Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley has confirmed that it changed its policies to allow staff to work with same-sex couples interested in fostering children in order to resume its foster work with the city of Philadelphia.
In a statement shared with The Christian Post on Friday, the global adoption and foster agency explained that it has altered its policies to abide by the city’s nondiscrimination law that prevents discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The move comes after the city stopped placing foster children with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia after learning that the organizations enforced policies that prohibit the placement of children with same-sex couples.
“We appreciate the city’s decision to allow Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley to continue to serve foster youth throughout the Philadelphia community,” a statement from Bethany Christian Services reads. “We have a long-standing history of partnering with government and secular organizations to aid children in crisis, and we look forward to continuing our nearly 20 year partnership with the city.”
The statement explains that the organization’s deeply-held beliefs call on it to “work with vulnerable children and families” and stressed that it is “important that Christians remain in that space.”
“To that end, while we will remain compliant with the law, we also remain committed to our Christian beliefs and core values,” the statement adds. “We hope that all community organizations can work together in partnership to be a part of the solution, offering services to vulnerable children and families.”
CP asked a Bethany Christian Services spokesperson to confirm whether or not the organization will place children in the homes of same-sex couples.
“As the statement addresses, Bethany of Greater Delaware Valley will comply with the law,” the spokesperson responded in an email.
The law in question is the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance, which bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Additionally, city contracts also prohibit such discrimination.
The decision by Bethany Christian Services to change its policy was reported last week by the Philadelphia Inquirer, which cited court testimony.
The newspaper later reported that Bethany Christian Services of Greater Delaware Valley has partnered with the Mayor’s Office of LGBT Affairs to train staff on “cultural competency for serving individuals and same sex couples who are LGBTQ.”
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Source: Christian Post