Catholic Group Abandons Illinois Battle Over Gay Adoptions


Catholic Charities, an organization in Illinois that used state funds to run adoption and foster care services, has decided to drop its appeal of a court ruling saying that the state can lawfully cut contracts with the group over Catholic Charities refusal to serve same-sex couples in civil unions looking to foster and adopt.

From York Dispatch:

In a joint statement Monday, diocese officials in Joliet, Springfield and Belleville said the decision was reached “with great reluctance.” The Catholic Diocese of Peoria withdrew from the litigation last month.

It became financially impossible for the remaining Roman Catholic agencies to continue and the courts had refused to grant a stay in the case, the officials said.

“Since we now need to close offices and terminate employees, further appeals would be moot,” said the statement from the three dioceses.

Officials with the Thomas Moore Society, which represented Illinois Catholic Charities in the litigation, said the state was already canceling its contracts and moving services to other agencies.

When Illinois’ civil unions law came into effect earlier this year, some charities chose to end their services rather comply with the state’s new laws. This is because Illinois 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.

As such the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services concluded that it could no longer contract with organizations that refused to serve same-sex couples. The state ended $30 million worth of contracts with Catholic Charities across four church dioceses, Peoria, Joliet, Springfield, and Bellville, in July.

Catholic Charities sued, arguing before Illinois Circuit Judge John Schmidt that there is a legal exemption in the civil unions law that means they do not have to recognize the same-sex unions. However, 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.

However, Schmidt eventually ruled that the state has autonomy in who it chooses to contract with. He stayed clear of ruling on the issue of religious freedom which was thought to be an issue that lawyers for Catholic Charities would concentrate on during their appeal.

As above, this appeal has now been abandoned, a move welcomed by Illinois LGBT rights group The Civil Rights Agenda who reportedly said in a statement:

“Finding a loving home for the thousands of children in the foster/adoption system should be the priority, not trying to exclude people based on religious dogma. Dropping this suit is a step in the right direction for what is best for all the citizens of this great state.”

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.


Terry V.
Terry V5 years ago

This is the 21st century isn't it? JEEZ...........

Christopher C.
Chris C6 years ago

RIGHT-ON Tom P! I had to send you a Green Star! I know beyond any shadow of doubt Dawid is a closet case! He's always in the gay forums and blogs! I pity him...he suffers so much. He's just like all the Ted Haggerts, George Rekers, and Eddie Longs...someday he'll be outed!

I wish ALL the children who are looking for loving, caring homes find ones whether it be straight or gay/lesbian homes.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

Good news. Family services, health care and nursing homes should not have any affiliation with religious organizations of any sort. They would just use their bigotry to discriminate.

Kimberly Harnish
Kim Harnish6 years ago

It's about time they backed the hell off. These children need loving, responsible parents no matter if they are gay, or not.

K s Goh
KS Goh6 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Cristina F.

Ana G.- the Catholic Church does not own Coca-Cola. It is a public company....

Linda McKellar
Past Member 6 years ago

Can anybody tell me why the Catholic church still has any influence at all??????????

Joe R.
Joe R6 years ago

Hey Pope and his minions ... the middle ages are over.

Christine Stewart

Loving parents are needed for children- it shouldn't matter if they are straight or gay. Plenty of heterosexual couples have dysfunctional families that are no good for children.

Ana G.
.6 years ago

Glad for the outcome, they are not fighting it anymore.

But it is BS. The Church is one of the biggest corporations around. They own Coca-Cola. They have the money for a legals defense. They can make different choices.

But they choose to spend that money defending pedophiles. When all they would have to do is stop discriminating and let good homes have needy kids.

Yea, way to show the world your christianity.