Illinois to continue referring children to Catholic Charities, after gay unions flap
SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 19, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The state of Illinois has said it will continue referring new children for adoption and foster care to Catholic Charities in Illinois. The state backed down Monday in the face of an emergency motion, after telling media last week that they would cease the referrals over Catholic Charities’ unwillingness to allow homosexuals to adopt.
Last week, a state judge had prevented the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) from ending its contract with the Catholic Charities agencies in the dioceses of Joliet, Peoria, and Springfield after they refused to place children with same-sex couples.
The Department, however, responded by simply ceasing referrals of new children to Catholic Charities, while technically leaving the contract intact by maintaining current cases.
In an emergency motion Monday, Catholic Charities argued that the status quo under Judge John Schmidt’s preliminary injunction included the continuation of new referrals. They argued that Judge John Schmidt had ordered DCFS to continue its relationship with Catholic Charities as it stood prior to the expiration date of last year’s contracts on June 30, 2011. Usual practice as of June 30 included referring children in need of care.
DFCS had originally refused to renew their contracts with Catholic Charities earlier this month, arguing that the organization had “made it clear” they would not comply with the new Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, which took effect June 1st.
Ironically, promoters of the bill, which created same-sex civil unions in the state, had actively campaigned to dispel the “myth” that it would affect faith-based adoption agencies.
Catholic Social Services in the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois is now also seeking to join the suit. The court will hear full arguments in the case on August 17th.