Illinois Catholic Charities has
announced it will appeal a decision on gay adoptions, the
After Illinois approved a civil unions
law that recognizes gay and lesbian couples, Catholic Charities in
Joliet, Peoria, 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.
Skipping over whether Catholic
Charities is exempt from the law under its religious protections
clause, Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Schmidt ruled in favor of
the state on August 18. Schmidt's ruling narrowly focused on whether
the state violated the property rights of Catholic Charities when it
refused to sign new contracts.
“No citizen has a recognized legal
right to a contract with the government,” he wrote.
Peter Breen, an attorney for the
non-profit agency, said he will ask for a stay of Schmidt's ruling,
and added that he hopes the judge will address “the issue of
The state has argued that the law's
religious exemptions only apply to clergy who refuse to officiate at
Catholic Charities has about 2,200
children in its care.