Family Sues The Trump Administration & The Reason Will Break Your Heart

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Two professors at Texas A&M University have a bone to pick with Donald Trump. They approached Catholic Charities in Fort Worth, Texas, because they wanted to become foster parents to a refugee child. It is the only Texas organization that is involved in the federal government resettlement program for refugee children. They did not take the eventual outcome lying down.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops works with the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the area and oversees Catholic Charities. The LGBT legal group, Lambda Legal, is suing both the Conference and Trump’s Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Conference on behalf of Fatma Marouf and Bryn Esplin for violating their U.S. Constitutional rights.

Marouf, 41, was raised in the Muslim religion, and Esplin, 33, was raised in the Mormon religion. They married three years ago. Their lawsuit said Catholic Charities Fort Worth administrators asked Marouf to learn about their foster care program for refugee children.

Yet, when they two women came for their interview, the organization told them they did not “mirror the Holy Family,” according to The Dallas Morning News:

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Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson said in a statement, the Dallas Morning News reported:

‘Finding foster parents — and other resources — for refugee children is difficult work. It would be tragic if Catholic Charities were not able to provide this help, in accordance with the Gospel values and family, assistance that is so essential to these children who are vulnerable to being mistreated as meaningless in society.’

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Director of the Texas A&M School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic, Fatma Marouf, said:

‘Refugee children have been through enough trauma to last a lifetime. They need love, stability, and support, which Bryn and I have in abundance.’

Assistant professor of bioethics at Texas A&M College of Medicine, Bryn Esplin, noted:

‘Being denied the opportunity to foster a child because we don’t “mirror the Holy Family” — clearly code for being a same-sex couple — was hurtful and insulting to us.’

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Catholic Charities Fort Worth’s communication director, Katelin Cortney, said:

‘We do not screen or otherwise ask the children we serve to self-identify if they are LGBT. We train our foster families to accept children from all cultures and walks of life so they can be as prepared as possible to welcome someone new into their home.’

Director of the Youth in Out-of-Home Care Project at Lambda Legal, Currey Cook, said:

‘We are challenging federal funding to an organization that permits religiously-based discrimination. But while our case does not challenge the state [law], it goes to the heart of the issue in that equally unconstitutional law and demonstrates clearly the danger of such laws — harm to children as result of fewer homes available to them and harm to the loving families turned away.’

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Texas passed a law last year to provide legal cover to adoption and foster care agencies that use religion to refuse prospective parents. Many such groups receive taxpayer money, even though they refuse people who are not Christian, are single, unmarried, or LGBT.

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Featured Image via Getty Images/Jeff J. Mitchell.