Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, 042219 FED3, 18-2574

Docket Nº:18-2574
Opinion Judge:AMBRO, CIRCUIT JUDGE
Party Name:SHARONELL FULTON; CECELIA PAUL; TONI LYNN SIMMS-BUSCH; CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES, Appellants v. CITY OF PHILADELPHIA; DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA; PHILADELPHIA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS SUPPORT CENTER FOR CHILD ADVOCATES; PHILADELPHIA FAMILY PRIDE (Intervenors in D.C.)
Attorney:Stephanie H. Barclay Nicholas R. Reaves Mark L. Rienzi Lori H. Windham, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Nicholas M. Centrella Conrad O'Brien Counsel for Appellants Marcel S. Pratt City Solicitor Diana Cortes Chair, Litigation Group Jane Lovitch Istvan, Chief Deputy Solicitor, Appeals Eleanor N...
Judge Panel:Before: AMBRO, SCIRICA, and RENDELL, Circuit Judges
Case Date:April 22, 2019
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
 
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SHARONELL FULTON; CECELIA PAUL; TONI LYNN SIMMS-BUSCH; CATHOLIC SOCIAL SERVICES, Appellants

v.

CITY OF PHILADELPHIA; DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES FOR THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA; PHILADELPHIA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

SUPPORT CENTER FOR CHILD ADVOCATES; PHILADELPHIA FAMILY PRIDE (Intervenors in D.C.)

No. 18-2574

United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit

April 22, 2019

Argued November 6, 2018

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (D.C. Civil Action No. 2-18-cv-02075) District Judge: Honorable Petrese B. Tucker

Stephanie H. Barclay Nicholas R. Reaves Mark L. Rienzi Lori H. Windham, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, Nicholas M. Centrella Conrad O'Brien Counsel for Appellants

Marcel S. Pratt City Solicitor Diana Cortes Chair, Litigation Group Jane Lovitch Istvan, Chief Deputy Solicitor, Appeals Eleanor N. Ewing Chief Deputy City Solicitor Affirmative & General Litigation Elise M. Bruhl Benjamin H. Field, Schaundra Oliver Michael W. Pfautz Counsel for Appellees

David J. Hacker Office of Attorney General of Texas Office of Special Litigation Counsel for Amicus Appellants State of Missouri, State of Nebraska, State of Oklahoma, State of Alabama, State of Arkansas, State of Louisiana, State of Texas, Commonwealth of Kentucky

John J. Bursch Bursch Law, David A. Cortman Rory T. Gray John M. Sharp Kristen K. Waggoner Alliance Defending Freedom Counsel for Amicus Appellants Alliance Defending Freedom, Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family

William Haun Shearman & Sterling Counsel for Amicus Appellant Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty

Miles Coleman Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough Counsel for Amicus Appellants Mike Enzi, Roy Blunt, John Boozman, Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Steve Daines, Tim Scott, James M. Inhofe, James Lankford, James E. Risch, Mike Kelly, Robert Aderholt, Jim Banks, Lou Barletta, Diane Black, Kevin Brady, Kevin Cramer, Jeff Duncan, Neal P. Dunn, Matt Gaetz, Glenn Grothman, Andy Harris, Jody B. Hice, Randy Hultgren, Walter B. Jones, Steve King, Doug Lamborn, Billy Long, Barry Loudermilk, Tom Marino, Mark Meadows, Ralph Norman, Pete Olson, John Ratcliffe, Dana Rohrabacher, Todd Rokita, Keith Rothfus, Steve Russell, Steve Scalise, Christopher Smith, Randy K. Weber, Roger Williams

Andres M. Picciotti-Bayer Catholic Association Foundation Counsel for Amicus Appellants Former Foster Children & Foster Parents; Catholic Association Foundation

Leslie Cooper, James D. Esseks American Civil Liberties Union, Fred T. Magaziner Catherine V. Wigglesworth Dechert, Mary Catherine Roper Molly M. Tack-Hooper American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania Counsel for Intervenor-Appellees Philadelphia Family Pride, Support Center for Child Advocates

Alexander J. Luchenitser Richard B. Katskee Americans United for Separation of Church & State Counsel for Amicus Appellee Americans United for Separation of Church & State

Steven M. Freeman David L. Barkey Melissa Garlick Amy E. Feinman Anti-Defamation League, M. Duncan Grant Alexander L. Harris Pepper Hamilton Counsel for Amicus Appellees Anti-Defamation League of Philadelphia, Asian Pacific American Advocates, Bend the Arc a Jewish Partnership for Justice, Hindu American Foundation, Interfaith Alliance Foundation, Japanese American Citizens League, Jewish Social Policy Action Network, Jewish Women International, Keshet, Muslim Advocates, National Council of Jewish Women, People for the American Way Foundation, Sikh Coalition, South Asian Americans Leading Together, Rabbinic Call for Human Rights

