While the presidential forum focused on the economy and jobs... [candidates were] asked if religious adoptions organizations should continue to receive government contracts from states that allow for civil unions or same-sex marriage.
Of course, what the questioner (and the candidates) missed is that this case is about doing what is right for children. They are the real victims of discrimination, not Catholic Charities. It is not discrimination to require an agency that receives state money to provide services on behalf of the State of Illinois – in this case, the placement of children in foster care and adoptive families – to follow the law. And, despite the efforts of ideologically-driven advocates, government does not infringe on religious entities’ practice or faith when demanding that state-subsidized and secular social services be provided in a way that advances the best interests of children, not the particular group’s religious values.
In this case – where a Sangamon County Judge recently granted summary judgement against Catholic Charities – the religiously-based organizations were asking a court to permit them to make decisions about placing children in foster and adoptive homes based on the agencies’ religious and ideological values, not on the best interest of the child – the appropriate legal and child welfare standard. In this instance, the major concern of the Catholic Charities agencies was that they refuse to place children with same sex couples now recognized under the new Civil Union law.
We know – based on research and experience – that lesbian and gay male couples are able to provide safe, loving homes for children in the same fashion that heterosexual couples provide such an environment. It is not appropriate for children to be denied the broadest possible pool of foster and adoptive parents while under state care simply because of an agency’s religious views about same-sex couples. The Catholic Charities position harms children, it harms prospective parents and it sends a damaging message to state wards who are gay or lesbian.
Read the whole Think Progress post.