Catholic Charities Sue For Right To Turn Away Same-Sex Couples

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Several Catholic Charities groups are suing the state, saying they should not have to accept same-sex couples in civil unions as foster parents.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty and Alex Degman report, Catholic Charities in Springfield, Peoria and Joliet have suspended new foster care or adoption licenses while the courts handle the case.

“What Catholic Charities has done is hit pause on intake of new families, so new prospective foster parents, and that number is about five or so per month; a little over one a week,” said attorney Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society, who is representing Catholic Charities.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Nancy Harty reports

They are taking issue with the civil unions law, which went into effect at the beginning of the month. The law grants domestic partnerships with many of the same benefits of marriage to both gay and straight couples.

The Illinois Attorney General’s Office says Catholic Charities, as a taxpayer funded entity, must abide by the state’s definition of a legally recognized couple.

But Breen disagrees. He says Catholic Charities provides adoption and foster care services to married couples and civil unions don’t count as marriage.

“Catholic Charities does not make child placements with unmarried couples, same sex or opposite sex,” he said.

Breen says the agency operates under Catholic teachings, which state marriage is defined as between one man and one woman.

“That is what Catholic Charities has held to and done its charitable work based on,” says Breen. “So whether there’s a civil union law, or any other type of domestic partnership law, Catholic Charities practice shouldn’t have to change because of that.”

Three attempts to pass legislation restrict adoption by same-sex couples have failed.

The most recent attempt was last month, when state Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) attempted to amend an ethics bill by inserting language that would allow adoption agencies affiliated with religious groups to turn away same-sex couples, Gay Chicago Magazine reported.

The amendment was tabled, and the ethics bill passed without it.

  • Curt

    Catholic Charities is a taxpayer funded entity and should not be allowed to discriminate. Take away the funding! This would not be allowed by any other taxpayer funded entity.

    • Native Chicagoan

      you’d likely be simply shocked at other tax funded “entities” which discriminate. e.g., i don’t see why planned parenthood for so many years received megabucks in tax payers monies and are the #1 abortion service provider in good ol’ usa. if you don’t like catholics or the idea of religion, that is not an argument on this topic. marriage is a pillar in the catholic faith and one of it’s main tenets. too bad u don’t understand that concept. go elsewhere to adopt. it is really simple. don’t disguise it behind your hatred of catholics. that is similar to the disguise the deranged wolves in sheeps clothing used as a disguise. is that really where you are at?

  • Amy G

    YAY CURT!!! I agree there!!
    Too, with all the children out there that are dying to have a loving “family”…who are these clowns to not only deny would-be parents the opportunity to have children, but deny these children the one thing they desire most? A family in a loving household. Now whether that’s a Mommy & a Daddy, a Daddy & Daddy, a Mommy & Mommy…I know a ton of kids that would just be overjoyed to have a family that loves and supports them, fosters and nurtures them. Heck, even single parents…if they can afford to have a child, why not be able to adopt/foster??? So many beautiful children out there with no families, and these folks are dictating who can and can’t based on what??? GROW UP!!

    • Amy G

      …it further makes me question why else you’d hold on to these kids rather than place them in a loving home…
      Again to Curt’s comment:
      Hello folks, are these kids your cash cow?

  • michael kaplan

    what a surprise ,catholic charities think there above the law

  • lesley

    i also agree – the church is against same sex couples, etc but their own clergy are abusing kids – they are also pro-life but what happens after birth to these kids – give them to couples, no matter the sexual preference, to love & raise

    • Native Chicagoan

      a few in the mega overall number in the clergy abused kids. these were pedophiles and were practicing wolves in sheeps clothing. these perverts took advantage of the position they were in and abused it. catholics and it’s clergy do not allow this behavior. these deranged few priests were bullies. also, catholic charities has done more good in the usa and world that you or any other anti catholic blogger will ever do in your lives.

  • Disgusted

    I’m glad to see the Catholic chuch is standing their ground. The last thing children need to be taught is that is OK to be gay. Humans are the only species that practice thi behavior. Sick Puppies !!

    • Joann

      It’s sad that you think you are God and can judge others.

    • Gerald Spencer

      You lie. It isn’t the only species and if you mention species then you acknowledge that man evolved along with all the animals and the Catholic catechism is a lie.

  • wolf

    As a heterosexual married man, I deeply resent my tax dollars going to this group who determine their charitable givings based on recipients agreeing with their values. As a private citizen who believes in the importance of charitable giving, they will not see one dime coming from me. There are enough people in this world who believe their way is the only way. For a group calling itself “Catholic charities”, they sure are an arrogant, self righteous group!

    • Native Chicagoan

      while u r busy writing checks and donating your dollars to charitable giving, spend some time looking at the help catholic charities has done. you don’t know of what you portend to speak and that is what rings loud and clear, you silly, married, heterosexual man, you!

    • Brian

      I think the point is, to protect children from being given the impression that a gay lifestyle is OK. Protecting kids has to be the number one priority. The Catholic church is doing the right thing.

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