* From the Catholic Conference of Illinois regarding a post from earlier today…
You posted today about Kirk Dillard’s comment on a 2012 candidate questionnaire regarding the civil unions law: “It is a litigious nightmare!” You then disagreed with Dillard’s comment by saying “it hasn’t really turned out that way.”
We disagree, and point to the 2011 court battle between the state and the Catholic dioceses of Belleville, Joliet and Springfield regarding state foster care contracts. The dioceses do not place children with unmarried, civil-union couples – whether gay or heterosexual. The dioceses sued the state to retain the right to continue their long-standing mission of caring for abandoned and neglected children. The court ruled against them, and the dioceses were forced to dismantle their foster care operations.
Yes, the dioceses filed the lawsuit – but only after the state threatened their contracts. Most importantly, Senate debate on the civil unions legislation expressly assured that religious social service agencies would NOT be affected by the legislation.
Catholic Conference of Illinois
The dioceses lost their case because the court ruled that no group has an inherent right to a state contract. I stand by what I said. One lawsuit does not a “litigious nightmare” make. Add in two more lawsuits mentioned in the comment section by Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society and I still don’t buy into the “litigious nightmare” argument.
Also, even assuming their logic is correct, then wouldn’t pretty much all the state and federal anti-discrimination laws regarding race, gender, age and religious affiliation be classified as “litigious nightmares” because of the countless lawsuits they’ve spawned over the decades? And, more importantly, is that a valid reason to oppose those protections?