Good News for Children in Illinois: Catholic Charities Won’t Get State Money to Discriminate

Ever since Illinois legalized civil unions, Catholics Charities has been flipping out at the prospect of sending kids into the home of gay parents who want to adopt them. They were so freaked out by this, that they started to shut down in response. (A secular adoption agency offered to take in the children who would soon need a new home.)

Recently, a judge ruled in their favor, meaning they could provide services (at the cost of taxpayers) despite their bigotry, but that was only temporary.

Now, that ruling is permanent. Illinois no longer has to continue doing business with the bigots:

A Sangamon County judge ruled Thursday that the state can decline to renew its contracts with Catholic Charities in Illinois to provide publicly funded foster care and adoption services, meaning the process of transferring children to other social service agencies can proceed.

… lawyers for the Illinois attorney general said that exemption only shields religious clergy who don’t want to officiate at civil unions. The policy of Catholic Charities violates state anti-discrimination laws that demand couples in civil unions be treated the same as married couples, they said.

You can read the ruling here.

To be fair, the ruling focused on “whether the state violated the property rights of Catholic Charities when it declined to sign new contracts for the next fiscal year” — not the issue of religion — but it amounts to the same conclusion: Adoptive parents who are gay will not be discriminated against by the Catholics on the state’s dime.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Mike

    So good, I read it twice.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=804730646 Geralyn Mott

    it’s deja vu, all over again.

  • http://eviltwit.wordpress.com/ eviltwit

    yay!

  • Anonymous

    The connection of property rights to this case confuses me.

    • PJB863

      Absolutely.   The LDS (mormon – and I am no fan of theirs) church operates an adoption agency in some locations that doesn’t take state money, so they get to apply their own rules, so long as the children are not abused.  Isn’t it funny that when Catholic Charities doesn’t get paid to do “charity” work, they cease doing it? 

  • Anonymous

    The connection of property rights to this case confuses me.

  • Alan E.

    Aside from the double post (because no one has ever double posted in comments…), you initially make it sound like the ruling in favor of Catholic Charitues is permanent, not for the state.

  • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

    Wait, I don’t get this. First you say, “… a judge ruled in their favor, meaning they could provide services (at the cost of taxpayers) …” but then you say, “… that ruling is permanent. Illinois no longer has to continue doing business with the bigots.”

    I’m confused. Either the initial ruling was not actually in their favor, and it became permanent, or else it was in their favor, but the permanent ruling was actually the reverse of that.

    • Erp

      The judge put a stay in place (i.e., keep the status quo) until the hearing and final decision. 

  • Guest

    Well, I’m glad the bigotry isn’t being supported, but I hope that the kids don’t suffer and that there are enough non-discriminating alternatives for it all to work out.

  • Heidi

    So Catholic Charities has a problem with gay parents, but apparently not a problem allying itself with an organization that has come to represent institutional pedophilia. How messed up is that??And I still don’t get the point of expending the effort to pass laws “shielding” clergy from “uniting” gay people. Are there gay people who actually want to be united in the First Church of Bigotry or something?But then I don’t get the point of calling it a civil union instead of a wedding/marriage anyway. Do you send out union invitations? Do you order a union cake? And do lesbians wear a union dress? Absurdity, thy name is religion.

  • Anonymous

    The way you’ve phrased things makes it sound like the temporary injunction became permanent, when in fact it was lifted.

    I think we all get the idea in the end, though. 

    Good to see a quick (and correct) resolution to this one.


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