Catholic Group Sues Ill. Over Gay Adoption Issue

Associated Press

Thursday June 9, 2011

A Roman Catholic group that licenses foster and adoptive parents has sued the state of Illinois over a new law that would require the nonprofit to place children with gay or unmarried couples.

Catholic Charities said in the lawsuit filed Tuesday that it is exempt from provisions of a state law that lets gay and straight couples form civil unions that give them many of the same rights as traditional marriage.

The organization says placing children with unmarried, cohabitating couples violates the Catholic faith. Catholic Charities wants to be allowed to refer unmarried or gay couples to other agencies, as it's done for years.

Gay rights advocates contend that Catholic Charities should follow the law because taxpayer money pays for its adoption and foster care services.

In response to the new law, Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Rockford ended its publicly funded foster care and adoptive services. The Illinois Dioceses of Peoria and Joliet have temporarily suspended issuing new licenses for foster care and adoptive parents. The Archdiocese of Chicago ended its foster and adoption services in 2007 when it lost insurance coverage.

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