Bob Kellogg and Associated Press - OneNewsNow - 7/13/2011 7:30:00 AM
An attorney is encouraged that a circuit judge has granted three Illinois Catholic Charities a preliminary injunction, allowing them to continue their foster care services for 2,000 children.
Catholic Charities has refused to place foster children with same-sex couples, despite the recent legislative act that gives legal status to such partnerships.
In granting the injunction, the court ruled that the discontinuance of the contracts could cause irreparable harm to the families the organization serves. Peter Breen, executive director of the Thomas More Society, is encouraged by the ruling.
"What this means is that Catholic Charities can continue to do all of the work that it was doing previously -- serving children," he explains. "It means none of the 2,000 children under their care will have their placements terminated."
Diocese officials in Peoria, Joliet and Springfield sued to hold up enforcement of the law that would force them to place foster kids with "gay" couples, as Catholic Charities opposes on religious grounds the Illinois civil union law that allows same-sex couples to adopt children or provide foster care. Instead of violating the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Unions Act, the Catholic group contends it is actually shielded by the law. And Breen points out that the sponsor of the act never intended to harm Catholic Charities.
"The problem is the governor of Illinois and the attorney general of Illinois took a different track and have tried to read the religious freedom protection out of the Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act," the attorney concludes.
The matter is scheduled to go before Judge John Schmidt again in August for a final decision, but Breen says the judge's preliminary injunction is a positive sign.