A Roman Catholic charity has lost their fight to stop gay people from adopting from their agency.
UK-based adoption agency Catholic Care had gone to the Upper Tribunal to sanction its belief in refusing same-sex couples as potential parents.
However the Charity Commission, the regulator for charities in England and Wales, has insisted Catholic Care’s stance is ‘divisive, capricious and arbitrary’, and demeaning to the dignity of gay couples.
Yesterday (2 November), the commission won the debate when the tribunal ruled Catholic Care had failed to come up with ‘weighty and convincing reasons’ why it should be allowed to discriminate.
In a statement, Catholic Care said it will now be forced to close its adoption service.
‘The reason for this is that the service permitted by the current constitution is in conflict with the aims of the charity,’ they said.
‘It is Catholic Care’s view that this will reduce the number of adoptive parents available and the number of children left waiting for adoptive parents will continue to increase.’
The organization argued children would be the ‘losers’ in the situation because donations would inevitably dry up.
Emma Dixon, from the commission, said Catholic Care’s views were in clear violation of Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights which outlaws discrimination on sexual orientation.
She said, if the agency won the argument, it would allow other charities to ‘engage in acts of discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation, or other protected characteristics, on the bases only of the irrational or bigoted prejudices of its donors.’
Dixon added: ‘A requirement to operate within the tenets of the Church cannot constitute Article 14 justification.
‘To do so would be to offer protection to the substance of the Church’s belief that homosexuality is sinful.
‘To do so would not only be divisive, capricious and arbitrary, it would be excluding from assessment couples whose personal qualities and aptitude for childrearing is beyond question.’