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Ill. must refer foster kids to Catholic agency

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

A judge has confirmed that Illinois must temporarily continue referring foster children to Catholic Charities, despite the group's policy on gay couples.

The Department of Children and Family Services had taken the position it could maintain current cases but did not have to send new children to the not-for-profit group. Both sides agreed Monday that new cases will be referred.

DCFS ended its foster-care and adoption services with Catholic Charities July 1 because it says the group discriminates by not allowing gay couples to take kids.

Catholic Charities sued. It says the state's new civil unions law does not require it to place children with unmarried couples.

Sangamon County Judge John Schmidt ruled last week that the foster-care contracts stay in place until an August hearing.