Catholic Charities sues state of Illinois over new gay, lesbian foster parent rule

Wed. June 8, 2011 9:05 AM by News Staff

Springfield, Ill. - Catholic Charities is suing the state of Illinois over new rules that require them to allow gay, lesbian, and unmarried parents to become foster parents.

The new rule is part of Illinois' new civil unions law. Catholic Charities, which contracts with the state to find foster homes for hundreds of kids every year, does not want to comply.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Sangamon County, demands an emergency injunction to protect the Catholic foster agencies from being sued if they reject gay and lesbian couples.

"Religious and faith-based entities need not check their beliefs at the door when providing vital social services for the benefit of needy and vulnerable children and families in Illinois. said Tom Brejcha of the Thomas More Society, which is representing the charities in the lawsuit.

"It's tragic that there are people who believe unnecessarily disrupting the lives of thousands of vulnerable children is an acceptable outcome in this situation.," said Steven Roach, Executive Director for Catholic Charities in the Springfield Diocese.

The Illinois Department of Child and Family Services plans to transition the children who are currently under the supervision of Catholic Charities into private agencies with state contracts.