Bishops end suit against Ill. civil unions

Nov. 15, 2011 at 5:38 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- Roman Catholic bishops in Illinois have decided to drop an appeal of a state law that requires them to license same-sex couples as foster parents.

Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton, Joliet Bishop Daniel Conlon of Joliet and Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki say Illinois' civil union law has effectively forced them to drop foster care services, the St. Louis (Missouri) Post-Dispatch reported. The dioceses could face discrimination charges if they do not allow couples in civil unions to serve as foster parents.

The courts are also to blame for refusing "to grant a stay for these operations to continue while further appeals are pending," the bishops said. As a result, their dioceses cannot afford to provide foster services while maintaining their religious principles, they said.

In a statement, the bishops said they decided to drop their legal action "with great regret."

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