Catholic Charities Will Appeal Illinois Gay Adoption Ruling


Catholic Charities, an organization in Illinois that uses state funds to run adoption and foster care services, has decided to appeal a court ruling saying that the state can lawfully cut contracts with the group over Catholic Charities refusing to allow same-sex couples in civil unions to use their service to foster or adopt.

From the AP:

Catholic Charities plans to appeal a judge’s decision allowing the state to stop working with the group on adoptions and foster-care placements, an attorney for the not-for-profit agency revealed Monday.

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.

But in his ruling, Schmidt said no one, including Catholic Charities, has a legal right to a contract with state government. He did not address the more sensitive issue of whether a state contractor that refuses to serve gays and lesbians is violating the state’s new civil unions law.

While some charities chose to end their services rather than comply with the state’s civil unions laws, the state investigated the legal landscape around contracting with organizations that said they would turn away same-sex couples in civil unions who were looking to foster and adopt per their religious belief.

The state has a strict gay-inclusive nondiscrimination policy and the civil union law enacted earlier this year was designed to be a state equivalent of marriage — therefore it was to be given the same legal standing.

Therefore, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services concluded that it could no longer contract with such organizations and ended $30 million worth of contracts with Catholic Charities across four church dioceses in July.

Catholic Charities sued, arguing before the court that there is a legal exemption in the civil unions law that means they do not have to recognize the same-sex unions, but state lawyers argued this exemption does not extend to public service organizations contracting with the state. Catholic Charities also said the state had a responsibility to maintain finance for Catholic Charities’ services so as not to harm the children in its care. The latter argument persuaded the judge to prevent the state from withdrawing its support in the short term while the case was ongoing.

As pointed out above, Judge Schmidt eventually ruled however that the state has autonomy in who it chooses to contract with. He stayed clear of ruling on the issue of religious freedom.

The focus of the appeal, said lawyers acting on behalf of Catholic Charities, will therefore be the issue of religious freedom.

The state attorney general’s office has thus far given no comment on the prospect of appeal.

Related Stories:

Illinois Civil Unions Hit By Tax Dispute

Catholic Charities Suing Illinois For Special Right to Turn Away Gay Couples Seeking to Adopt

Illinois Catholic Charity Ends Adoption Services Rather Than Honor New Civil Unions Law

Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License, with thanks to nerdcoregirl.


Anna B.
Anna Bouillon6 years ago

Another thing that bugs me about this case is that people misunderstand what termination of their contract means. By terminating their contract if catholic charities looses their case all the children in their care will be turned over to an already full DCFS. In order to foster children Catholic Charities must be liscensed by illinois DCFS. There is no garuntee that DCFS will give liscense to those who are foster parents through catholic charities. They could choose not to allow them to foster unless they sign a waver saying they denounce the catholic churches stance on gay adoption. Many foster parents under catholic charities may not want to foster children via DCFS because then they would have to watch the children they are fostering have visitation with potential same sex parents. Further more what about Christian children in foster care that believe homosexuality is wrong? Would they be forced to be adopted by a same sex couple they want nothing to do with?

Anna B.
Anna Bouillon6 years ago

You know everyone cry's seperation of church and state whenver it's a religious organization trying to get rights but if it's seperation of church and state where is the seperation of state from the Church. If we have seperation of church and state then when it comes down to my religious beliefs they should work in my favor when it comes down to what the state can and cannot make me do. After all the state can't pass any laws in favor of any religious organization so thus, within reason, shouldn't my religious beliefs have some lee way. For example If I own a bakery, since it's my business I should have the right to run it on the religious principles of my faith. yet for some reason all of you who cry SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE at the drop of a hat over any little opposition to your civil rights suddenly there is no seperation of church and state where I am concerned. I'm a citizen first and a christian second. All so that you can have your way, you want christian business owners to put greed and their citizenship before their faith. Just do me a favor before you applaud the next individual who doesn't want to write HAPPY BIRTHDAY HITLER on a birthday cake just remember that he is supposed to put everyones civil rights and making money before his moral convictions so that you can be the good little dictators you are and boo them off the stage. seriously either support civil rights 100% or don't fight for them at all!

Winn Adams
Winn A6 years ago

Why doesn't the Catholic Church stick to cleaning up their act when it comes to hiding priests who are pedophiles and allowing them to be sent to another church to molest again.

Linda H.
Linda H6 years ago

Tierney G. got it right! When Catholic priests stop getting caught with young boys the church can have a say on who the state allows foster/adoption rights!

parnel i.
parnel i6 years ago

I think that the Catholic church needs to tend to it's own house.

Matthew Z.
Matthew Z6 years ago

Catholic Charities, what a misnomer. They are no charity. If they were, there would not be all the strings attached to their "services."

As the judge said, no one has a right to state contracts or state funding. Catholic Charities has raised the flags of "Religious Freedom" and "think of the children", but clearly this is only about their ability to discriminate and about them receiving yet more money.

Tierney G.
Tierney G6 years ago

Oh and by the way according to the catholic teachings being a lesbian is not a sin yes that right. Being gay is a sin because supposed ly it wastes the sacred sperms from procreation. Masturabation for men is a sin but not for women? Makes no sense when women pass eggs every month from no doing of their own but their you have it the no logic catholic faith.

Tierney G.
Tierney G6 years ago

Ex-catholic here. Catholic religion sucks it is more like satan worship and patriarchal institution of lies and devil worship. I would not give a red cent to anything catholic again! Evil institution.

Boycott the catholic church forever!

sandra m.
Past Member 6 years ago

I can see the state's argument on this BUT
Don't bash Catholic charities as a whole.....They do so much good for all of humanity.
Maybe some people should READ about what they do all over the world before opening there mouths with ignorance because of any one issue.
Know what you talk about.

Rosary G.
Rosary G6 years ago

For years I have been appalled by Catholic Charities and how they get away with whatever they please. But don't dare say it out loud! Seems they are screwed up all over. Illinois should disband them and give those services over to REAL Christians, or humanists.