There’s a bitter legal battle brewing in Illinois over a Catholic adoption agency’s refusal to place foster children in homes with unmarried couples, including same-sex and opposite-sex couples who have entered into a “civil union” (but not a legal marriage) in the state.
I have strong and seemingly-conflictingly feelings on both sides of the debate.
Catholic Charities maintains that the government doesn’t have the right to force it to disregard the church’s religious stance on the “traditional family” (including it’s opposition to introducing children to the “gay lifestyle” by placing them in homes with gay couples.) Perhaps surprisingly to some, I agree.
Now, I have lots of issues with the Catholic Church’s stand here. First, obviously, as a gay man in a long term relationship with another gay man, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with some gay couples serving as foster parents or adopting kids into their family. I’d like to be a parent someday myself, in theory.
I also don’t agree with the Catholic Church’s stance against gay families, simply because it’s written in a few passages in their old book, which allegedly is the word of God. (How anyone can study the complex and often political process that lead to the selection of various passages being chosen over others, etc. and still believe that the end result is somehow infallible is beyond me, but that’s another rant.)
I’d have more respect for this stance if the church stubbornly insisted on enforcing EVERYTHING in that book, not just the anti-gay pieces. I don’t see them refusing to place children in homes that allow cotton/polyester blend clothing, or contact with mom when she’s having her period, or whose parents refuse to kill disobedient children, and so on and so on.
Seriously, strictly observant Christians, if you’re going to pick and choose, why must you insist on keeping this stupid anti-gay bullshit that doesn’t affect you in the least?!
But regardless, freedom of religion and all that… People are allowed to believe what they want to believe, and the government shouldn’t be trying to control that…
…until it impacts people who don’t choose to be part of your whacko religion, especially when state funds are being used to support it. Illinois tax dollars shouldn’t be paying for your services if you’re not offering them equally to the public at large.
“If they don’t want to take state funds, that’s fine. They can find a way to fund their own bigotry elsewhere,” said Randy Hannig, the public policy director for gay rights group Equality Illinois. I couldn’t agree more.
Imagine, if you will, that a religious organization says that their magic book of God’s orders says that black people are inferior and that no white couple should be allowed to have contact with a black baby, and vice versa. If the church wanted to accept a contract with the state, and use state funds to provide adoption services, but they refused to place black foster children in white families or white foster children in black families… Can you imagine the public outrage that would immediately follow?
The church would lose that contract in a heartbeat and would face a terrible backlash from the public. Politicians, courts, and community leaders would drive that racist group out of town… But because the Catholic Church’s magic book of God’s orders says bad things about GAY people, rather then BLACK people, then it’s apparently a question of freedom of religion.
Catholic Charities, how your church members lead their lives is none of my business. But the moment your ignorant and bizarrely selective prejudice impacts gay citizens of Illinois (some of whom are friends of mine that I think are wonderful people) then you’ve lost the right to use taxpayer dollars for your work.
Continue your “holy” bigotry and brainwashing all you want among your church members — they can wise up and stop donating money to you whenever they want. But don’t expect to use government contracts if you won’t provide equal access to services just because some people haven’t fallen for your particular brand of bullshit.