A Catholic adoption agency was told today it cannot turn away gay couples if its wants to keep its charitable status in a landmark court ruling.
Defeated: A Catholic adoption agency has been told it cannot turn away gay couples if its wants to keep its charitable status (file photo)
The case is particularly unique because it sets the tenets of the Roman Catholic Church against European law.
Catholic Care, a voluntary adoption agency based in Leeds, asked the Upper Tribunal to sanction its refusal to recognise same-sex couples as potential adopters and to restrict its services to ‘Nazarene families’ of father, mother and child.
‘Nazarene families’ refers to Jesus of Nazareth, who was fathered by a man, Joseph, and a woman, Mary.
But the Charity Commission fought the case every inch of the way, insisting that the charity’s stance is ‘divisive, capricious and arbitrary’ and ‘demeaning’ to the dignity of homosexual couples whose parenting abilities are ‘beyond question’.
Today the Commission won the debate when the tribunal ruled that Catholic Care had failed to come up with ‘weighty and convincing reasons’ why it should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples on grounds of their sexual orientation.
The long-established adoption agency said during the case that it would be forced to close if it lost the dispute.
Catholic Care argued its work in finding new homes for ‘hard to place’ children is of enormous social value and saves the public purse about £10 million-a-year by removing youngsters from the care system and placing them with adopters.
If banned from only recognising married heterosexual couple as potential adopters, it argued children would be the losers as its funding through Church collections and other voluntary donations would inevitably dry up and it would have to close.
However, Emma Dixon, for the Commission, told tribunal judge, Mr Justice Sales, that Catholic Care’s stance was in clear violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which outlaws discrimination on sexual orientiation and other grounds.
-more at Mail Online.