Catholic Charities of Peoria withdraws from lawsuit against Illinois
Three Catholic dioceses in Illinois are continuing a court fight over Illinois’ new civil unions law, while another is withdrawing from the litigation.
The Catholic Diocese of Peoria announced Thursday it plans to stop providing state-funded services and withdraw from the court battle. According to the Peoria Star-Journal, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) plans to transfer more than 1,000 from Catholic Charities of Peoria to a new organization, The Center for Youth and Family Services, by January 31st. However, that organization currently has no director and no state license to handle foster care cases.
Catholic Charities of Peoria isn’t the first local arm of the organization to end its contract with DCFS. In May, Catholic Charities of the Dicocese of Rockford terminated its foster care and adoption services contracts due to the threat of potential litigation.
The litigation stems from the passage of the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, which provides many of the same marital rights and protections to those couples who seek to enter into civil unions, including same sex couples.
Catholic Charities affiliated with the Joliet, Springfield and Belleville dioceses were among the organizations who filed suit asking a judge to determine whether they could refuse to serve same sex couples and unmarried parents seeking adoptions if the agencies continued to receive state funding. [more]