PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia City Council took action on Thursday after allegations surfaced that two agencies with city contracts have policies that deny LGBT families the opportunity to be foster parents.
The resolution, introduced by Councilwoman Cindy Bass, calls for an investigation of the Department of Health and Human Services use of two contractors that employ policies that prevent placement of foster children with LGBT families.
City code prohibits discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.
“These agencies are putting their own view on religion above the needs of kids in care,” said Julie Zaebst, senior policy director at the ACLU.
She’s also a LGBT foster care provider. She says barring the placement of children in care with LGBT families violates the first amendment.
“When these agencies say ‘we won’t accept LGBT foster parents because they don’t fit our religious view,’ then the city is paying for a religious program and we are concerned about the continuation of these contracts,” Zaebst said.
A spokesperson for DHS says the agency welcomes the opportunity to discuss its foster contracts with city council.