Springfield, IL —
Rather than work with the new rules required by the Illinois Civil Unions statute, Catholic Charities of Illinois has dropped their lawsuit against the State and agreed to transfer the care of children to other agencies.
Roman Catholic dioceses of Joliet, Springfield and Belleville have yielded to what was likely a no win situation in their fight to discriminate against gay parents. Since the implementation of the Civil Unions legislation in Illinois, the Church has fought for a right to be exempted from the law under the guise of religious beliefs. Attempts at legal and legislative remedies have failed them at every turn.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is meeting this week in Baltimore for its national meeting. The top concern of the Conference is religious exemption in states that legalize same-sex marriage. After a decades long relationship, government officials in Illinois have stopped working with Catholic Charities on adoption and foster-care because the agency refused to recognize the civil union law.
As a result, payments to the Catholic Charities have been delayed prompting the agencies to end services by November 30, 2011. The State of Illinois declined to renew contracts with the agencies in July.
"I am encouraged to hear that Catholic Charities has realized they cannot win this lawsuit," said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda
. "This case and the legislation that has been introduced multiple times this year is all about prioritizing religion over what is best for the children in their care. 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."