September 9, 2011; Source:  Carmi Times | Some 2,000 foster families in Illinois are supported by Catholic Charities, which gets its money for this purpose from the State of Illinois. But Catholic Charities and the state government are now facing off in the courts over whether the charity must support gay and lesbian foster parents.

Catholic Charities says it simply will not work with gay and lesbian couples as foster or adoptive parents. The state argues that Illinois’ new civil unions law prohibits state-funded charities such as Catholic Charities from denying support to gay and lesbian foster parents, and it intends to cancel $30.6 million in contracts with Catholic Charities for this reason. Catholic Charities wants the state to continue the contracts and allow the agency to refer gay and lesbian couples to other agencies.

So far the courts haven’t supported Catholic Charities’ argument, so the agency is appealing, arguing in part that some portion of its foster parents will opt out of participating entirely if the Department of Children and Family Services cancels the contracts. The state believes