Thursday, July 14, 2011

Judge: Catholic Charities can keep serving foster kids, for now

Issue hinges on compliance with, interpretation of Illinois civil union law

(Chicago Tribune) SPRINGFIELD — Catholic Charities won the right to keep serving nearly 2,000 foster children in Illinois for at least another month, as a judge refused Tuesday to let the state cut ties with the agency that has balked at placing children with gay and unwed couples.

The temporary decree struck at the heart of one of the most contentious debates since Illinois made civil unions legal.

Despite the state's arguments that no contracts exist because state officials already declined to renew them, Judge John Schmidt ruled in Sangamon County Circuit Court that contracts between the state and Catholic Charities of Joliet, Peoria and Springfield through June 30 would remain intact.

"We're not going to be removing children from homes," Schmidt said. "I can't be any clearer. … We're going back to June 30..."

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