Illinois Catholics Dispute Foster-Care Law in Court

By Staff | July 12, 2011 | 12:29 PM EDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Three Catholic dioceses in Illinois are asking a judge to hold up enforcement of a law that would force them to place foster kids with gay couples.

Catholic officials in Peoria, Joliet and Springfield have sued over the state's civil union law because they oppose on religious grounds allowing gays in newly recognized civil unions to adopt children or provide foster care.

The state Department of Children and Family Services says it won't renew foster-care and adoption contracts with the not-for-profit organization Catholic Charities.

The move involves about 2,000 children, but state officials say their foster care won't be affected.

A hearing for a temporary restraining order in the lawsuit is scheduled before Circuit Judge John Schmidt this afternoon.