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Catholic Charities Wants Right To Send Gay Couples Elsewhere

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Catholic Charities says it might stop its adoption services if the state requires them to place children with same-sex couples.

The organization is seeking legislation that would allow it to refer same-sex couples to other adoption programs because of religious reasons.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Bob Conway reports


Catholic Charities worries it and other religious agencies could be sued or have their state contracts canceled. At a news conference Wednesday, they said that would be a "catastrophe" for Illinois children.

A proposal that would have restricted gay adoptions failed in an Illinois Senate committee last month.

The proposed amendment to an unrelated bill would have allowed faith-based groups to turn away gay or lesbian couples joined in a civil union who want to adopt or become foster parents.

It said the agencies are responsible for referring couples they reject to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services so they can find out about other agencies.

It came up for consideration in the Executive Committee of the Illinois Senate, but was defeated and held in committee.

State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), the openly gay lawmaker who sponsored the successful legislation to legitimize same-sex civil unions in Illinois, said the proposal was a direct attack on the civil unions law, which takes effect June 1.

Those siding with Harris called it discrimination and say that faith-based adoption agencies receiving taxpayer funds should not be allowed to discriminate.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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