Catholic Charities Case Regarding Illinois Civil Unions Remains Undecided

by Beverly A. Pekala on August 19, 2011

Judge Schmidt heard arguments from both sides this week in the lawsuit brought by Catholic Charities against DCFS, but no decision was made and the court gave no indication of when a ruling would occur.

Catholic Charities sued the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services after DCFS terminated $30 million in Catholic Charities contracts with the state. DCFS argued that the actions of Catholic Charities in refusing to place children in the homes of unmarried couples, including couples joined in Illinois civil unions, constitutes discrimination. The state argues that Illinois ‘ civil unions law does not exempt religious organizations, while Catholic Charities argues it does.

When the state terminated its contracts with the religous organization last month, Catholic Charities brought suit. The Court ruled that the contracts will stay in place until a final decision is made. The case affects approximately 2,000 children curently in foster homes through placements by Catholic Charities.

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