A UK Catholic adoption agency is asking a judge to grant it the right to deny its services to gay couples today (13 September).
Catholic Care has gone to the Upper Tribunal in London to ask the court to defy anti-discrimination laws, and agree only heterosexual couples should be allowed to raise a child.
Justice Sales told the group it is forbidden from restricting their services to married heterosexual couple, the Times reports.
He believes it would be in violation of the Equality Act 2010, which says no company is allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation.
It is the fourth time the Leeds-based charity has gone to appeal against anti-discrimination laws, and they say they are prepared to go to the European Court of Human Rights.
The Charity Commission has twice turned down Catholic Care, stating being gay does not affect your ability to be a parent.
Catholic Care’s Monica Carss-Frisk said if the charity’s objection to placing children with gay couples was not acknowledged, she said the adoption agency would cease to exist from lack of donations.
She said: ‘The alternative is the services are not provided at all, to the detriment of children in need of adoption.’
Referring to the charity’s predicament, she said the Charity Commission’s focus on the rights of same-sex couples, rather than children in need of adoption, was ‘tantamount to putting the interests of the helper before those of the helpless’.
Gareth Morgan, professor of Charity Studies at Sheffield Hallam University, said he felt Catholic Care’s argument was implausible.
He said: ‘On the contrary I think most Catholics will be very cautious about supporting a charity with such a narrow interpretation of Catholic social responsibility.’