Case at a Glance:
Philadelphia’s Department of Human Services (DHS) contracts with private-sector social-service agencies to evaluate and place children with foster parents. DHS’s standard contract includes language that prohibits a contracting agency from discriminating by sexual orientation. When DHS learned that Catholic Social Services, a longtime City contractor in the foster-care program, would not place children with same-sex couples, DHS stopped referring placements to that organization. Catholic Social Services sued, arguing that the move violated its free exercise of religion and free speech under the First Amendment.
This classroom case study provides:
- background on the legal issues in the case;
- facts of the case;
- key legal definitions;
- Amicus Arguments summaries
- focus questions for fostering classroom discussion
- video conversation with Catherine Hawke and UIC Professor Steven Schwinn
The classroom case study was modified from PREVIEW of United States Supreme Court Cases. It can be used for teacher reference and provides a more detailed look at the case.
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