An anti-gay foster care bill that was unsuccessfully introduced repeatedly in the Illinois General Assembly last year has made its first 2012 appearance.
House Bill 3942 seeks to make it legal for religious institutions to turn away foster care applications "if acceptance of that application would constitute a violation of the organization's sincerely held religious beliefs."
Similar bills were introduced repeatedly last year after civil unions went into effect and a group Catholic charities lost their foster care contracts for refusing to place children with same-sex spouses. The charities sued the state and lost when a judge ruled that the charities were not entitled to the contracts.
Advocates have said that such bills pose a threat to LGBT people but are unlikely to make it far.
"This is the same bill that we have been fighting for a year now," said Anthony Martinez, executive director of The Civil Rights Agenda, in a statement. "It is just another attempt to codify into law the ability to discriminate against Gay people. The separation of Church and State is absolutely imperative to this argument, because these agencies are State funded. They are funded with tax payer's money, so they should have to follow the laws like every other State funded agency. The fair-minded voters and elected officials of Illinois do not allow discrimination, and this should not be the exception."