Saturday 30 March 2024

Christian Couple Sues Washington State For Allegedly Denying Foster Care License Over Gender Ideology Views

 A Christian couple is suing Washington state for allegedly refusing to renew their foster care license over their views on gender ideology.

Shane and Jennifer DeGross filed a federal lawsuit last week against state officials who they allege refused to renew their license after nearly a decade as foster parents.

“Washington revoked their foster-care license because of their religious beliefs about human sexuality — prioritizing an ideological agenda over children’s best interests by excluding capable parents who can care for children in need,” reads the lawsuit.

“That hurts the many children in foster care, discriminates against the DeGrosses, and violates the Constitution,” the suit adds.

The couple has served as foster parents to four children.

The DeGrosses said they had been working with foster care licensing agency Olive Crest, which informed them that Washington’s Department of Children, Youth, and Families had implemented new guidelines requiring all foster parents to use a child’s new pronouns based on their gender identity.

The couple said they told the licensing agency that they would love and support any child placed in their home but could not lie to a child about their identity or encourage a child to reject their sex, citing their Christian faith.

State officials then denied the couple’s license renewal despite multiple attempts by the licensing agency to appeal the decision, according to the lawsuit.


The couple is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which filed the lawsuit on their behalf on March 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Tacoma south of Seattle.

“Washington is putting families like the DeGrosses to an impossible choice: speak against your faith and lie or give up the opportunity to care for hurting children. That is illegal and wrong,” said ADF legal counsel Johannes Widmalm-Delphonse.

The attorney cited a 2020 federal case where another Washington couple was initially barred from fostering their one-year-old great granddaughter for the same reason — they opposed gender ideology.

The great grandparents in that case sued the Department of Child, Youth, and Families, and eventually, a federal judge decided in their favor.

A similar case is also playing out in neighboring Oregon. Jessica Bates, a mother of five, is suing Oregon for denying her application to be a foster parent because of her religious beliefs on gender ideology.

Washington state’s foster care system has a shortage of caregivers as of a 2022 report, which mentions they are looking specifically for foster parents who are “racially and culturally diverse” and “affirming of LGBTQIA+ youth.”

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