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Latest News as of August 5. 2019

Monday, August 5, 2019  
Posted by: Marisa Murakami
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U.S. Supreme Courts Obergefell ruling mandates the legal recognition of same-sex marriage in 2015 (Obergefell v. Hodges) with the majority opinion arguing that doing so "would post no risk or harm" to those who disagreed with it. However, as Chief Justice John Roberts has suggested, the religious liberty issues left unanswered and how the individuals who object to the recognition of same-sex marriage are treated is causing major issues nationwide. Especially questions regarding when people of faith exercise their religious beliefs that may conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage, for example in adoption and other day to day services. Recently, the Supreme Court has been asked to hear a case regarding the city of Philadelphia ending a contract with the Catholic foster agency because of their unwillingness to place children with same-sex couples. The Catholic Church is arguing that it is also experiencing impermissible hostility due to its opposition to same-sex marriage and their belief. 

Nebraska Voices for Children reports that children of minority groups are more likely to be the subject of maltreatment reports to the state's child abuse/neglect hotline regardless of whether there is actual maltreatment. Nebraska law requires the mandatory reporting of maltreatment of children and it is argued that children of color are being overrepresented in hotline calls nationwide. The report points out that white families are more likely to engage in maltreatment of children even though they are not as often reported. The Division of Children and Family Services stresses that the Department of Health and Human Services serves all families regardless of race, focusing on providing services to keep families together safely through family involvement and community support. 

Ohio youth who are aging out of the foster care system will shortly be able to apply for housing at the Llewllyn Suites, a nine-unit apartment complex for those aged 18 to 25 years, in Zanesville. As young individuals struggle to find the appropriate housing and support, Allwell Behavioral Health services has been awarded a matching state mental health grant for this supportive living opportunity. Residents must submit to substance use testing as well as comply with the rules of residency but some feel that this could be a truly life changing experience for those who wish to become independent adults. 

CALL FOR ACTION from Voice for Adoption - The latest Voice for Adoption advocacy updates can be found here.

Aderholt Amendment update from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation can be found here.