Charities releases statement on civil unions bill

on Wednesday, 23 January 2013.

Catholics in Colorado have been committed to the care of children for more than 100 years. From the orphanages of the early 1900s to the foster care programs caring for neglected, abused and abandoned children, Catholic Charities has been unfailingly committed to the care of children. We’re proud to provide the safety and permanency of loving homes, by partnering with courageous foster care and adoptive families.

The foster care and adoption services of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver have stood as beacons of hope for thousands of children in need. Through birth parent counseling, adoption services, foster care and kinship care, we promote and uphold the sanctity of human life, especially the fragile and innocent lives of little children.
 
Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Denver is committed to providing compassionate care for those in need—especially children. We are also fervently committed to respecting life and promoting the dignity of every person we serve, according to the wisdom and teachings of our Catholic faith.

Colorado’s Senate Judiciary Committee gathers today to hear testimony on Senate Bill 11 on civil unions. As currently written, Senate Bill 11 unduly restricts the freedom of child placement agencies like Catholic Charities.

We partner with foster and adoptive families to form a community of support, and a community in faith. SB 11, as currently written, restricts the ability of agencies like Catholic Charities to partner with foster and adoptive families who share common purpose, and live common values.  Without safeguards to protect religious communities, the vital work of many child placement agencies in Colorado will be threatened.

Legal protection for the work of religious communities has been included in nearly identical versions of this same legislation throughout the past two years. We urge Colorado lawmakers to reintroduce a similar exemption into SB 11, thus protecting Colorado’s children by protecting all of the agencies who aid them.

Our mission is to provide children in need with the love and care they deserve, and to support all of our foster and adoptive families, particularly those who desire to serve these children in the context of their own faith-based community. We hope that Colorado lawmakers will join us in support of this invaluable mission, and in support of Colorado’s children.

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