Catholic Charities groups in Illinois
announced on Tuesday they were “reluctantly” dropping their fight
against gay adoptions, the AP reported.
After Illinois approved a civil unions
law that recognizes gay and lesbian couples, Catholic Charities
dioceses in Joliet, Springfield and Belleville told the state that it
could not accommodate prospective fosters parents in a civil union.
The group maintains that the teachings of the Catholic Church define
marriage as a heterosexual union.
Catholic Charities sued the state after
it ended over $30 million in annual contracts. It claimed it was
exempt from the law under its religious protections clause and that
the state had violated the property rights of Catholic Charities when
it refused to sign new contracts.
The state argued that the law's
religious exemptions only applied to clergy who refused to officiate
over the civil unions of gay couples.
In its motion to dismiss, Catholic
Charities said the state had blocked it from seeking relief.
“[T]he actions of the State have
prevented the Charities from being able to obtain relief from the
Illinois court system,” the group's lawyers wrote.
Anthony Martinez, executive director of
the Civil Rights Agenda, lauded the move.
“I am encouraged to hear that
Catholic Charities has realized they cannot win this lawsuit,” he
said in a statement, adding that the lawsuit was “all about
prioritizing religion over what is best for the children in their