SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CN) – A Sangamon County judge has restrained Illinois from terminating foster-care contracts with three Roman Catholic Dioceses that refuse to deal with same-sex couples, as required by the state’s new civil unions law.
Sangamon County Judge John Schmidt granted the temporary injunction Tuesday and told the state to keep the three dioceses’ contracts in place until another hearing in August.
The state’s decision to terminate the foster care contracts affected dioceses in Belleville, Springfield, Joliet and Peoria.
Schmidt’s ruling pertains directly to the Springfield, Joliet and Peoria Dioceses, which filed for the injunction.
It is not clear how it affects the Belleville Diocese, which was not part of the lawsuit. State officials, however, believe Belleville’s contract will be honored until the August hearing.
The new civil union law gives same-sex couples the same legal rights as married couples, including the right to be foster parents.
The dioceses refused to go along with the law, arguing that their rules prohibit same-sex couples from being foster parents.
The decision affects more than 2,000 children statewide.