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After a foster care agency denied them services because they were Jewish, the court determines that a couple can sue the state

By 08/28/2023 11:50 AMNo CommentsBy YidInfo Staff


A Tennessee appeals court concluded on Thursday that a Jewish couple had a case against the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services, after a state-funded adoption and foster care agency refused to provide services to them because they were Jewish.

The decision is the most recent development in a protracted conflict that started in 2021, when Elizabeth and Gabriel Rutan-Ram sought foster parent training at the Holston United Methodist Home for Children in Greenville, Tennessee.

A child was hoped to be fostered and then adopted by the couple. The agency allegedly turned them down because they were Jewish, according to a lawsuit the couple filed last year.

Following the passage of a state law in Tennessee in 2020, adoption companies are now permitted to refuse to place children in homes that go against their „religious or moral convictions or policies”.

„The pair was outspoken about being Jewish, as evidenced by Gabriel Rutan-Ram’s statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency last year that “They would have seen the mezuzah on the door„ and a painting of the Western Wall in the home.

The Rutan-Rams’ case, which was supported by Americans United for Separation of Church and State, criticizes the law, which was primarily designed to exempt organizations from dealing with same-sex couples.

However, a three-judge panel later that year rejected their claims on technical grounds, since the Rutan-Rams had received state funding for the foster care of a teenage girl they were introducing to Judaism.

On Thursday, a different three-judge court overturned that decision, finding that the couple had the right to suit because they were taxpayers and prospective foster parents who did not have access to the same resources as Christians.

Six additional Tennessee taxpayers, including four religious leaders, joined the Rutan-Rams in their legal action because they disapproved of the use of their tax money to finance religious discrimination in foster care. They joined the Rutan-Rams in their Complaint.

A trial court in the state will now evaluate the lawsuit itself. As a result of their religion, Liz and Gabe Rutan-Ram „suffered outrageous discrimination”, according to a statement from Americans United’s president and chief executive officer, Rachel Laser.

Diese caring couple tried to assist a child in need, but they wurde refused services by a nonprofit organization that receives funding from the taxpayers.


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bobby bracros

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