A major win for equality in Illinois. The state is not required to renew its contracts with Catholic Charities if the organizations discriminate against unmarried and gay couples when placing children for adoption or foster care, a judge ruled on Thursday.
[L]awyers for Catholic Charities urged Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Schmidt to prevent the state from suddenly severing a partnership that has funded foster care and adoption services in Illinois for four decades.
But Schmidt wrote in his ruling released Thursday that the longevity of the relationship between the state and Catholic Charities in Joliet, Peoria, Springfield and Belleville did not entitle them to automatic renewal of their contracts. "No citizen has a recognized legal right to a contract with the government," Schmidt wrote.
In discussions after the civil union bill went into effect in June, Catholic Charities told the state that accommodating prospective foster parents in civil unions would violate Catholic Church teaching that defines marriage between a man and a woman.
The civil unions law took effect on June 1. Four Catholic Charities agencies announced soon afterwards that they would no longer license any foster parents. In July, three of those same agencies won a temporary injunction against the state from terminating their contract.
Five days before the civil unions law went into effect, 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. So much for "the children" ....
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