A Catholic organization working with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declined to place migrant children with a foster lesbian couple because they did not mirror a traditional family, according to a report by The Daily Beast.
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) refused to allow any of the 700 unaccompanied minors under its care to move in with Bryn Esplin and Fatma Marouf, saying their lifestyle did not “mirror the Holy Family.”
The news comes as the government struggles to provide shelter for unaccompanied Central American children, some of whom are held in squalid conditions. Just last week, the Department of Justice challenged a 1997 settlement that forces the government to provide migrants with toothbrushes, soap, and a bed.
The couple is now seeking to challenge the agency in court with the aid of LGBT-focused nonprofit Lambda Legal. Last week a U.S. district court denied a motion to dismiss the suit against HHS and USCCB. Among other things, the court ruled the couple had standing to sue on due process, equal protection, and First Amendment grounds.
According to the couple, the USCCB also denied their request to adopt an LGBTQ child, because according to the organization none of the children in its foster program were lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. According to research funded by the close to one in five kids in foster care are LGBTQ.