Catholic Charities threatens to block gay adoptions

May 5, 2011

By City Room and Luke Runyon

One of the largest adoption and foster care services in Illinois warns it may drop those services if it is forced to accommodate gay couples.

New legal protections for gay couples go into effect June 1, the day couples can apply for civil unions. Catholic Charities directors say they want to maintain the right to turn away unmarried couples when they apply to be foster or adoptive parents. 

"The Catholic Church is not going to be OK with Catholic Charities processing applications from anyone in a civil union," said Trish Fox, who runs Catholic Charities of Peoria. "And all we're asking is that we can continue what we've always done, which is refer cohabitating couples, heterosexual or homosexual, to another agency."

Civil union supporters say the agencies are discriminating against gay couples.

A state Senate panel recently voted down a bill to allow religious agencies to ignore the law.