Catholic? Massachusetts Foster Care Doesn’t Want Your Help – The American Spectator

By all appearances, Mike and Catherine “Kitty” Burke would make the perfect foster parents.

They were open to taking on siblings and had experience with special needs children — for a state like Massachusetts, overwhelmed with more foster children than families to place them with, they were dream candidates. (READ MORE: Judge Orders Lawyers to Religious-Liberty Training)

There was just one problem. The Burkes are practicing Catholics who are open about their belief in the Catholic Church’s traditional understanding of gender and marriage — namely that God created man male and female and that marriage is between a man and woman.

After attending 30 hours of training classes, sitting through home inspections, and multiple interviews, the Burkes were denied their foster license on the basis that their Catholic faith meant that they would not be supportive of LGBTQ+ children placed under their care.

Last week, the Burkes sued the state’s health secretary and several Massachusetts Department of Children and Families officials for religious discrimination, arguing that the agency’s refusal to grant their license effectively bars anyone who believes in the traditional definition of marriage and gender from obtaining a foster care license.

“The real issue at stake here is whether or not religious families should be allowed to foster and adopt here in the state of Massachusetts,” Kitty told Fox News.

“We believe that the reason we were rejected is because we were very vocal in the fact that we are practicing Catholics, we are traditional Catholics, and we stand firm in the Church’s beliefs on traditional marriage and sexuality,” Kitty told Fox News during an interview.

Red Flags in the Application Process

Mike and Kitty Burke were raised Catholic in Springfield, Massachusetts, and were friends in high school. Kitty became a substitute teacher and began working one-on-one with clients as a paraprofessional while Mike joined the Marines and was deployed to Iraq until 2005. He suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and was honorably discharged. After receiving treatment for PTSD, Mike reconnected with Kitty over Facebook; the couple began dating and were married in 2018.

It quickly became apparent that they would be unable to conceive children of their own, and they began to explore adoption. They began the application process for foster care after determining that private adoption was far too expensive. (READ MORE: Trump’s Speech Is Barred, but 303 Creative Remains)

Red flags quickly surfaced during a class on LGBTQ+ youth, which is part of the Massachusetts Approach in Parenting (MAPP) program that applicants must complete for the license. According to the lawsuit:

An instructor stated that parents who were not willing to affirm same-sex relationships and transgender identities should not be resource parents. After the class, a Department of Children and Families employee expressed a somewhat more moderate tone, essentially stating that this wasn’t the case…. The experience left the Burkes fearful they would be discriminated against due to their Catholic religious beliefs.

During the interview process, Mike and Kitty brought the incident up and were extensively questioned about their receptiveness to LGBTQ+, particularly gay, children. Both responded that their child’s sexual orientation would not change how they treated that child, assuring the social worker that they would never “throw a child out of the home” for being LGBTQ+.

“One of the things of our Catholic faith is that we love one another as God has loved us. I love every person; do I agree with it? No. It’s hate the sin, not the sinner.” Mike told Fox News. (READ MORE: Government’s Attack on Free Speech Can Only Be Stopped by Congress)

That was a foreign mindset to the social worker interviewing Kitty and Mike; she emailed the couple’s MAPP instructor saying that while they were “lovely people,” “their faith is not supportive of [LGBTQ+], and neither are they.”

Ultimately, the Department of Children and Families denied the couple’s application on the basis that their adherence to traditional Catholic teachings made them unfit to host foster children.

The couple expressed that they are not open to gender affirming care and believe that partnership outside of heterosexual relationships is a sin. They are heavily involved in their Catholic Church and cite their religious views as their primary reason for seeing LGBTQIA++ individuals in this way…. Based on this family’s beliefs about children who identify as LGBTQIA+ and after a careful review of this assessment … the Department is unable to issue a license for them to foster/adopt at this time.

The lawsuit observed that the state’s decision to deny Mike and Kitty a license on these grounds has serious repercussions for all families holding similar religious beliefs.

“The real issue at stake here is whether or not religious families should be allowed to foster and adopt here in the state of Massachusetts,” Kitty told Fox News.

If it’s between housing children in hospitals for weeks on end or in the homes of normal Americans who aren’t willing to bow before identity politics, Massachusetts will evidently choose whatever option is more woke.

Read More: Catholic? Massachusetts Foster Care Doesn’t Want Your Help – The American Spectator

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