A UK Catholic adoption agency ‘Catholic Care’ continues its homophobic fight against gay couples with its latest appeal being heard in London currently. This latest action is just a small part of its ongoing campaign to be legally allowed to prevent gay couples from using its adoption services, regardless of potential benefits for parentless children in its care.
This latest action is the fourth in a series of appeals launched by the Leeds based catholic charity group since the UK’s Charity Commission refused their request in late 2008 to change its charitable objectives.
Unsurprisingly Catholic Care claims that unless it is able to exclude gay people from using its adoption facilities it would lose funding from the church and be forced to close down the service. Yet, there have been no public statements from the church to confirm funding would be withdrawn from the agency should they comply with equality laws and basic human rights in allowing committed gay couples using the services
Legal advisors for Catholic Care argued on Wednesday that the charity tribunal “misdirected itself” in ruling against Catholic Care in April last year. They also want to make use of legal exclusion just for charities in section 193 of the Equality Act 2010, which it claims can allow discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation provided it is “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.
Naomi Phillips, a spokesperson for the British Humanist Association said ““When groups are providing public services, not least vital services such as adoption, it is legitimate to prevent unjustified discrimination, as the law seeks to do, in order to ensure that those services are equal, accessible and operate in the interests of those they are helping.”
Ruth Hunt, public affairs director at leading gay and human rights charity Stonewall, said no publicly-funded organisation should be allowed to act on the basis of “narrow organisational prejudice”.
“We shouldn’t forget that it’s children who would lose out if the agency’s bid succeeds,” she said. “Hundreds of children are adopted from care each year by brilliant gay parents offering love, stability and support.
“It’s astonishing that Catholic Care would prefer to have seen those children remain in care.”
The hearing continues.