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Ill. Kills Discriminatory Adoption Bill

Ill. Kills Discriminatory Adoption Bill


An Illinois senate committee has killed a bill that would have allowed faith-based agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples seeking to adopt or provide foster care to children.

The proposal would have amended the state's recently passed civil union law to allow agencies to "decline an adoption or foster family home application" to a couple in a civil union "if acceptance of that application would constitute a violation of the organization's sincerely held religious beliefs." The senate executive committee rejected it Wednesday by a vote of 7-6.

The bill was introduced Monday, and LGBT activists quickly organized opponents to make their feelings known to senators. "The hard work that folks did in the last 48 hours in terms of really spreading the word about this ... has really paid off," Ed Yohnka, communications director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, told Chicago's Windy City Times. "I think people were well-educated in terms of what this would mean." Added Anthony Martinez of the Civil Rights Agenda, an LGBT group: "This is such an amazing victory and shows what an organized community can achieve in a short amount of time."

Longtime Illinois activist Rick Garcia told the Times he thought faith-based agencies such as Catholic Charities were bluffing with threats that they would leave the child welfare business if they were not exempted from antidiscrimination laws. "I think that's a bluff ... other dioceses have threatened it," he said. "But fine. Let them get out of the child welfare business, if they're basing everything on antigay messages."

Read more here and here.

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