Catholic Bishops Drop Opposition to Lesbian Becoming Foster Parent

A federal lawsuit alleging discrimination in a foster parent program has been resolved, with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops dropping its opposition to a lesbian caring for refugee children.

Kelly Easter was raised in a Southern Baptist home where she learned of the Christian call to serve “the least of these.” After hearing of the plight of refugee children and the shortage of Americans willing to take these children into their homes for temporary care, Easter, a Realtor in Nashville, determined she could help. She contacted the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement and was directed to the only entity participating in the program in her area: Bethany Christian Services, an approved partner of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which receives federal funds to provide foster care services.

Although Bethany recently had changed its policies and agreed to work with LGBTQ foster and adoptive parents, the particular program and location Easter needed to access was controlled by pass-through federal funding from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. That meant Easter was denied service there. She could have worked with Bethany at another location that was far away from her home, which was impossible due to the frequency of visits to that office required.

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