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June 08, 2011

Catholic Charities Take Illinois to Court Over Civil-Union Law

Charities affiliated with three Illinois Catholic dioceses are seeking an emergency injunction to protect religious groups from legal action if they turn away gay and unmarried couples seeking to adopt, according to the Chicago Tribune and Reuters.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Catholic Charities affiliates in the Joliet, Peoria, and Springfield dioceses seeks to prevent the state from enforcing new statutes barring discrimination against couples in civil unions. They cite a March letter from the state attorney general's office demanding documents for a discrimination investigation of the Springfield diocese.

The three dioceses temporarily suspended their adoption and foster-care services on June 1, the day the state's legalization of same-sex civil unions took effect. The diocese of Rockford has ended its adoption program.

The Catholic groups are seeking court permission to refer gay and unmarried couples to secular adoption agencies.