As more states legalize civil unions, the question has arisen whether openly gay couples should be allowed to be foster parents.
The debate has heated up in Illinois, a state where civil unions recently became legal. The concern is over faith-based organizations who licence foster care parents. These religious agencies receive public funds, but they turn away potential foster parents who are openly gay because of their religious teachings.
As of now, Illinois state officials have begun to research whether or not faith-based organizations are breaking anti-discrimination laws in turning away gay foster parents. If found in violation of these laws, according to this Chicago Tribune article, over 3,000 children in the foster care system could be affected. The organizations could also loose thousands of dollars in state funding.
So, the debate continues, are Illinois faith-based organizations breaking the law? And what about the thousands of children in the system that could be affected if these faith-based organizations loose their funding? And then, there is the question of the children who could be helped by gay foster parents?
The debate continues.