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January 1, Massachusetts Faces Lawsuit from Catholic Couple Denied Foster License Over Faith-based Beliefs



Massachusetts is currently under the legal spotlight after a devout Catholic couple took the state to court.

The heart of the matter? Their foster parent application was rejected due to concerns regarding their views on LGBTQ+ children.

Catherine and Michael Burke, both active members of the Catholic community and musicians at local Catholic churches, experienced the painful journey of infertility.

Eager to open their hearts and home to a child, they ventured into the process of becoming foster parents.

However, as the couple’s intentions became clear during interviews, Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) took issue with their faith-influenced perspectives.

According to court documents from this week, the couple “believe that children should not undergo procedures that attempt to change their God-given sex, and they uphold Catholic beliefs about marriage and sexuality.”

Their firm standpoint led the DCF to deem their application unfit, given the department’s mandate for foster parents to “promote the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of a child placed in his or her care, including supporting and respecting a child’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

This regulation was last revisited and updated in January.

Reacting to the decision, the Burkes claim that their values are “decent and honorable,” condemning the rejection as “discriminatory and unconstitutional.”

The couple’s lawsuit challenges DCF’s policy, arguing that it should not serve “as a religious exclusion for potential foster parents.”

Michael Burke, an Iraq war veteran living with PTSD, expressed his heartbreak over the matter.

“After months of interviews and training, and after years of heartbreak, we were on the verge of finally becoming parents,” he said.

“We were absolutely devastated to learn that Massachusetts would rather children sleep in the hallways of hospitals than let us welcome children in need into our home.”

The couple’s representation, Becket Law, pointed out during the case that many questions posed to the Burkes during their home interviews seemed disproportionately focused on their Catholic views, particularly concerning sexual orientation and gender dysphoria.

Lori Windham, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, emphasized the essential role parents like the Burkes play in the foster system.

She noted, “Massachusetts’ actions leave the Burkes, and families of other faiths, out in the cold. How can they explain this to children waiting for a home?”

Bottom Line

This case brings to the forefront a complex intersection of religious rights, state mandates, and the welfare of children.

Eleven DCF staff members, including department commissioner Linda Spears and secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Kate Walsh, are named defendants in the lawsuit.

As the proceedings move forward, the nation watches closely, gauging the impact of the decision on faith-based families considering foster care.

As our loyal readers, we encourage you to share your thoughts and opinions on this issue. Let your voice be heard and join the discussion below.




  1. kurt gandenberger

    August 13, 2023 at 6:39 am

    the most important virtue for a demoncrat is perversity. in fact, i have heard many say “perversity is our strength.” when someone does not share their virtues, he or she is shunned.

  2. Ron Parks

    August 13, 2023 at 7:11 am

    For all practical purposes, the State has become the religion of many leftists. As such, they are in the position to unconstitutionally squash any deviation from their doctrine.

    • chris

      August 13, 2023 at 9:26 am

      The state and the equality utopia were always the religion of the leftist.

  3. Tom Snee

    August 13, 2023 at 7:26 am

    What will the left wing idiots think of next? This couple wants to adopt, take in a child with all the love they can, even with PTSD and more. You can blame Senator Warren and more on this one. This administration wants to CONTROL families, not alone kill innocent babies. Again, what next?

  4. James Turner

    August 13, 2023 at 8:08 am

    When man’s Law conflicts with GOD’s Commandments man is Wrong.

  5. Jerry

    August 13, 2023 at 10:17 am

    I can see them rejected because of his PTSD. He could potentially be a danger to others, if and when he snaps. The other concern is their extreme focus on their faith. Should children raised in different faiths and beliefs or lack of beliefs in God be placed in a devoutly religious home? I can see where they could end up having a really rough time with these people.

    • Kate Lloyd

      August 13, 2023 at 3:34 pm

      I’m sure there are Catholic social agencies that would find them children and that would endorse their beliefs.

    • Fred Ward

      October 11, 2023 at 10:24 am

      I can see you’re a bigot.

  6. Dale King

    August 13, 2023 at 12:10 pm

    How can they refuse parents based on Their religious beliefs. If they we’re able to conceive they would have a child and would love it even if said child turned out to be gay. They would love it just the same. There would be nothing they could do about it anyway. So if they adopt a baby the same would apply.

    • James W. Dougherty

      August 13, 2023 at 8:35 pm

      Massachusetts is a black hole of progressive claptrap. Except with money. The old Yankees will squeeze dough out of every turnip at every opportunity. The fact thata loving & qualified catholic couple are willing to foster kids lost in a state foster system is of no importance to the state bosses. They want to insure the couple respect the gender identities of children. Are they for real?? Gender identities of childten?? Are children capable of such complex judgments? Can they choose to be aardvarks, or little green people, or place mats. Mascots for the Boston Bruins? A state with a US Senator who claims to be native American is already in deep doo doo. But no worries. They can always consult the experts at Haavaad about what sex a child is, what gender, what race, tribe or reason to exist.

  7. Dick

    August 13, 2023 at 11:24 pm

    What kid is LGBTQ? How can they know such a thing?

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