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Wednesday Supreme Court Hearing Could Affect Debate on Public Funding of Religious Schools and Inclusion of Gay Students

The 74 Million |

Fulton v. City of Philadelphia addresses whether the city violated the First Amendment’s religious freedom protections by requiring Catholic Social Services, a foster care agency, to give up its opposition to same-sex relationships in order to receive a government contract.

While it doesn’t focus directly on schools, it comes after the court’s landmark decision earlier this year in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue found that private schools can’t be excluded from a tax credit-funded scholarship program just because they’re religious.

The outcome in Fulton, for example, could affect a case in which a Baltimore-area Christian school is suing Maryland state Superintendent Karen Salmon, arguing that the state revoked its eligibility to participate in a voucher program because the school lacks a nondiscrimination policy that protects LGBTQ students.