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Vermont’s Shocking Move: Christians Barred from Fostering!

A new lawsuit alleges that Vermont blocked two families from fostering children due to their traditional, religious views on gender and sexuality, despite the state’s foster care system crisis. The families, Brian and Kaitlyn Wuoti and Michael and Rebecca Gantt, both hold traditional Christian beliefs and have been active foster parents. Their lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont, Windham Division, accuses the Vermont Department for Children and Families of prioritizing an “ideological position at the expense of children.”

The Wuoti and Gantt families, both deeply committed to their faith and fostering, have previously adopted five children between them. However, the state has now deemed them unfit to foster or adopt solely based on their religious views. The lawsuit claims Vermont would rather leave children without homes than place them with families who hold these traditional views. This stance comes despite a desperate need for foster homes in the state, exacerbated by the opioid crisis and other challenges.

The Wuotis became foster parents in 2014, inspired by their Christian faith, and have since adopted two brothers who are now integral parts of their family. The Gantts, who began fostering in 2016, have adopted three children and have a heart for children with fetal alcohol syndrome and those born addicted to drugs. Despite their proven track record and high praise from caseworkers, both families faced rejection when their religious beliefs on gender and sexuality were revealed.

The lawsuit argues that Vermont’s policy not only harms children but also violates the First Amendment. It contends that the state mandates foster parents to adopt its controversial views on gender, thereby excluding those with traditional beliefs from fostering. This, according to the lawsuit, restricts parents’ ability to share their commonsense beliefs and discriminates against particular religious views.

The Vermont Department for Children and Families has a policy against discrimination based on various factors, including gender identity. However, the Wuotis and Gantts stated that they were asked to take children to pride parades and use preferred pronouns, which they declined based on their faith. They were offered reeducation to align with the state’s views but refused, standing firm in their beliefs. The Wuotis believe their own experiences with gender dysphoria provide them with unique insights into helping children with similar struggles, emphasizing that children can thrive in a loving home that respects traditional values.

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