A major legal fight similar to the blockbuster Christian baker case decided by the Supreme Court on Monday is already brewing in several U.S. states over laws allowing private agencies to block gay couples from adoptions or taking in foster children.
The justices, in a 7-2 ruling, sided with a baker who had faced punishment under a Colorado anti-discrimination law after he refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, saying it would violate his Christian beliefs.
Nine states have laws allowing state-funded, religiously affiliated adoption agencies to refuse to place children with gay people based on religious beliefs. Republican-governed Kansas and Oklahoma passed such laws this year. Alabama, Mississippi, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas and Virginia all have similar laws.
Legal challenges to those laws, some pending in lower courts, eventually could come to the Supreme Court. The high court’s ruling on narrow grounds in favor of baker Jack Phillips did not spell out the circumstances under which religious objections to discrimination claims would have legal merit.