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Catholics Drop Foster Fight Against Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) - Several Catholic dioceses have decided to drop their legal fight against Illinois, after the state pulled the dioceses' foster and adoption contracts due to their refusal to work with same-sex couples.

"The decision not to pursue further appeals was reached with great reluctance, but was necessitated by the fact that the State of Illinois has made it financially impossible for our agencies to continue to provide these services," a joint statement released by bishops from the Belleville, Springfield and Joliet dioceses stated.

"Since we now need to close offices and lay off employees, further appeals would be moot."

The dioceses had more than a half a century relationship with Illinois on foster care and adoption contracts, until the state passed a civil-unions law this year. The law gives same-sex couples the same legal rights as married couples, including the right to be foster parents.

The dioceses refused to provide services to same-sex couples, citing religious principals, prompting Illinois to pull their foster care and adoption contracts.

The dioceses filed a lawsuit claiming religious discrimination, but Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Schmidt ruled in August that no citizen or group had a right to a contract with the government.

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