Yesterday, Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter introduced bill SB2495, which would make clear that Illinois State should not discriminate against religious organizations that handle state contracts for foster care. Details of the bill are here.
Attorney Peter C. Breen of the Thomas More Society, who represents Catholic Charities, said he applauds the new bill. “The people of Illinois do not want to see Catholic Charities and other religious-based foster care agencies driven out of business, period,” Breen said. “Lawmakers intended when they passed the civil union law to protect religious groups from compromising their beliefs regarding civil unions”
Synopsis of Illinois SB2495:
“Amends the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act. Provides that a child welfare agency that is religiously based or owned by, operated by, or affiliated with a bona fide religious organization may decline an adoption or foster family home application, including any related licensure and placement, from a party to a civil union if acceptance of that application would constitute a violation of the organization’s sincerely held religious beliefs and, if an agency declines an application, it must provide the applicant with information on how to contact the Department of Children and Family Services to obtain information concerning other regional licensed child welfare agencies. Effective immediately.”