Today, in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, the Supreme Court ruled by a unanimous 9-0 margin that it was illegal for the city of Philadelphia to end a contract with a Catholic foster care organization that refuses to work with same-sex couples.
Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, a progressive religious institution with many LGBTQ students, has been deeply involved in this case. The school signed onto an amicus brief outlining the grave dangers of allowing government-contracted foster care agencies to turn away prospective parents based only on religious objections.
Rev. Serene Jones, Ph.D., president of Union Theological Seminary, issued the following statement in response to the Supreme Court’s decision:
“Every child deserves a loving family and every LGBTQ person deserves equal rights and dignity, including the chance to raise a family. Denying those rights is a betrayal of God’s most fundamental commandment — that we should love all people.
“As the leader of an institution with many LGBTQ students, we are disappointed by today’s decision but relieved that the Supreme Court did not take an even more extreme position and strike down non-discrimination laws broadly. Still, we are deeply worried about the possible implications of this ruling at a time when we’re seeing an onslaught of legislative attacks and hate crimes against LGBTQ people, particularly against transgender people.
“Let me be clear: God loves LGBTQ people. Anyone that says otherwise is fundamentally misunderstanding and warping our scripture.”
Union Theological Seminary, founded in 1836 in New York City, is a globally recognized graduate school of religion devoted to putting faith into practice for the common good.
A beacon for social justice and progressive change, Union Theological Seminary is led by a diverse group of theologians and activist leaders. Drawing on both Christian traditions and the insights of other faiths, the institution is focused on educating leaders who can address critical issues like racial equity, criminal justice reform, income inequality, and protecting the environment.