Lesbian couple sues feds, Catholic bishops over foster care program rejection

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from Fort Worth Star Telegram,

Two lesbian college professors married to each other were told they could not foster a refugee child through Catholic Charities of Fort Worth because they did not “mirror a holy family,” according to a lawsuit filed in federal court on Tuesday.

Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin blame the federal government and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for blocking their attempt to foster a refugee child. Their lawsuit asks the federal government to either stop doing business in a way that discriminates against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people or cut off the money the Catholic bishops use to fund foster care programs for refugee children.

“They were told they could not apply because they were not a holy family,” said Jamie Gliksberg, an attorney with Lambda Legal who helped research the lawsuit. “Because they were two women who were married, that made them ineligible to foster an unaccompanied refugee child.”

The program “is an outreach that is faithful to the Church’s mission to care for the poor and vulnerable,” Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson said in a statement.

“This mission is entrusted to the Church by Christ. It would be tragic if Catholic Charities were not able to provide this help, in accordance with the Gospel values and family, assistance that is so essential to these children who are vulnerable to being mistreated,” Olson said.

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/community/fort-worth/article201159879.html#storylink=cpy

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