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SPLC Action Fund Response to Unanimous Ruling in Fulton Case

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Today, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled 9-0 in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which maintains governments’ authority to enforce nondiscrimination laws, including those that protect LGBTQ+ people.

The following statement is from Scott McCoy, interim deputy legal director with SPLC Action Fund:

“We are pleased that the Supreme Court declined the invitation by conservative religious groups to create a religious exemption to nondiscrimination laws. Much to the chagrin of anti-LGBTQ+ extremists, the ruling in Fulton does not establish a sweeping new license to discriminate.

“This ruling does highlight the need for the John Lewis Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which seeks to end anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination and protect youth who all too often age out of the child welfare system. It’s sad and scary to think how many eligible, caring parents were turned away because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status, all due to the personal prejudices of adults who are paid to work in the best interest of children.

“It’s also shocking that 29 states do not currently have laws in place to protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination. Without the Equality Act, LGBTQ+ Americans remain vulnerable to being evicted from their homes, kicked out of a business that’s open to the public, denied health care, or denied government services in a majority of states simply because of who they are.

“The laws governing child services agencies exist for good reason. This was the correct ruling to ensure that no organization can discriminate against LGBTQ+ persons or any other marginalized group that doesn’t meet personal standards. It also gives hope to children who are just looking for a loving home where they can thrive and become part of a family.”