A Catholic diocese in the US state of Illinois has been fined $1.3 million after refusing to allow the legal recognition of same-sex unions.
The Order of the Holy Cross was ordered to pay $1,000 per day in fines, which were ordered by the state’s Department of Revenue in a ruling handed down in court on Thursday.
It was ordered in December last year to cease allowing same-gender marriages and perform a public relations campaign to convince parishioners that the diocese was “a good place to live”.
The diocese is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, which has a policy against same- gender marriage.
The diocesan spokesman, Daniel Schoell, declined to comment when contacted by the AFP news agency on Friday.
“We’re going to continue to fight for the rights of all Catholics,” he said.
The order comes a year after the US Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, a law which denied benefits to gay and lesbian couples.