Washington state sued for denying Christian couple foster care license over 'gender ideology' regulations

Jennifer accused the state of putting “ideology above the needs of kids.”


A Washington couple filed a lawsuit against state officials who allegedly denied the renewal of their foster care license because they would not adhere to gender ideology regulations that conflict with their Christian faith. 

Shane Degross told Fox News that when he began the process of being re-licensed, there were new rules and regulations including specific policies about "gender ideology" that had not been present in previous years. 

His wife Jennifer accused the state of putting “ideology above the needs of kids.” 

Lawyers for the couple from the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) told the outlet that when the Degross' tried to renew their license with Olive Crest, the foster-care licensing agency, the Washington Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) had new regulations that required “all foster parents to use a foster child’s inaccurate pronouns based on their perceived gender identity, not their actual sex," and that parents were required to take children to "cultural events" like pride parades. 

According to the lawyers, DCYF denied the couple's application despite multiple appeal attempts by Olive Crest. The Degross' have been licensed to care for children between the ages of 2 and 18 for over 9 years. 

Senior counsel with ADF Christian Kiefer accused Washington State of using an "ideological litmus test" to exclude people of faith from the foster care system. 

He told Fox News, "Unfortunately, this is not the first time Washington officials have been caught violating the First Amendment in this exact same context.” 

Kiefer added that the goal is to make sure that vulnerable children aren’t sleeping in unlicensed facilities or hotel rooms or unlicensed facilities and instead are placed in safe and loving homes. 

Last week, Democratic Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law mandating that all public schools in the state teach LGBTQ history as a required curriculum.

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