Sorry I have been incognito over the past week or so, but my LSAT was this past Monday, and blogging had to take a backseat to that. Thankfully, that test is over, so I am now back to both blogging and tweeting.
As many of you probably know, the Catholic Church in Illinois has been having a hissy fit over the new civil unions law and its impact on their adoption agencies. As of last month, the Catholic adoption agencies were allowed to not place children with non-married homosexual couples; but, since the civil unions law went into effect on June 1st, they would have been required to not discriminate against said couples in adoption placement. They have obviously cried foul because of their religious beliefs, and have decided to file suit in court to halt any potential lawsuits against the adoption agencies who refuse to place children in same-sex homes. If an injunction is not issued, then they have decided that they will stop providing adoption services.
To listen to the far right media, it would seem as though the evil homosexuals were forcing the Catholic Charities to place children in same-sex households, but this is only half true. Right now, the state of Illinois provides taxpayer money to the agencies as well as has a statute that states that taxpayer funded agencies cannot discriminate on the basis of marital status. Therefore, the real hoopla is not about whether the Catholic adoption agencies are allowed to discriminate against same-sex couples; but instead it is about whether the agencies are allowed to do so on the public dime.
As I have stated numerous times on this blog, religious liberty is not necessarily a legitimate excuse if you do not agree with the state on something, its application only goes so far. Yes, we in America and the West in general provide large protections to religious organizations and denominations. Yet, these protections are not infinite, they are constrained by a few important details.
In this particular case, the State of Illinois has all the right in the world to require the Catholic agencies to place children in same-sex households. Why? Because these agencies are receiving taxpayer money from state to provide these services equally. A taxpaying heterosexual couple should not get any more favorable treatment because they are heterosexual, than a taxpaying homosexual couple would get.
If Catholic agencies wanted to provide adoption services free from government financing, they are free to do so. Its just when you take government money, some of your rights are restricted; thats the price you pay for government help.