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Catholic Charities Filed Complaint Regarding Their Foster Care/Adoption Services in Illinois

Catholic Charities Filed Complaint Regarding Their Foster Care/Adoption Services in Illinois

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Published by Tom Ciesielka

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Published by: Tom Ciesielka on Jun 07, 2011
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06/07/2011

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IN
THECIRCUITCOURTFOR
THE
SEVENTH
JUDICIALCIRCUIT
SANGAMONCOUNTY,
ILLINOIS
vs.Plaintiffs,
2 0 1 1 M ~ 0 0 0 2 5 4
CaseNo.Defendants.
CATHOLICCHARITIESOFTHEDIOCESE
)
OF
SPRINGFIELD-IN-ILLINOIS,
anIllinois)
non-profitcorporation,
CATHOLICCHARI-
)
TIES
OF
THEDIOCESE
OF
PEORIA,
an
)Illinoisnon-profit
corporation,
and
CATHOLIC)
CHARITIES
OF
THE
DIOCESE
OF
JOLIET,
)INC.,
an
Illinoisnon-profitcorporation,)
)
))))))))))))))
STATE
OF
ILLINOIS,LISA
MADIGAN,
in
her
officialcapacityas
the
Attorney
General
of
theState
of
Illinois,
ERWIN
McEWEN,in
hisofficialcapacityas
Director
of
the
Department
of
Children
&
FamilyServices,
State
of
Illinois,
and
theDEPARTMENT
OF
CHILDREN
&
FAMILYSERVICES,
State
of
Illinois,
COMPLAINTFOR
DECLARATORY
JUDGMENT,TEMPORARY
RESTRAININGORDER,PRELIMINARY
ANDPER'\1ANENTINJUNCTIONS,A
WRIT
OF
PROHIBITION,
AND
OTHERRELIEF
Plaintiffs,CatholicCharities
of
theDiocese
of
Springfield-in-Illinois,anIllinoisnon-profitcorporation,CatholicCharities
of
theDiocese
of
Peoria,
an
Illinoisnon-profitcorporation,and
' h ~ n t ; , " <
of
Diocese
of
Joliet,
Inc"
an
Illinoisnon-profitcorporation,all
of
are
h e r e i n a t t r ~ r
undersignedattorneys,herebycomplain
of
thedefendants,theStateIllinois,LisaMadigan,
in
capaCl1ty
as
In
 
officialcapacityasDirector
of
theDepartment
of
Children
&
FamilyServices
of
theState
of
lllinois,andtheDepartment
of
Children
&
FamilyServices,Stateoflllinois,asfollows:
Nature
of
theCase
I.Plaintiffs,CatholicCharitiessocialserviceagenciesforthreeRomanCatholicDiocesesintheState
of
Illinoiswhichareextensivelyinvolvedintheprovision
of
adoptionandfosterfamilyservicesinIllinois,bringthislawsuitinapro-activeeffort
to
avert
an
imminentrisk
of
irreparableharmtomanythousands
of
vulnerableandneedychildren,families,andadultsaerosstheState
of
lllinois,andtoavoidthecollapse
of
acriticalnetwork
of
socialserviceagenciesatatimewhenourState'sbudgeterisisalreadyhasstretchedvitalsocialservicesresources
to
thebreaking
point
In
ordertostave
off
thiscrisisandavertharmfulandpotentiallycrueldisruptionanddiscontinuityinthelives
of
somany
of
lllinois'needyyoungpeople,plaintiffsareaskingthisCourt
to
resolveanactualcontrovcrsythathasarisenbetweenthem
aIjd
theState
of
lllinois,theAttorneyGeneral
of
theState
of
lllinois,theDirector
ofthe
DepartmeJt
of
Children
&
FamilyServices
ofthc
State
of
Illinois("DCFS"),andDCFSitself.Theinstantcontroversyturnsontwoquestions
of
law.Theinitialquestion
of
lawiswhetherthereisanunavoidableconflictbetween,ontheonehand,
(i)
plaintiffs'conscientiousfulfillment
of
thehistoric,apostolic,andministerialrole
of
theRomanCatholicChurchinprovidingcompassionate,competentandprofessionalsocialservices-morespecifically,adoptionandfostercarereferral,plaeementandrelatedservieesthatstrengthenandsupportindividuals,
l d l r u l l ~ '
andcommunities,basedontheinherentvalueanddignity
of
human
lite,
andbymeansandmethodsthatarefaithful
to
theintegralandes,;entiaitenetsRomanreligious
on
thedefendant
AtltoDley
np"pf"i'
enforcementreSi,ect
to
2
 
5/101(A)(12)),whichproscribediscriminationonthebasisof,
interalia,
sexualorientationandlormaritalstatusby"place[
s]
of
publicaccommodation"withintheState
of
Illinois.Plaintiffsareaskingforentry
of
adeclaratoryjudgmentinthislawsuittotheeffectthatthe"place
of
publicaccommodation"provisions
of
theHumanRightsActdonotapplytothembecausetheyare"sectarian"andreligiousand,therefore,theyareexcludedfromthescope
of
theIllinoisHumanRightsAct,whichcoversonlythose"adoptionagencies"whichare"non-sectarian."PlaintiffSprovidevitalsocialservices,includingadoptionandfostercarereferral,placementandrelatedservices,aspart
of
theirreligiousministry,rootedintheHolyScriptures,andcarriedoninrelationshiptotheRomanCatholicChurchandunderthespiritualgovernanceandpracticaloversight
of
eachDiocesanBishop.Asaresult,plaintiffsplainlydonotandcannotqualifyas"non-sectarianadoptionagenc[ies],"noraretheyotherwisesubjecttothe"publicaccommodation"provisions
of
theHumanRightsAct.
2.
Evenassuming,
arguendo,
thattheseexplicitprovisionsrestrictingthecoverage
of
the"publicaccommodation"provisions
of
theIllinoisHumanRightsActsomehowmight
be
strctched
so
farastocoverandbindtheplaintiffs,anotherIllinoisstatute,namely,theIllinoisReligiousFreedomRestorationAct("IRFRA.,"775lLCS
3511
etseq),
neccssarilywouldprecludeanysuchstrainedinterpretationpurporting
to
authorize
an
application
of
theseprovisions
of
theHumanRightsAct
to
plaintiffs.Pursuant
to
lRFRA,defendants'reading
of
theHumanRightsActtorequiretheplaintiffstoplacechildrenforadoptionorfostercareintothe
HUW';'
of
samesexorunmarriedcohabitingcoupleswouldsub'stanti,lIlyburden[plaintiffs']which
"'",rm1tN'<
that"[tJhe
~ . " . , ~ , o ~
andenjoyment
no

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