Skip to comments.Judge Rules Against Catholic Charities in Illinois Adoption Case
Posted on 08/21/2011 6:57:28 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
An Illinois Circuit Court judge upheld the state's decision to drop adoption and foster care service contracts with Catholic Charities Thursday, ignoring the groups claims that their contracts were discontinued because of its religion-inspired policies.
Judge John Schmidt upheld the state Department of Children and Family Services decision to drop contracts with several state Catholic Charities chapters, stating the groups are not required by the state to perform adoption services.
Catholic Charities has served the state of Illinois for 100 years and is currently providing for over 2,000 foster children. However, Schmidt asserted the entity does not have a "legally-protected property interest" in the renewal of its contracts.
The Thomas More Society, a pro-life law center representing Catholic Charities, said the court did not even consider its argument that the state violated religious freedom protections when it dropped the Catholic Charities' contracts.
Peter Breen, executive director of the pro-life legal firm the Thomas More Society, explained, What the ruling did was stated solely that the state can decided to contract or not contract anyone, for any reason.
The state Department of Children and Family Services made the decision to discontinue working with Catholic Charities after the Illinois legislature passed the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act. The act allows homosexual couples to be joined in civil unions and adopt children.
However he says, The Catholic Charities are acting falling in accordance with law [but] the Catholic Church has a position against civil unions and the state is saying, in effect, that it is the belief against civil unions that is preventing the Catholic Charities from receiving a state contract.
Prior to the trial, Breen told The Christian Post, "The government and the attorney general are implementing the civil union component [but] they have read out of the law the religious freedom protection component."
Breen said of the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act, "There were repeated statements that this law wouldn't impact the religious practices of anyone. But after the act became law, our opponents are trying to infringe upon religious practices."
The American Civil Liberties Union says Catholic Charities chapters are discriminating against gay and lesbian couples at the children's expense. The Illinois ACLU chapter joined in the lawsuit in the state's defense.
ALCU-Illinois attorney Ben Wolf praised the decision stating, "[Thursday's] decision by Judge Schmidt is a good decision for the children under the care of DCFS in Illinois."
"The state has a responsibility and constitutional obligation to assure that all decisions about foster and permanent homes for children are made in the best interest of the child not other factors including the religious views of the contractual provider, Wolf continued.
Breen insisted the discontinued contracts discriminate against Catholic Charities Judeo-Christian faith and also violate the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which he says protects against burdensome activities that counter one's religious beliefs.
Before the law took effect on June 1, Catholic Charities had made it clear that the law violated its Catholic beliefs and mission to place children with heterosexual married couples rather than co-habituating individuals.
Catholic Charities requested a meeting with the state attorney general, but instead, was issued a letter in March alleging that it "discriminates against Illinois citizens based on race, marital status and sexual orientation" in the provision of foster care and adoption services.
Breen say that he is currently studying the ruling and weighing their options.
“...stating the groups are not required by the state to perform adoption services.”
I think the judge has American law confused with French Code Civil.
In America, that which is not expressly illegal, is legal. In France, that which is not expressly authorized by the government, is illegal.
This small distinction is why America has much more freedom than France. And why America has a much more vital entrepreneurial spirit than France. At least until the government so buries the people under ponderous and inhibiting regulation that we can no longer function.
Like the French.
It’s more like NAZI Germany ~ Illinois current government is an abomination.
the only ones that suffer are the poor kids
Does anyone know when this clown is up for a retention vote?
This looks for all the world like our future, whether one is Catholic (as I and mine are), or one who follow Our Lord, treading a different path. With items like this looming, I pray for all who follow a Christian faith, whether Catholic or not.
On this story, all the comments on it are slamming Catholics for holding to their beliefs and not embracing Gays.
I didn’t know there were that many stupid ignorant people that don’t have a clue what a religious belief means.
Yes, but the "gays" are happy; and, isn't that what the prime motivator of all of this is? To make "gays" happy. To get their votes. To not have them calling you names when you're trying to run for office. To just give in to their bullying.
This is just the beginning. These people will not be happy until all churches that do not accept their "lifestyle" are closed.
The state has the right to say that certain activities are “lawful” (someone WANTING to do it has the right to do it) - such as “gay” couples being allowed to adopt.
The state has no right to say that YOU (or anyone else) MUST participate in those activities.
When the state works with the citizens’ freely formed organizations that are participating in a state funded or subsidized activity - like adoptions in general - it has no right to convert a “lawful” (permitted) activity (”gay” adoptions) into a MANDATORY activity that must be supplied by all.
All citizens, and their organizations, cannot be required to do something that “can” be done, converting “can” into “must” be done.
State policy must be “open” to all its citizens, those that want to participate in “gay” adoptions, as well as those that don’t.
In as much as state law does not deny the right to “gays” to adopt, those that want to do that are not denied the “right” to do it simply because they have to do so with organizations that CHOSE TO facilitate it. Their (”gays”) “freedom” and their “rights” are not provided at the expense of the “freedom” and “rights” of others.