PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - November 25, 2020 


Feeding hungry families, on Thanksgiving and beyond; and is that turkey really from a family farm? (Note to Broadcasters: The newscast has been granted a holiday for Thanksgiving, but we'll return first thing Friday.)


2020Talks - November 25, 2020 


CORRECTED 2:30pm MST 11/25 - Linda Thomas-Greenfield would be the second Black woman in US UN Ambassador role, Susan Rice was the first. Biden nominees speak; how can social media spread less misinformation and be less polarizing. *2020Talks will not be released 11/26 & 11/27*

Report Highlights Concerns in Religious Freedom Lawsuit

The report says allowing rejection of qualified foster parents solely on religious grounds jeopardizes enforcement of nondiscrimination laws. (anna_gorbenko/Adobe Stock)
The report says allowing rejection of qualified foster parents solely on religious grounds jeopardizes enforcement of nondiscrimination laws. (anna_gorbenko/Adobe Stock)
August 21, 2020

PHILADELPHIA -- Creating a religious exemption to anti-discrimination laws could have far-reaching, negative effects - that's the conclusion of a new report on a case soon to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The City of Philadelphia refused to renew its contract with Catholic Social Services, a child-welfare agency. It said the agency's policy of refusing to license same-sex couples as foster parents on religious grounds violates the city's nondiscrimination law.

CSS sued, saying denying a contract violates its rights to free exercise of religion and free speech. But Naomi Goldberg, policy and research director at the Movement Advancement Project, said creating a religious exemption for CSS could open the door to similar claims for a wide variety of services.

"The most broad way in which the court could rule," said Goldberg, "could essentially create a constitutional right to discriminate for individuals, for businesses and for taxpayer-funded entities."

Lower federal courts have ruled the city's policy is neutral and doesn't target CSS or its religious beliefs. The case has been scheduled for Supreme Court arguments on Nov. 4.

The report also said foster children could be harmed by creating a religious exemption for discrimination. Goldberg pointed out there are many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children who need foster care.

"What we could end up with are agencies that receive taxpayer funding to care for kids in state care who might force children to undergo things like conversion therapy," said Goldberg, "or refuse to recognize their sexual orientation or gender identity."

She added there is a shortage of foster families and said refusing to place children with qualified couples or individuals for religious reasons alone makes that shortage worse.

Goldberg noted that any entity receiving public funds is expected to live up to the terms of its contract.

"Considering all qualified families without regard to their religion or sexual orientation is a contract term that's really important," said Goldberg. "It speaks to the welfare of children."

She said creating a religious exemption in government contracts would make it nearly impossible for state or local governments to set standards for provision of services.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - PA