The Corner

Ideology Trumps Child Welfare, Again — This Time in Illinois

In recent days and weeks, I’ve been pounding at the theme of how our culture and legal system place paramount importance on adult desires. Even when directly dealing with a child’s well-being (including their very right to life), the greater concern is adult happiness.

The latest example comes from Illinois, where a county judge ruled the state can decline to renew its contracts with Catholic Charities to provide publicly funded foster care and adoption services. While I haven’t read the court opinion (and thus can’t opine on the legal merits of the decision), the public policy is horrific. After the passage of the state’s civil-unions bill, Illinois officials told Catholic Charities that its policy of placing children only in married households or where single parents live alone violated state anti-discrimination law and did not fit within the very narrow religious liberty protections contained in the civil-unions statute.  

The consequence? More than 2,000 children are in danger of removal from Catholic Charities’ care — without any evidence that its care is deficient or harmful to these children. Ironically enough, this ruling comes the same week that research from the University of Virginia’s National Marriage Project unequivocally reaffirms that children do better in married households — the very households Catholic Charities prefers.

Same-sex marriage advocates have long minimized its impact on religious liberty, but as this and other examples show, both religious liberty and child welfare are ultimately subordinate to sexual freedom.  

I had to chuckle when I read this quote from Kendall Marlowe, a state spokesman: “It’s in the best interest of children that we have an orderly transition.” Really? It’s in their best interest that they move from the care of a faithful and loving Catholic institution? In reality, the state only started to think about children’s interests after it made the decision to end its relationship with Catholic Charities. The transition itself driven by ideology, only its manner is dictated by child welfare.


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