Illinois Rep. Wants ‘Common Sense’ Anti-Gay Discrimination


A Republican lawmaker in Illinois has once again introduced legislation to carve out religious exemptions from the state’s near year-old civil unions law, calling it “common sense” that religious adoption agencies should be able to turn away same-sex couples.


State Rep. Dwight Kay, R- Edwardsville, again filed legislation that would allow religion based or affiliated adoption agencies with state contracts to decline an adoption or foster family home application, as well as licensure and placement, to anyone in a civil union. State Rep. David Reis, R-Ste. Marie and state Rep. Paul Evans, R-O’Fallon, are co-sponsors of the legislation.


Kay said his legislation is “just another common sense bill.”

“Religious based childcare done by Catholic and Lutheran organizations has been an integral part of the state of Illinois,” Kay said. “It has done a better job of handling child care services and it’s done much cheaper.”

Kay introduced similar legislation last year, but it failed to gain momentum in the state’s Senate.

The issue of whether religious institutions that offer adoption services should be exempt from the law has been rumbling on ever since the state legalized same-sex civil unions last year. Illinois has a strict gay-inclusive nondiscrimination policy and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services concluded that it could no longer contract with organizations that refused to serve same-sex couples, but rather than comply with this ruling several institutions chose to close their services.

Indeed, the state ended $30 million worth of contracts with Catholic Charities across four church dioceses, Peoria, Joliet, Springfield, and Bellville, in July of last year because of their refusal to comply with the law.

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 same-sex unions. 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,  Judge Schmidt later ruled that the state has autonomy in who it chooses to contract with, and can dictate conditions for those contracts based on state rules.

Catholic Charities later decided not to appeal this ruling.

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.


Griselda V.
Isabell Thorpe4 years ago

How do gay couples qualify as "suitable" parents for heterosexual kids??
A child needs a role model & biological parent of both genders. It's the law of nature.
In biology 2x same gender can not reproduce.

Life today, society today has broken down & more & more dysfunctional and chaos reigns, because People have lost all sense of perspective and lapsed into a "anything goes" state of mindlessness. Society is doomed.

Duane B.
.5 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Annmari Lundin
Annmari Lundin6 years ago

1. Is it better that children live in an institution until they are 18 instead of living in a loving and caring family with same-gender parents?
2. Receive public money = abide by public law.
3. Churches should not engage in childcare on any level. Abuse is running rampant in such enviroments.
4. Good on both the judge and Illinois to stick to the rules.

Patrick F.
Patrick f6 years ago

With all the attacks on gay people on the rise, it makes me believe more and more that there are a LOT of people in the closet who just can't bring themselves to accept their own homosexuality.

Nicole Bergeron
Nicole Bergeron6 years ago

If they can discriminated against same-sex couples, or or skin color, or those of a different religion, then they should NOT get federal money. Adoption agencies are there for the children, NOT ones personally religious convictions. They wish to discriminated based on religious convictions against same-sex couples, different skin colors, or different religion, then STOP giving them federal money. What they should be looking at is "can they proved a loving and caring home for the child?", "can they proved a safe envoriment for the child(the involves food, clothing, shelter, water, ect ect)?", "can they proved an education for the child?" and "do the adults have a record and if so what and for some how long ago?
Common sense when it comes to the care of a child does not have to do with sexual orientation, or skin color or religion (yes they will believe they can discriminate against those two next) it comes down to whether the child is happy and safe and cared for. I know many same-sex couples that would love to adopt a child, and I feel the same-sex couples will care for them better then most (not all but most) straight sex couples.

Lynne B.
Lynne Buckley6 years ago

Yet more Republican bigotry and discrimination. A child deserves the opportunity to have a loving home. Denying gay people the opportunity to adopt through a religious adoption agency is wrong. I would have hoped that all the religious adoption agencies would prioritise the needs of a child. It's sad that they don't. There is nothing 'common sense' in this, Kay. Nothing at all.

pam w.
pam w6 years ago

OHHHHH....NOW we "get it." Discriminate with common sense. Right. Uh, huh!

I'm sure the framers of our Constitution had tht in mind when they were writing it.

William Y.
William Y6 years ago

@ Mark S. obviously, one can not be a racist, homophobe or repugnut and have common sense.

Alan G.
Alan G6 years ago

“It has done a better job of handling child care services and it’s done much cheaper.”

Yeah... the Catholic church has done a great job with childcare... well except for all the abuse scandals all over the world.

Mark S.
Mark S6 years ago

You ever notice that those that are racist homophobes are usually REPUGLICAN politicians?