Catholic charities in Illinois are suing the state over a new law that requires adoption agencies to place children with gay couples.
Social service agencies of three dioceses -- Springfield, Peoria and Joliet - say doing so violates their faith and want to continue their practice of referring gay couples to other agencies - something the agencies have done for years.
"We're still considering our options," said Gary Huelsmann, executive director of Catholic Social Services of Southern Illinois.
"We are really interested in serving the children, and we really hope that the state will be able to accommodate our religious beliefs, and that we can continue to provide the excellent services we've been giving abused and neglected children for years," he added.
Gay rights advocates say Catholic charities must follow the law because taxpayer money pays for its adoption and foster care services.
Meanwhile, the three dioceses have stopped taking new cases until the issue is resolved.