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Catholic Care loses its five-year legal battle

By on Friday, 2 November 2012

Childhood and Family Life

The adoption agency Catholic Care has lost its five year fight to reserve its services for heterosexual couples only, in a landmark court ruling.

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’s Catholic ethos.

However, they were defeated today as the Charity Commission argued that the charity’s stance is “divisive, capricious and arbitrary” and undermined the dignity of homosexual couples whose parenting abilities are “beyond question”.

The tribunal concluded that Catholic Care had failed to come up with “weighty and convincing reasons” 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’s 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: “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 child-rearing are beyond question.”

She added: “There 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 ‘hard to place’ children…it is not necessary to exclude same-sex couples in order to find suitable and loving adoptive parents for children.

“Indeed, the reverse is true. To excluse from assessment same-sex couple’s 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.”

But Monica Carss-Frisk QC, who represented Catholic Care, argued that the Commission’s focus put the needs of children second and said it was “tantamount to putting the interests of the helper before those of the helpless”.

  • Pearlhopk

    Good potential adoptors are being rejected by Councils because they say honestly when asked they privately disagree with the gay agenda that is enough to ensure they are rejected.
    So the liberal society is producing these human casualties ( unmarried mothers, feckless fathers, multiple partners etc ) and when good people step in to try to help to repair the damage they are being rejected.
    So both ways these children are being abandoned.
    This means that the only people who will soon be able to adopt will be gays which of course is the intention of the state to pevert the morals of the country and enslave a younger generation.
    Someone once said that when homosexuality becomes complusory I’m leaving the country.
    But that of course is excatly what the totalitarian agenda of the gays and the government is.

  • whytheworldisending

    You see no difference but that doesn’t mean there isn’t any. Not everybody has the gift of discernment, and in any event you are in no position to know. Even parents themselves fail to spot children suffering in silence. Overconfidence is inappropriate when talking about other people’s feelings. How you feel is one thing, but don’t assume that it reflects the reality.

  • whytheworldisending

    Maybe the child doesn’t want to be “loved and cherished” by homosexuals, but they don’t get a say in the matter do they.

  • whytheworldisending

    You said, “If your ability to understand the rules of conduct of society is so damaged that you need somebody else to tell you what they are then you have a problem.”

    That is precisely where society is going. The further we stray from our God given natural aversion to evil, the less we are able to hear the voice of our conscience.

    Mankind has not – as you appear to suppose – evolved to be different to 2,000 years ago, and neither have the rules governing how we relate to one another. Ancient Wisdom has not become out of date just because we have TV, motors and iphones. As to bacteria, they still behave as they always did – they migrate from the rectum to the ureter and back cross-contaminating and spreading more rapidly to kill humans if you give them the chance.

    Gaytheist propaganda is a pathogen’s charter, but I suppose we’ll have to wait until the micro-organisms get so powerful that they threaten to wipe us all out before the non-believers rediscover the same principles spelt out thousands of years ago. The next AIDS/influenza/TB pandemic should satisfy the evidence junkies, but what a price for the majority to have to pay for the arrogance and self-indulgence of a tiny Gaytheist minority.

  • whytheworldisending

    Continuing the “sleep” analogy the Christian way is to vote with your feet, as the Gospels say if they won’t listen shake the dust off your feet as a a sign to them as you leave. However (a) that doesn’t mean stop speaking the truth and (b) like the person next to the noisy neighbours, you can’t always just leave, which is why we have laws against public nuisance. The law protects rights – it doesn’t say everyone has to go to bed at 8pm, but it does inhibit noisy behaviour that causes a nuisance. If the law started promoting noise late at night and failing to protect the rights of the majority (who sleep at night) simply because some people were noisy and nocturnal party animals, there would be uproar. Forcing homosexual adoption and homosexual “marriage” on the majority would have the same effect, (though not straight away because unlike sleep deprivation, the disbenefits of increased disease, immorality, social disorder, sexual abuse and crime generally would take a while to become manifest) In other words, there would be a backlash sooner or later.

    Religion is, in principle, the source of shared values and is the sourcer of those shared British values which are good. In practice where religion is underminbed, the values in society become increasingy antagonistic and divisive until the society implodes and is taken over by a more cohesive society based on values derived from shared religion. There is only one ideal community which lasts and that is the people who follow Christ. All other so-called “communities” are essentially clubs. That doesn’t make them bad; just self-interest groups based on short term interests which are shared as long as they are useful to the members. All clubs discriminate against non-members.

