Baptist Agency Plans To Seek Supreme Court Review Of ‘Faith-Based’ Funding Case

Officials at a Baptist-run institution for troubled youth in Kentucky plan to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court ruling permitting taxpayers to challenge the agency’s public funding.

Sunrise Children’s Services, formerly known as the Kentucky Baptist Homes for Children, receives millions in tax support every year, even though the agency proselytizes the children in its care and subjects employees to religious rules.

In 2000, taxpayers filed suit to block the funding. Backed by Americans United, the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and the law firm of Arnold & Porter, the state residents asserted that the homes are too sectarian to qualify for public aid.

The lead plaintiff in the case is Alicia Pedreira, a lesbian who was fired from her counseling position at the homes after her sexual orientation was publicly disclosed. (See “Fighting Faith-Based Bias,” April 2009 Church & State.)