in adoption and other services, but there’s a variety of these groups, so the Court is saying we have to find a way to accommodate that. The reason this is so important is that these types of conflicts between anti-discrimination laws and the religious clauses of the Constitution are becoming more common. We just had a resumption of what's called the Masterpiece cake shop case. It went before the Supreme Court involving a baker who didn’t want to do cakes that violate his religious beliefs. Activists have been trying to create another case to challenge him and they've done so, but they may regret that, because he could end up expanding what was a narrow ruling in his favor into something much broader after this decision.
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