PHILADELPHIA – City Solicitor Marcel S. Pratt today issued the following statement on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to hear Fulton v. City of Philadelphia:

“The City of Philadelphia is proud of our longstanding commitment to supporting freedom of religion and preserving equal access to services for all people – regardless of their race, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Abiding by that commitment is central to any contract that the City enters into. Unfortunately, CSS refused to consider qualified same-sex couples to become foster parents – even when these couples would be a safe, loving family for the child – and in doing so, CSS defied the City’s nondiscrimination policy, as reflected in its original contract and reaffirmed in the most recent contract offered to all foster care providers.

“The City believes that the ruling from the Third Circuit affirming the City’s ability to uphold nondiscrimination policies was correct and will now prepare to demonstrate this to the U.S. Supreme Court. This case is ultimately about serving the youth in our care, and the best way to do that is by upholding our sincere commitment to the dignity of all people, including our LGBTQ community. In the meantime, the City is proud to continue its relationship with CSS and its partnership with many other agencies, secular and religious, in serving all City residents.”