Julie Wilensky Shannon P. Minter Catherine Sakimura National Center for Lesbian Rights Counsel for Amicus Appellees National Center for Lesbian Rights, Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center, Disability Rights Advocates, Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund Inc., Equal Justice Society, GLBTQ Legal Advocates and Defenders, Legal Aid at Work, Impact Fund, National Association of the Deaf, National Federation of the Blind, Transgender Law Center

Cathren I. Cohen Marshall Currey Cook Karen Loewy Lambda Legal Counsel for Amicus Appellees Fosterclub, Garden State Equality, Gender and Sexuality Development Clinic of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Human Rights Campaign, Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund Inc., Mazzoni Center, National LGBTQ Task Force, Pennsylvania Youth Congress Foundation, The Trevor Project, True Colors Fund

Maura Healey Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Elizabeth N. Dewar State Solicitor Abigail B. Taylor Angela R. Brooks Genevieve C. Nadeau Counsel for Amicus Appellees State of California, State of Connecticut, State of Delaware, District of Columbia, State of Hawaii, State of Illinois, State of Iowa, State of Maine, State of Maryland, State of Minnesota, State of New Jersey, State of New York, State of Oregon, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, State of Rhode Island, State of Vermont, State of Washington, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Jeffrey S. Trachtman Norman C. Simon Tobias B. Jacoby Jason M. Moff Elise Funke Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel Counsel for Amicus Appellees Rev. Lavonne Althouse, Dr. Kharma Amos, Rev. Robert Burke, Dr. Randy Bush, Central Atlantic Conference of United Church Christ, Central Atlantic Conference of American Rabbis, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, Dr. Beverly Dale, Dr. Janet Edwards, Rev. Jean Evangelical Lutheran Church in American, Rev. Margaret Diane Fisher, Friends for Lesbian Bisexual Transgender and Queer Concerns; Rev. Phillip Geliebter, Rev. Michael Giansiracusa, Rev. Hilary Greer, Rev. Sara Hale, Erin Hirsh, Melford Holldand, Rev. Rebecca Irwin-Diehl, Dr. Elizabeth Kaeton, Rev. Catherin Kerr, Mary Kisner, Dr. Vincent Kolb, Lutherans for Full Participation; Men of Reform Judaism, Rev. Jeffrey Miller, More Light Presbyterians, Muslims for Progressive Values, Rev. Bill Neely, Linda Noonan, Penn Central Conference of United Church of Christ, Penn Northeast Conference of the United Church Christ, Penn West Conference of United Church Chris, Pennsylvania Southeast Conference of United Church of Christ, David Pickett, Rev. William Podobinski, Reconciling Works, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, Religious Institute, Serena Rice, Rev. Michael Ruk, Michele Schenk, Rev. Matthew Simpson, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of Presbyterian Church, Megan Sutker, Stephanie Anne Thompson, Union for Reform Judaism, Unitarian Universalist Association, Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart, Amy Welin, Dr. Traci West, Women of Reform Judaism, Rev. Joan Wylie

Justin Goodyear Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Elizabeth Mitchell Emily L. Stark Lauren J. Schreur Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr Counsel for Amicus Appellees Child Welfare League, National Association of Social Workers, North American Council of Adoptable Children, Voice for Adoption

Joshua A. Matz Kaplan Hecker & Fink Counsel for Amicus Appellees Caroline Mala Corbin, Frederick Gedicks, Richard C. Shragger, Micah Schwartzman, Elizabeth Sepper, Nelson Tebbe

Kendyl T. Hanks Greenberg Traurig Counsel for Amicus Appellees Children's Rights, Barton Child Law & Policy Center, Emory Law School, Center for Children & Youth Justice, Center for Children's Advocacy, Center for the Study of Social Policy, Center on Children and Families, Children and Family Justice Center, Children's Action Alliance, Children's Advocacy Institute, Children's Defense Fund-New York, Children's Law Center of California, Children's Law Center of Kentucky, Children's Law Center of Minnesota, Coalition for Juvenile Justice, Columbia Legal Services; First Star, Inc., Florida's Children First, Inc., Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program, Juvenile Law Center, Lawyers For Children, Legal Counsel for Youth and Children, Legal Services for Children, Professor Bruce A. Boyer, Professor Michael J. Dale, National Center for Youth Law, Nebraska Appleseed, New Mexico Child Advocacy Network, Partners for Our Children, Pegasus Legal Services for Children, Rutgers School of Law Children's Justice Clinic, University of Miami Children & Youth Law Clinic, Youth Law Center

Philip E. Karmel Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner Counsel for Amicus Appellees Family Equality Council, COLAGE

Before: AMBRO, SCIRICA, and RENDELL, Circuit Judges

OPINION

AMBRO, CIRCUIT JUDGE

A reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer informed the City of Philadelphia's Department of Human Services in March 2018 that two of its agencies would not work with same-sex couples as foster parents. Human Services investigated this allegation, which it considered a violation of the City's anti-discrimination laws. When the agencies confirmed that, because of their religious views on marriage, they would not work with...

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