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Catholic Couple Banned as Foster Parents for Religious Views on Gender and Sexuality

Mike and Kitty Burke are a married Catholic couple from Massachusetts.

Kitty works with special needs children, and Mike is a veteran of the Iraq War.

They also own their own business.

On the surface, they appear to be a stable household for a foster child.

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families felt otherwise.

The Burkes were denied as foster parents.

Mike and Kitty believe they were denied because of their religious views.

The Burkes spent their time and energy completing several courses.

They waited a long time for the opportunity to become parents since they unable to have their own.

DCF allegedly told Mike that the denial was because they “didn’t follow the ‘LGBTQ+ policies of the state.”

From the New York Post article:

“One of the things of our Catholic faith is we love one another as God has loved us. I love every person, do I agree with it? No. It’s [a matter of] hate the sin not the sinner. I would love that child no matter [what]. Just like my mother loved me whenever I did something wrong,” he said.

The Catholic couple filed a law suit. Becket Law has taken the case.

They have information regarding the case in a press release on their website.

From the case details on the page:

This sad conflict was entirely avoidable. Massachusetts wants to maximize foster families and rightly protect potential foster parents from religious discrimination. Instead, Massachusetts turned its policies into a ban on certain religious beliefs. This is as unconstitutional as it is unnecessary.

It is also puzzling for the Massachusetts DCF to deny a stable couple such as the Burkes.

There are currently over 1500 unplaced children.

Again, Becket law addresses this:

Massachusetts has put vulnerable children into hospital rooms and office spaces because it lacks enough loving foster families. Hundreds of children in the state’s foster care system need homes, and religious parents like Mike and Kitty Burke are ready to open their hearts and homes.

Becket Law previously won the Fulton v. Philadelphia case.

The Supreme Court ruled that it was the Catholic adoption agencies right to refuse a placing children with LGBTQ couples.

Becket Law believes the couples rights are protected by federal law.

Federal law protects the ability of religious people and organizations to foster children in need without having to forfeit their beliefs. Because Massachusetts was unwilling to uphold law including in its own Foster Parent Bill of Rights—Becket is going to court to enforce them.

The case brief from Becket Law can be found here.






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