LGBTQ+ & Two-Spirit youth

Supreme Court Decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia Affects Foster Youth


FosterClub Statement regarding the Supreme Court Decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia

Thursday, June 17th, 2021

The Supreme Court’s decision in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia on Thursday to side with Catholic Social Services was unanimous but narrow in scope - applying only to the circumstances of this case. (Learn more about the case here). The ruling stated that the city of Philadelphia used the wrong practices to limit its relationship with Catholic Social Services based on its organizational policies of non-discrimination.  As the national network for youth in foster care, FosterClub is disappointed on behalf of young people in foster care in Philadelphia. We know many Philadelphian foster youth advocated for protections that this decision reverses, and sadly they will suffer most because of it.  We are grateful this decision is limited in it’s national impact and we know this will still impact LGBTQ+ & Two-Spirit young people in foster care across the United States.

The ruling highlights the importance of advocacy and the ongoing need for non-discrimination protections for the LGBTQ2S+ community. The Court’s decision reminds us that that LGBTQ2S+ youth across the country continue to face discrimination daily, resulting in long-lasting effects for all youth in foster care.

This decision empahsizes the urgent need for increased federal non-discrimination protections for foster youth. We must advocate for system-wide equality for all youth in care; we must work to pass the John Lewis Every Child Deserves a Family Act & Equality Act which would provide such protections.


The Court’s decision underscores the importance of our work and why we will continue to champion legislation practices, and policies that protect the rights of those most affected by discriminatory practices. We do that by continuing to center young people’s voices, experiences and collective recommendations for child welfare reform. You can see some of those recommendations in the amicus brief FosterClub filed in this Supreme Court case, featuring 14 young people.


Celeste Bodner

Executive Director
[email protected]

FosterClub Lived Experience Leaders joined the #DecisionDay conversation and shared the impact of the decision on youth in care. You can watch Ernesto Olivares (Texas) & Natalie Clark (Utah) on this recording (they share at approx. 15:19 into the recording).

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