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Catholic Care forced to offer adoption services to homosexual couples

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A Catholic social care organisation has been told by a tribunal that it must provide its adoption services to homosexual couples.

Catholic Care, which operates in the diocese of Leeds, has been unwilling to place children with homosexual couples. This stance brought them into conflict with the Charity Commission, after Sexual Orientation Regulations were introduced in 2007 as part of the Equality Act, which required adoption agencies to accept homosexual couples as adoptive parents.

The disagreement led to the case being heard in the High Court last year but was referred back to the Charity Commission, which refused to support Catholic Care’s position. The Commission ruled that Catholic Care could not change its constitution to continue to allow it to place children only with heterosexual couples. It also ruled that homosexuals are suitable parents and religious views do not justify “discrimination”.

At the time of the case, Mark Wiggin, Chief Executive of Catholic Care, said: "In effect, we are being invited either to stop our adoption work or stop being a Catholic charity. Neither of these options is acceptable to our trustees, our beneficiaries or supporters."

Catholic Care appealed the ruling but this appeal has now been dismissed by a tribunal in a decision announced today.  Catholic Care was the last Catholic adoption charity to continue its fight against the equality legislation, after all but two of the dozen Catholic agencies closed or severed their ties with the Church.

Those who see ‘equality’ legislation as failing to strike the correct balance between sexual orientation rights and Christian freedoms will see this latest decision as further evidence that the Equality Act needs to be urgently reviewed before more Christian charities are effectively barred from offering public services because of their widely held orthodox beliefs.

Andrea Minichiello Williams of the Christian Legal Centre commented:

“The decision of the Tribunal to refuse Catholic Care in Leeds the right to amend its adoption policy is yet another example of the problems that ‘equality’ legislation is causing for those who hold orthodox Christian beliefs.

The legislation is effectively squeezing out Christians who wish to serve society by requiring that they act against their conscience in matters of sexual ethics. The Equality Act, which is presented as a means of securing a more tolerant society, has again been used as a form of State sponsored intolerance.

At a time when well over 50,000 children in the UK are in need of a home, we cannot afford to exclude those who are willing to provide a crucial service just because they do not agree with a small minority who are pushing a homosexual agenda under the guise of ‘equal rights.’”

Source:

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