In a Letter to the Editor in the Tribune Tuesday, the ACLU of Illinois speaks out against the refusal of religious foster care agencies to license gay foster parents in accordance with Illinois anti-discrimination laws.

Research has shown that lesbians and gays are just as qualified to parent and just as capable of providing safe and loving homes for children as their heterosexual counterparts. Consistent with those findings, Illinois has long licensed lesbian and gay adults as foster parents if, like other applicants, they otherwise satisfy the criteria for licensure.

An excellent Tribune article earlier this month revealed that Illinois child welfare officials, working with Gov. Pat Quinn and Attorney General Lisa Madigan, are now investigating whether religious agencies that receive public funds to license foster parents are breaking anti-discrimination laws if they turn away gay parents based on their sexual orientation.