A Catholic Charity called Catholic Charities of Buffalo is ending its adoption program, stating that New York’s ban on discrimination of same-sex couples as the reason.
The charity has a contract with Erie County Department of Social Services to place children in foster and adoptive families. This contract was broken by the organisation by discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation which is not allowed by New York State law standards.
The Catholic Charities of Buffalo argued that placing children with same-sex couples is not “consistent with the teaching of the church.”
“We’re a Catholic organization,” said Dennis Walczyk, CEO of Catholic Charities.
A same-sex couple approached the organisation to become foster parents and the agency said that this led to its decision to end all adoption and foster services.
“The Catholic Church holds that the only marriage is between a man and a woman,” said Sister Mary McCarrick, Catholic Charities diocesan director, to explain why the organization wants to discriminate.
“Discrimination of any kind is illegal and in this case, OCFS will vigorously enforce the laws designed to protect the rights of children and same-sex couples,” said a Children and Family Services spokesperson.
“In New York State, we welcome all families who are ready to provide loving and nurturing homes to foster or adoptive children. There is no place for providers that choose not to follow the law.”
Catholic Charities of Buffalo helps to arrange about five adoptions per year and all children they are currently working with “will be made aware of other organizations here that provide similar services.”
Separation of Church and State
This isn’t the first time Church and State law have collided.
In July, Accord, a state-supported group of Catholic marriage counsellors, were ordered to cater to same-sex couples if they wanted to keep their funding. Previously, the service had a formal policy against accepting said couples due to religious beliefs.
The government has threatened that unless Accord introduced a new service level agreement, meaning they stopped discrimination against people based on sexual orientation, all funding would be withdrawn. This could eventually progress to the group being shut down altogether.
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