anti-discrimination laws, investigation
anti-discrimination laws, investigation

Should Anti-Gay Christians Receive State Foster Care Funding?

Illinois officials have launched an investigation into Christian religious organizations who serve as foster care centers for children while receiving state funding. The problem? It’s no secret that many Christian groups are vocal opponents of homosexuality. The state of Illinois is concerned that gay children being raised under anti-gay caregivers, or gay parents who wish to adopt are victims going unprotected by the state’s anti-discrimination laws.

Whoa! We’ve honestly never considered this before, but when you look at it like that, it’s kind of a no-brainer.

The Sacramento Bee reports:

Though the civil unions legislation factors into the inquiry, the issue came to light months earlier when Lutheran Child and Family Services turned away a gay male couple when they tried to become mentors for a gay runaway in the Lutheran agency’s care. The policies of Lutheran Child and Family Services, which is affiliated with the conservative Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, preclude “developing or licensing foster care families who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or questioning.”

The policy reflects the conservative doctrine and teaching of the Missouri Synod Lutheran denomination, which in 2006 issued a proclamation that said placing adoptive or foster children in a household with gay parents would violate church teachings.

Officials at several of the religious agencies at the center of the state’s investigation argue that they are shielded by an executive order signed by President Barack Obama last November ensuring that faith-based organizations can provide social services with federal funds without sacrificing their “religious character.”

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Gov. Pat Quinn’s legal team and the Department of Child and Family Services see it differently. Each is conductive an investigation into the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Civil Unions Bill and the Illinois Constitution seeking out possible violations.

Several of the Christian organizations that would face defunding say they will not change their ways, no matter the legal or financial ramifications. Haters gon’ hate, y’all.

On one hand, it would be unfortunate to see any children lose their home, foster or otherwise, if their caretakers were unable to afford to provide for them. On the other, I was a foster child myself, and it was really weird knowing I was not able to talk about the fact that I was gay. The birth-son of one set of foster parents I lived with until I turned 18 warned me not to let his parents know I was gay. I hated living a secret life, and it was difficult and extremely stressful to pretend to be something I wasn’t. As someone who was kicked out of his family’s home for being gay, I can attest to the fact that living in fear of being disowned is hardly an option anyone should be forced to endure.

It seems to me that the obvious solution here is for Christians to just live and let freaking live. Love the sinner, hate the sin. What Would Jesus Do? All that jazz! The time of religious organizations getting a hall pass on discrimination is obviously drawing to a close. England is forcing churches to allow gays to wed in them, for goodness sake. Evolve, churches. Hate isn’t a good look on anyone.

What do you think of all this? Should Illinois refuse to allow churches practicing discrimination to serve as foster parents? Are they protecting kids or potentially harming them?

Via Sacramento Bee