SPRINGFIELD, March 25, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Government officials in Illinois are reconsidering the Catholic Church’s involvement in adoptions after gay activists complained that the Church refuses to give up children to homosexual couples who have obtained a “civil union” under the new civil union law.
An official with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) told the Windy City Times, a gay news service, in a March 9 article that the new civil unions legislation had complicated the state’s relationship with church groups that handle adoption services.
DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said that an “an ongoing review of all the related legal issues” was in the works.
The Windy City Times claimed that the result of that review “will likely come down to a choice for the agencies involved: Change their policy and allow for openly gay and lesbian people to be licensed as foster parents or lose state funding.”
The development had been anticipated by concerned Church leaders: in November of last year, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago had warned that the civil unions law, if passed, could threaten Catholic and other faith-based adoption services.
“The impact of this legislation on the Church’s social service ministries remains an important and thus far unanswered concern,” the cardinal had said in a statement.
Other faith-based institutions might also be required to provide adoption or foster care services to couples who have entered into a same-sex union, he said.
Joshua Mercer at Headline Bistro notes that Rep. Greg Harris, a cosponsor of the bill and an open homosexual, said George’s concerns were unfounded because the bill, disarmingly named the “Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act,” states it would not “interfere with or regulate the religious practice of any religious body.”
The legislation, signed by Gov. Pat Quinn on January 31, is slated to go into effect June 1.
The Windy City Times reported that the Lutheran Child and Family Services (LCFS), would likely change its policy against adopting to same-sex couples in order not to risk its contract with the state.