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State: Foster Agencies Might Be Discriminating

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Illinois State Seal

(Credit: AP)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Are publicly-supported foster care agencies discriminating against openly gay parents?

As WBBM Newsradio 780′s Bob Conway reports, state investigation is now making agencies such as Lutheran Child and Family Services, Catholic Charities, and the Evangelical Child and Family Agency – all of which receive public funds, the Chicago Tribune reported.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Bob Conway reports

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the state Department of Children and Family Services, and Gov. Pat Quinn’s defense team are pouring through the state Human Rights Act, the Civil Union Act, and the state Constitution to determine whether agencies receiving public funds can legally discriminate against foster parents based on sexual orientation, the Tribune reported.

But one of the agencies, Catholic Charities, says it has no intention of changing its policy, and points out that openly gay parents can apply directly to DCFS or to dozens of other private child welfare organizations, the Tribune reported.

If the agencies are hit with violations and lose their state funding, 3,000 foster kids could be in jeopardy, according to the newspaper.

Meanwhile across the Atlantic Ocean, a situation 180 degrees different has been in the news this week.

In the English city of Derby, Eunice and Owen Johns were denied a new application as foster parents in 2007, when they told a social worker they would not tell a child a “homosexual lifestyle” was acceptable, CBS News reported.

The Johnses sued claiming discrimination, but the Royal Court of Justice in London ruled against them this week. The judges in the case said they weren’t striking down the couple’s Pentecostal Christian beliefs, but were ruling on the discrimination that stemmed from those beliefs, CBS News reported.

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