An Illinois judge ruled late July 12 that the State of Illinois termination of its contracts with Catholic agencies providing foster care and adoption services risks causing “irreparable injury" to the nearly 2,000 children involved.
In issuing his temporary injunction order, Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Schmidt’s decision stated that “recognition today of the grave harm that would result if Catholic Charities was forced out of its long-standing mission of serving children in foster care and adoption.” Catholic Charities agencies in the dioceses of Peoria, Springfield, Joliet and Belleville had their contracts cancelled by the Illinois Department of Children and Family services in early July because they would not comply with the newly passed Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act.
This case is a harbinger of the looming battle for religious liberty in our nation and here in the State of Rhode Island. In June, Illinois passed the deceptively named Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, which legalized same-sex civil unions. Three Catholic dioceses that provide adoption services were warned that they were suspected of discriminating in not placing adopted children with same-sex couples. This latest case in Illinois is yet another chapter in the continuing series of efforts to exclude the Catholic Church completely from providing services unless they renounce the tenets of the Catholic faith and submit to a radical homosexual agenda increasingly crawling across the nation.
Other legal actions are being enacted by pro-abortion groups across the nation to force Catholic hospitals to perform and provide immoral services contrary to Catholic faith. Here in Rhode Island religious institutions are protected from such attacks on their religious freedom by the Corvese Amendment of the recently passed Civil Union Bill. However, many advocates of homosexual marriage- including some elected officials- have already begun to call for the removal of the Corvese Amendment claiming that Catholic institutions that follow Catholic teaching faithfully are discriminatory.
In their shouts for tolerance, the advocates for homosexual marriage neglect to include tolerance for people and institutions of religious faith. Sadly, in many states politicians -including some who call themselves Catholic- have sacrificed religious liberty on the altar of political correctness run amuck. Time and again when given the opportunity to allow the principle of religious liberty to be applied to religious institutions that provide much needed social services, the totalitarian apparatchiks of the homosexual marriage movement have attacked religious liberty and freedom in their relentless quest to redefine marriage at all costs.
We are thankful to Rhode Island Representative Arthur Corvese who had the courage and tenacity to stand up against this pervasive totalitarian mentality that attacks religious liberty seemingly in the name of tolerance and equality. We call upon all Rhode Islanders, especially members of the Catholic community, to continue the fight for religious freedom and the right of conscience, so that people and institutions of religious faith are able to practice their beliefs without interference of the state. It is clear that this is to be a long-term battle, and there are more attacks on the horizon. Together we can fight for our first liberty, religious freedom, for it must be never be allowed to be sacrificed by the intolerance of our secular society.