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Catholic Charities to appeal Illinois adoption ruling

Catholic Charities to appeal Illinois adoption ruling

A lawyer representing Catholic Charities in Illinois has now said they will appeal a circuit judge’s recent decision saying that the state was not required to continue contracting adoption and foster services with the religious organization in four different dioceses:

Peter Breen said the group will ask for a stay of Sangamon County, Ill., Circuit Judge John Schmidt’s Aug. 18 ruling that sided with the state, which severed work with Catholic Charities after the agency refused to recognize Illinois’ civil union law. Breen said the charity also will ask the judge to reconsider, then take the matter to a state appellate court if Schmidt declines.

Catholic Charities has argued that it developed a “property interest” in the work after 40 years of annually renewed contracts with the state, and that the agency should be able to object to state action.

In his decision, the judge ruled that no person or group, including Catholic Charities, has a guaranteed right to a contract with the government, but stopped short of addressing the core issues of whether a state contractor has the right to refuse service to gays and lesbians under the state’s new civil unions law for reasons of “religious freedom.”

Illinois ended the over $30 million dollars in annual contracts with Catholic Charities after the organization said they would refuse to offer its tax-payer funded services to same-sex couples in civil unions. Other foster and adoption agencies have already stepped up to provide a smooth transition for the over 2,000 foster children in Catholic Charities care.

It looks like the legal battle will continue…

This is a RedEye community blog. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely those of the author and not those of RedEye or Tribune Company.

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