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3. Jewish couple’s discrimination lawsuit dismissed after rejection from Christian foster home
A Tennessee state court rejected a Jewish couple’s lawsuit suing the state government because the state-supported Holston United Methodist Home for Children refused to train them on how to become foster parents due to the fact that they were not Christian.
A three-judge panel on the Chancery Court in Davidson County ruled 2-1 on June 27 that Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Ram’s claim was moot because they were able to receive foster parent certification through the state’s Department of Children’s Services after Holston rejected them.
“The contract the Department has with Holston … provides funds only for services for children ‘in the custody of the state of Tennessee,’” the majority opinion noted. Since the couple was planning to foster a child in Florida, the court determined that “the services the Couple sought from Holston are not funded by the Department and therefore lack a causal connection to the alleged injury.”
In a statement issued to The Christian Post, Holston CEO Bradley Williams explained that “the caregivers we partner with [are] extensions of our ministry team serving children.” According to Williams, “From the very beginning, we seek to find alignment with them, and if we cannot do so, we try to help them find an agency that may be a better fit.”
Williams insisted that “finding other agencies is not hard to do” because “in Tennessee, for example, there are six other agencies for each one faith-based provider.”
Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org