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Catholic adoption agency told to serve same-sex couples
The court ruling against the agency may set a legal precedent.
- United Kingdom
- November 5, 2012
The adoption agency based in Leeds, had taken its case to the Upper Tribunal in order to win the right to maintain charitable status while being permitted to refuse to place children with same-sex couples, in accordance with the charity‚Äôs Catholic ethos.
However, they were defeated today as the Charity Commission argued that the charity‚Äôs stance is ‚Äúdivisive, capricious and arbitrary‚ÄĚ and undermined the dignity of homosexual couples whose parenting abilities are ‚Äúbeyond question‚ÄĚ.
The tribunal concluded that Catholic Care had failed to come up with ‚Äúweighty and convincing reasons‚ÄĚ as to why the agency should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples who were trying to access their services.
Emma Dixon, who was representing the Charity Commission, told tribunal judge, Mr Justic Sales, that Catholic Care‚Äôs desried arrangement would violate Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which outlaws discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and other characteristics. She said: ‚ÄúA requirement to operate within the tenets of the Church cannot constitute Article 14 justification.
‚ÄúTo do so would be to offer protection to the substance of the Church‚Äôs belief that homosexuality is sinful.
‚ÄúTo do so would not only be divisive, capricious and arbitrary, it would be excluding from assessment couples whose personal qualities and aptitude for child-rearing are beyond question.‚ÄĚ
She added: ‚ÄúThere is, as the charity now accepts, no basis whatsoever for calling into question the skills and abilities of same-sex couples as adoptive parents, including as parents of ‚Äėhard to place‚Äô children‚Ä¶it is not necessary to exclude same-sex couples in order to find suitable and loving adoptive parents for children.
‚ÄúIndeed, the reverse is true. To exclude from assessment same-sex couple‚Äôs whose personal qualities and aptitude for child rearing are beyond question would be to allow considerations favouring marriage to prevail over the best interests of the chlid, which would be neither objectively justified nor proportionate.‚ÄĚ
Full Story:¬†Catholic Care loses its five-year legal battle
Source: Catholic Herald