Attorney General Becerra Joins Brief Defending Rights of Same-Sex Couples Seeking to Adopt or Become Foster Parents

Thursday, October 4, 2018
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SACRAMENTO — California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and 16 states in filing a multistate amicus brief in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, a case concerning a faith-based organization’s religious objections to providing foster care and adoption services to same-sex couples. In the brief, the states argue that anti-discrimination laws like Philadelphia’s Fair Practices Ordinance are in place in several jurisdictions throughout the country to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in the adoption and foster care processes.

“Couples seeking to build healthy, loving families by bringing a child into their lives should not have to worry about whether they will be met with discrimination based on whom they love,” said Attorney General Becerra. “While everyone has a right to exercise their own religious and moral convictions, no one has a right to force those religious convictions upon someone else.”

In the brief, the states argue it is in the public interest “to shield people who have come forward to perform one of the most laudable acts in our society from degrading and discouraging treatment; to safeguard the welfare of the children who so need their care; and to meet the government’s own obligations to provide public services on a nondiscriminatory basis and act in the best interests of children.”

Supporting Philadelphia’s anti-discrimination provision is the latest in Attorney General Becerra’s efforts to support LGBTQ families in California and around the nation. Attorney General Becerra previously announced that California will prohibit state-funded and state-sponsored travel to Texas and Oklahoma in response to state laws that allow discrimination against LGBTQ people in foster care or adoption services.

California’s Assembly Bill 1887, which took effect in 2017, prohibits state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states with laws that authorize or require discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. The following states are currently subject to California’s ban on state-funded and state-sponsored travel: Alabama, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Texas.

A copy of the brief filed today is attached to the electronic version of this release here.

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