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Illinois Politics

Illinois Senate Panel Defeats Bill Permitting Religious-Based Adoption Agencies to Deny Civil Union Couples Service


(Springfield, IL) — April 13, 2011. The Illinois Senate Executive Committee today defeated, 6-7, State Senator David Koehler’s legislation, House Bill 1123, to permit religious-based child welfare agencies to refuse to offer adoption and foster care services to gay and lesbian couples joined in civil unions.

“Lawmakers are obviously engaged in this issue. We will continue to seek a resolution that allows Catholic Charities to serve thousands of abused and neglected children in Illinois, and we are hopeful that resolution will be supported moving forward,” said Robert Gilligan, Executive Director, Catholic Conference of Illinois.

Koehler, a Democrat from Peoria Illinois, had successfully sponsored the Illinois civil unions bill which Governor Pat Quinn signed earlier this year.

“[The] … proposed legislation would amend the Civil Union law to allow child welfare agencies to discriminate in adoption and foster care services using any religious pretext. This is unacceptable: when it comes to child welfare, there cannot be double standards,” Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov wrote yesterday in an e-mail to supporters.

In addition to Koehler, senate sponsors included State Senators: William Haine (D),  Thomas Johnson (R), and Edward Maloney (D).

About David Ormsby

David, a public relations consultant and blogger at The Huffington Post, is an ex-Press Secretary of the Illinois Democratic Party.

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David Ormsby, Editor

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