Dear Chairwoman Maloney and Ranking Member Jordan:
My name is Walter Olson and I am a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies. I have written numerous articles on LGBT rights, discrimination law, and the intersection of both with foster care and adoption, and have convened conferences of academics and others on the topic. I appreciate the chance to submit my personal views, which do not necessarily represent those of others at Cato.
Issues of religious exceptions to discrimination law in the marketplace, employment, and social services have stirred heartfelt public discussion for years already and are likely to do so well into the future, especially given the unsettled law and rapidly changing developments both in litigation and policy. This week the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in the case of Fulton v. City of Philadelphia, which may clarify some circumstances in which municipal anti‐discrimination law can oust a long‐practicing provider, Catholic Social Services, from foster care in one city. Litigation over wedding services continues unabated since the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling.