The Civil Rights Agenda ( TCRA ) filed testimony Mar. 23 at the Illinois Senate Subcommittee on Civil Rights, as Senate Bill 2495 ( SB2495 ) was voted down 2-1.
The bill, which was backed by Catholic Charities, would have allowed religioun-affiliated child-welfare agencies to decline adoptions or foster family applications to same-sex couples.
"This bill has been brought up multiple times over the course of a year and a half in both houses of the General Assembly," TCRA Executive Director Anthony Martinez said. "As a Catholic, I am saddened that Catholic Charities has stepped away from providing these services based solely on discrimination."
TCRA has worked with the ACLU of Illinois since October 2011 to kill SB2495.
"That bill is not about protecting children or the best interest of foster kids; it is blatant anti-gay discrimination, pure and simple," said Rick Garcia, TCRA's newly appointed policy advisor. "These groups are using kids as an issue, and that's really offensive."
ACLU Legislative Director Mary Dixon testified before the Senate subcommittee March 23, and Martinez and Garcia spent the day in Springfield appealing to politicians.
Downstate Republican Rep. Dwight Kay filed a bill with similar language in the Illinois General Assembly Dec. 28, 2011. HB3942, as its known, has not yet been called to a vote.
Garcia promised TCRA will continue to monitor and shut down anti-LGBT legislation as it appears.
"Last year we killed six anti-gay bills in Springfield," Garcia said. "This is the first one this year, so we're off and running."