Monday, August 22, 2011
The Chicago Tribune reports that a state court has ruled that the state of Illinois can refuse to renew its contracts with Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Springfield-in-Illinois to provide publicly funded foster care and adoption services in that state based on the charity's turning away of openly gay parents. I previously blogged about this dispute, which was trigged by a new state law requiring recipients of state money to treat people in civil unions as they would treat married couples. The court concluded that despite a contractual relationship stretching over four decades, the charity did not have a legally recognized protected property interest in the renewal of the contracts at issue. The court therefore did not reach the question of whether the decision not to renew violated due process or, according to the article, the charity's argument based on free exercise of religion and a religious exemption in the new state law.