What the Philadelphia foster care case could mean for the Supreme Court

When the U.S. Supreme Court mandated legal recognition of same-sex marriage in the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision, the majority opinion argued that doing so “would pose no risk of harm” to those who disagreed with it.

In his dissent, however, Chief Justice John Roberts suggested that serious religious liberty issues had been left unanswered by the majority, and that the country would ultimately have to contend with the question of how individuals who object to the recognition of same-sex marriage should be treated.

“Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage—when, for example… a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples,” he said.

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