Catholic Charities of Peoria and Joliet have informed the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services that they will no longer license families who applied to become foster care or adoptive parents because the state's civil unions law went into effect Tuesday.
"It is the religious practice of Catholic Charities not to place children with unmarried cohabiting couples, whether same sex or opposite sex," wrote Glenn Van Cura, executive director of Catholic Charities of Joliet, in a letter to DCFS sent this week.
In a separate letter, Tricia C. Fox, chief executive officer for Catholic Charities of Peoria, added that the suspension is temporary. Licensing could resume if language is added to the civil union law allowing religious agencies to refer applicants to one of the state's 45 other child welfare agencies if they don't fit Catholic Charities' criteria, Fox said.
DCFS spokesman Kendall Marlowe said DCFS still hasn't gotten clarification on the dioceses' position from lawyers for Gov. Pat Quinn or Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who have been examining whether publicly funded religious agencies are breaking anti-discrimination laws if they turn away openly gay parents.
Two weeks ago, the Catholic Diocese of Rockford laid off 58 workers and chose to end all adoption and foster care services rather than comply with the state's new civil unions legislation. The law took effect on June 1.
In March 2010, Catholic Charities of Washington, D.C. announced it will no longer offer spousal benefits to ANY employees to avoid offering benefits to married same-sex partners.
Bigotry 3, The "Children" 0 ....