Lesbian Couple Denied Right to Foster Refugees in Texas

Lesbian Couple Denied Right to Foster Refugees in Texas February 24, 2018

Like many states now, Texas allows religious adoption agencies to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation, which means they can refuse to allow a gay couple or individual to adopt or foster a child who needs a home. And it even applies to refugees, those perhaps in the most need of help.


Three years ago, as they wore long gowns and exchanged vows surrounded by people who love them, Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin imagined a growing family. But like so many couples who dream of having children, they keep hitting roadblocks.

They tried IVF treatments and had no luck. They would have liked to adopt domestically, but state-funded agencies in Texas, where they live, are free to exclude same-sex couples. They say they can’t afford the tens of thousands of dollars it takes to adopt privately.

So early last year, they turned their attention to the idea of fostering refugee children. They were sure they had found their answer. They didn’t get far, though, before they were proved wrong.

During an informational phone call with the organization in charge, Catholic Charities of Fort Worth, they say, they were told that same-sex couples are ineligible to apply because they don’t “mirror the Holy Family.”

You know what? To hell with your “holy family.” There’s nothing moral about bigotry and discrimination. Not for one second would virtually anyone say that Catholic Charities, or any other adoption agency, could refuse to allow a black couple, or an interracial couple, to adopt or foster a child. It would be viewed as unthinkable and clearly a violation of the principle of equal protection. But when it involves gay people, suddenly it’s okay. That’s crap. The courts need to put a stop to this because there’s too much bigotry out there for elected officials in some states to do it. I hope this lawsuit is the one that brings an end to this discrimination.

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