Illinois is back in the news. A Sangamon County court heard arguments from both sides today in the ongoing saga of Catholic Charities. As you might recall, Illinois made civil unions available to gay and straight Illinoisans on June 1st. As you might also remember, as had been previously documented, Catholic Charities refuses to place children in adoptive or foster homes of civil union couples.
The question being argued currently is whether the state had the right to discontinue its 40 year relationship with Catholic Charities without notice. The State has been considering the issue since March and terminated the relationship on June 30th by not renewing… the renewal procedure usually happens automatically and the Catholic Charities feel that their termination was unfair.
State officials say that despite the longevity of the relationship, they were under no obligation to give notice and that the relationship has to change due to the change in legal landscaping. Arguments about religious exemption fell on deaf ears as the state’s Attorney general noted that religious exemptions only adhere to clergy who are not mandated to marry same sex couples, this “protection” does not extend to government supported organizations who wish to treat civil uion couples as less than hereto married couples.