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DC Catholics End Foster Care Program

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Citing the city's move to legalize same-sex marriage, Washington, D.C.'s Catholic diocese has ended its 80-year foster care program, TheWashington Post reports.

The National Center for Children and Families assumed the 43 children, 35 families, and seven staff members who were tied to Catholic Charities' foster care program February 1.

Catholic Charities had received about $20 million annually from the city under a contract to provide foster care and other services. However, since it is a Catholic operation, it does not condone same-sex marriage and therefore would turn down gay and lesbian couples seeking to become foster parents. Since such discrimination is against city policy, it transferred its foster care services to the nonsectarian National Center, which has reported no difficulties with the move.

A Catholic Charities spokesman said the group is looking for ways to provide other services for which it is under contract to the city, including assistance to the homeless and victims of domestic violence, without coming into conflict with the new same-sex marriage law, which was passed by the district council in December and will take effect within a few weeks. City officials said no other faith-based group has mentioned any problem with city contracts.

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