A Catholic charity that has prepared to open a home for underage victims of human trafficking has reached a resolution with California authorities after it was allegedly pressured to affirm LGBT sexuality, to inject sex hormones into any beneficiaries who identify as transgender, and to agree to drive minors to abortion clinics.
“We were able to meet the state regulations in a way that did not compromise our conscience as a Catholic agency,” Grace Williams, founder and executive director of Children of the Immaculate Heart, told CNA.
The San Diego-based Children of the Immaculate Heart, which has served adult victims of human trafficking since 2013, had aimed to open a house for girls age 12-17 who had been victims of human trafficking. The charity has sought a license for the project for three years.
In November 2019 it filed a lawsuit accusing California officials of delaying the license for the project and violating its constitutional rights. The charity had invested $600,000 in the project and was paying rent and maintenance costs of $15,000 a month.
“It was a big financial hit. It’s a one more year delay. We rented an empty facility for three years,” said Williams, who described the lawsuit as “extremely time-consuming.”
The charity and the government settled outside of court after California requested the process go to mediation. On June 10 the California Department of Social Services issued the organization a provisional license to operate The Refuge as a short-term residential therapeutic program.
Staff training at The Refuge starts next week.
Full story at Catholic News Agency.