Today], December 16, 2009, at 10 AM PST, a panel of eleven judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sitting in San Francisco will hear oral arguments concerning the constitutionality of San Francisco Board of Supervisor’s virulent resolution attacking the Catholic Church for its teachings against homosexual adoptions. The en banc panel will review the earlier opinion of a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit that upheld the resolution.
Thomas More Law Center attorney Robert Muise will argue the case on behalf of the plaintiffs in the case, the Catholic League and two Catholic residents of San Francisco.
The Board’s resolution, sounding more like a Ku Klux Klan anti-Catholic diatribe, refers to the Vatican as a “foreign country” meddling in the affairs of the City and proclaims the Church’s moral teaching and beliefs on homosexuality “insulting to all San Franciscans, ” “hateful, ” “insulting and callous, ” “defamatory, ” “absolutely unacceptable, ” “insensitive and ignoran.” The Board’s resolution makes reference to the Inquisition; and it urges the Archbishop of San Francisco and Catholic Charities of San Francisco to defy Church directives. Click here to read the City’s resolution.
The anti-Catholic resolution, unanimously adopted by the Board on March 21, 2006, was challenged by the Thomas More Law Center on behalf of the Catholic League and two Catholic residents of San Francisco on the grounds it expresses government hostility toward the Catholic Church and its moral teachings in violation of the Establishment Clause of the Constitution. The lower federal court’s dismissal of the case based on the pleadings was later affirmed by the three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit. However, on November 5, 2009, a majority of the Ninth Circuit judges voted to grant the Law Center’s petition for an en banc rehearing. Read the Law Center’s petition here. Moreover, on December 11, 2009, the Court requested both parties to submit a letter brief addressing whether plaintiffs had standing to sue. Read the Law Center’s Letter Brief here.
According to Catholic doctrine, allowing children to be adopted by homosexuals would actually mean doing violence to these children, in the sense their condition of dependency would be used to place them in an environment not conducive to their full human development. Such policies are gravely immoral and Catholic organizations must not place children for adoption in homosexual households.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel for the Law Center, commented, “It seems the only bigotry and prejudice these so-called liberal politicians tolerate is anti-Catholicism. To them the only good Catholics are the bad Catholics who ignore the teachings of their Church. Our constitution plainly forbids government interference in, and hostility toward, religion, including the Catholic faith. And we are fully committed to fighting homosexual activists who seek to promote their personal political agenda at the expense of our constitutional freedoms.”
According to the Law Center, the “anti-Catholic resolution sends a clear message to Plaintiffs and others who are faithful adherents to the Catholic faith that they are outsiders, not full members of the political community, and an accompanying message that those who oppose Catholic religious beliefs, particularly with regard to homosexual unions and adoptions by homosexual partners, are insiders, and favored members of the political community.”