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Catholic couple barred from fostering over LGBT+ views

by Sophie Drew
Burke family.jpg - Banner image
Burke Family

A couple in the United States have filed a complaint against the Department for Children and Families in Massachusetts after they had their request to become foster carers denied over their Catholic beliefs.

Michael and Catherine “Kitty” Burke were asked about their potential parenting practices, in regard to raising children from historically marginalised groups, as part of the early stages of the fostering process.

A report written by a social worker, filed as part of the legal claim, reveals that the couple were specifically asked about how they would raise an LGBT+ child.

The report says the Catholic couple were “hesitant” about hypothetically using the preferred pronouns of a transgender child that could come into their care.

They referred to the gender-changing surgeries as “chemical castration” and told the social worker that they would encourage a gay child to live a “chaste” life, but would love them all the same.

Michael Burke assured social workers that they would never pursue conversation therapy, and would attend the wedding of an LGBT+ child, as they had been to same-sex weddings in the past.

Despite being rejected by the Department for Children and Families, the couple were initially approved by the social worker “with conditions, specifically around religion and LGBTQIA++ related issues.”

The Burkes site five infringements of their first amendment rights.

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