State denied effort to foster discrimination

State denied effort to foster discrimination

State denied effort to foster discrimination

A pro-family attorney is encouraged that a Catholic couple has won the first round in their fight against Massachusetts' policy against religious foster care parents.

In a state where the foster system is so overburdened that children are housed in hospitals for weeks on end, Mike and Kitty Burke (pictured above) applied to become foster parents.

After completing and passing all the required training, interviews, and home study "with flying colors," they were ready to take in a child. But because they are devout Catholics who would not agree to encourage a child's homosexual or transgender lifestyle, the state refused to place any children with them. So, they filed suit.

Whiting, Sam (MFI) Whiting

"The state basically said, 'We don't think this is a religious liberty violation. We think that these claims should be thrown out,'" relays Sam Whiting of the Massachusetts Family Institute. "The judge rejected those claims and issued a decision saying that those claims were not going to be dismissed, that the case could proceed."

As Whiting points out, the U.S. Constitution protects religious freedom.

"The state … had given the Burkes an ultimatum: they could either choose to renounce their faith and become foster parents, or they could keep to their faith but not be able to parent children," the family advocate submits. "That's just not an acceptable decision to pose to people under our Constitution."

Though the Burkes have not been guaranteed a win in the case, should it go to trial, Whiting says this is certainly a positive sign.