Illinois Civil Unions Lawsuit

by Beverly A. Pekala on June 13, 2011

It didn’t take long. The new Illinois Civil Unions law isn’t even two weeks old, and the first lawsuit has already been filed. Catholic Charities has brought suit against the State of Illinois , asking permission to refuse state-funded foster care and adoption services to unmarried couples, including couples joined in a civil union. The agencies want to continue their practice of declining such couples and instead referring them to agencies that do not have religious objections to marital status or sexual orientation.

Catholic Charities is seeking an exemption for faith-based agencies, and arguing, in part, that the law was not intended to force any group to go against their religious principles. State senator Dave Koehler sponsored an amendment which would have exempted faith-based agencies and but the amendment did not pass.

 If Catholic Charities doesn’t withdraw their religious objections or the State of Illinois or courts do not exempt faith-based agencies, then state-funded foster care and adoption cases handled by Catholic Charities and other faith based agencies could be transferred to other agencies.

 While this is the first suit filed, it’s only been a couple of weeks. Clearly it won’t be the last.  


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