Universal Life Church Case Law
Phone: (614) 715-9048 Fax: (614) 715-9049
Email: info@ulccaselaw.com
ULC Case Law
1629 K Street NW, Ste 300
Washington, D.C. 20006


Christian Children’s Home Initiates Legal Action Against Biden Administration Over Same-Sex Couples

January 18th, 2022

A Catholic charity is allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples in its placement of foster children.
A Christian children’s home initiated legal action over a regulation that requires the agency to place children in same-sex couples’ homes.

A Christian children’s home located in Tennessee recently initiated legal action against the federal government over a regulation that requires the agency to place children in the homes of same-sex couples that are either in marriages or cohabiting. 

The Children’s Home Involved in the Case

The “Holston Home” is a nationally accredited Christian nonprofit located in Greenville, Tennessee, and operates in east Tennessee as well as southwest Virginia. The facility cares for abused and neglected children throughout its residential and foster care services. The home’s mission is for children to be raised by healthier families that prepare them to live fulfilling adult lives intended by God.

How the Legal Dispute Over Same-Sex Couples Arose

The case, Holston United Methodist Home for Children v. Becerra, was filed in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee and involves Holston Home challenging the regulation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, sex, religion, gender identity, and marital status in programs funded by HHS grants.

The Houston United Methodist Home for Children initiated legal action after the Department of Health and Human Services refused religious-freedom exemptions that were granted during the Trump administration. The waivers permitted some non-discrimination requirements to be dropped based on religious objections. 

The Law Involved in the Dispute

Lawyers representing the school argue that the regulation violates the organization’s freedom to exercise religion under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

The lawsuit references the United States Supreme Court case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The court, in this case, held that Philadelphia officials wrongfully excluded a Catholic charity from the city’s foster program because the organization did not place children in the homes of same-sex couples according to the church’s teachings on marriage. In the Fulton case, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Catholic charity, as discussed in this blog post from last year.

Commentary about the Dispute

An attorney on behalf of Alliance Defending Freedom has stated that the Biden Administration is acting swiftly to expel faith-based agencies from programs that provide homes to children in need. 

A spokesperson for Holston Home has stated that the home is a “force for good” and that it is vital that the organization remains free to continue placing at-risk children in loving homes with “Christian families.” The spokesperson also commented that the Biden administration wrongfully removed religious exemptions to the state’s unlawful grants rule.  

Documenting LGBTQ+ Rights Issues

Many issues regarding the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals in the United States are still undefined. Each week, however, the Universal Life Church’s blog focuses on documenting the most noteworthy of these cases. We strive to do so in a way that examines the opposing sides of each case and which can be readily understood by readers.

Leave a Reply