Center for American Progress

A Tennessee couple’s struggle to adopt shows religious freedom is under siege in America
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A Tennessee couple’s struggle to adopt shows religious freedom is under siege in America

Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons and Maggie Siddiqi discuss how the case of a Tennessee couple reveals how religious freedom is misused to discriminate against religious minorities.

Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Ram, a Tennessee couple, were denied access to a state-sponsored foster parent certification program because they are Jewish. The rationale? The foster agency they applied to claims that they should be allowed to turn away Jewish people because they are a Christian adoption agency.

The Rutan-Rams (and six others) have now filed a lawsuit against the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services and its commissioner. According to court documents cited by the Washington Post, the Holston United Methodist Home for Children (which is not named as a defendant in the suit) told the couple in an email, “As a Christian organization, our executive team made the decision several years ago to only provide prospective adoptive families that share our belief system in order to avoid conflicts or delays with future service delivery.”

The above excerpt was originally published in CNN Opinion. Click here to view the full article.

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Guthrie Graves-Fitzsimmons

Former Fellow, Religion and Faith

Maggie Siddiqi

Former Senior Director, Religion and Faith

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