Catholic group suing Ill. over gay adoption

      It's been more than a week since Illinois passed its law allowing civil unions in the state.

      But those couples aren't able to adopt kids from Catholic organizations.

      The state has tried to make those organizations adopt to them, saying they're discriminating against gay couples.

      Now, the state has a law suit to deal with.

      "In this lawsuit, Catholic Charities is seeking a declaration from the court that what charities are doing is completely legal and it's proper under Illinois law and that they may continue their decades long practice of dealing with married couples and singles who are not cohabitating, " says Peter Breen with Thomas More Society. It is representing Catholic Charities.

      Catholic Charities is suing the state over new legislation that would require it to place children with gay or unmarried couples. It claims it is exempt from provisions of a state law that lets gay and straight couples form civil unions.

      "Illinois law protects Catholic Charities and other religiously based adoption agencies due to their significant religious beliefs from being bound by those laws," says Breen.

      The organization says placing children with unmarried, cohabitating couples violates the Catholic faith and wants to be allowed to refer unmarried or gay couples to other agencies, as it's done for years.

      "Catholic Charities is not stopping any prospective foster parent from becoming a foster parent," says Breen.

      Chaddock also has adoption and foster care services. It's a Methodist organization and allows couples in civil unions to adopt.

      "We are committed to following the laws of the state and also meeting the best interest of the kids and families and we're pleased to be able to offer foster care services through-out our community," says CEO of Chaddock Debbie Reed.

      Breen believes their case is good enough to win.

      "We have a very strong legal position based on the clear statements in Illinois law that protect Catholic Charities and other religiously based adoption agencies and based on floor debates and statements by legislators over the last 5 years. Which have stated very clearly, Catholic Charities and other religiously based adoption agencies can continue their practices," he says.

      Three Catholic dioceses have said they're suspending adoption services.

      We've contacted Catholic Charities for a comment and they have not responded.

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