The ongoing legal battle between Catholic Charities and the state of Illinois over the organization’s state-funded contracts, and their refusal to grant adoption and foster care services to same-sex couples in civil unions, continues with the church losing another round.
Circuit Judge John Schmidt, who ruled earlier that the state does not have to renew its foster and adoption contracts with Catholic Charities, denied the group’s emergency request for a stay of his decision and refused to reconsider his ruling:
“I see no reason to issue that,” Schmidt said of the stay request and the reconsideration motion.
Catholic Charities next will turn to Illinois’ 4th District Appellate Court in hopes of staying Schmidt’s ruling, according to attorneys for Catholic Charities agencies associated with the Springfield, Peoria, Belleville and Joliet dioceses.
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. While Catholic Charities continues their foster care and adoption operations as the legal battles and appeals continue, the state has already begun transitioning the group’s 2,000 foster care and adoption cases to other agencies that comply with the civil unions law:
“We can transition those 2,000 cases to other agencies,” DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said. “The notion (Catholic Charities) is promoting that somehow they’re indispensable and no one can fill the void just is not the case.”
This means that the roughly 25% of adoption services paid for by the state and by our tax dollars that went to Catholic Charities will soon be available to the over 1,600 couples in civil unions in Illinois. That means more potential homes for kids in need of a loving family that will be judged by what is best for the child and not by religious belief or dogma. Harvey Grossman, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, boiled it down perfectly:
“They (Catholic Charities) do not have the right to impose religious values on those who are wards of the state.”
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