    Your opinion is based on the common misunderstanding that anyone who calls themselves a christian is one. Christianity is about freedom. We refuse to worship false gods or idols, and the Gaytheist agenda is about enslaving people of faith and decent people generally by forcing them to adhere to their corrupt values. It cannot be done. Ordinary people (as your last paragraph implies) are not so easily pushed around. 

  • whytheworldisending

    The statistics are clear. Try to bend them to suit your view if you wish, but people aren’t stupid. Government will have to recognise the situation and change th e law when they see the damage being done to children. I hope that comes sooner rather than later for the sake of the children.

  • whytheworldisending

    The rest of you being 1.5% of the population? You are entitled to your opinion, but the 98.5% are entitled to be as quaint, silly and uncompromising as the minority. Dawkins is boring and so are your latest replies, because you have no argument – only petty insults. If you can explain why the 98.5% should put up with being exposed to pathogens like AIDS, and why they should want homosexuals to adopt their kids, I’d be interested to hear it, but I don’t think anybody can. Sandals off and sand shook away as you are not listening.

  • Megaera

    With regard to the problems which you associate with the acceptance of homosexual adoption and marriage, I have to say that I think you are mistaken.

    *Increased disease:* I think you are referring to AIDS here.  The highest rates in the world of AIDS and of new HIV are actually among *heterosexual* populations in parts of Africa where men are not usually expected to be faithful to their female partners.  Overall, homosexual behaviour per se is not high-risk – especially when you consider that women who are exclusively homosexual are at the lowest risk for infection of all sexually active adults – it is promiscuous penetrative sex and use of illegal drugs which are the main risk factors.  Ultimately, if we assume that heterosexual marriage leads to increased fidelity between partners, then it is reasonable to assume that permitting homosexual marriage will do the same. 

    *Immorality:* (Given the context, I think you mean sexual immorality here: please correct me if I am wrong.)  I think we can agree that immorality is far from uncommon among heterosexuals, and even among married people.  I am certainly not going to argue that all homosexual people are strictly monogamous – that would be as ridiculous an assertion as that all heterosexual people are strictly monogamous – but I think  neither group has the corner on that particular market.  I would be very surprised if the majority of pornography and the majority of sex workers in the world were not aimed at the heterosexual market.  In fairness, I have to admit that this is a guess only, but I would be surprised if I was wrong.  Sadly, it seems that nowhere is safe from really appalling immorality: there have been far too many instances of improper – and even predatory – sexual behaviour from religious leaders and people who claim to be Christians.  

    *Social Disorder:* I think, again, that it’s pretty undeniable that we already have plenty of that.  Some of it, in fact, is actually aimed at LGBT people, who are attacked and sometimes killed just because they are LGBT.

    *Sexual Abuse:*  Please see ‘immorality’ above.  Most of the recent high-profile cases of sexual abuse have involved people who regard themselves as Christian and even as Catholic, and who are heterosexual.  The latest instance is a female lawyer who worked for the Christian organisation Alliance Defending Freedom, who was found to be making child pornography. http://www.concordmonitor.com/home/2790496-95/biron-charges-lawyer-manchester

    *Crime:* I do not have facts and figures at hand, but I would be surprised if LGBT people were over-represented in the prison population.  That is to say, naturally, there would be less of them, as they are a small sub-set of the population, but I would expect the proportions of heterosexual to homosexual to be about the same as they are in the general population.

    When it comes to all of these problems, I think it would make sense for us to focus on cleaning our own house first.  Or, in other words, to first pluck the beam from our own eye before remarking on the mote in our brother’s.  There is much to do, and I think that we do ourselves a disservice when we try to distract ourselves from our own failings – or try to make ourselves feel better about them – by exaggerating another’s.

    I have to disagree with you that religion is the source (I think you imply ‘only source’ but you have not said precisely that, so I may be mistaken) of good values.  I have known people of many religions and of none who have good values, a strong sense of right and wrong, and who are deeply compassionate.  I have also known (a lot fewer) people of many religions and none who are absolutely toxic and who use their religion (or lack of it) to justify their awful behaviour.  There are people out there – they have written how-to books – who advocate beating babies who cannot even sit up yet with sticks to ensure their good behaviour, and they find justification for their methods in the Bible.  Some of the people who follow these methods have actually killed children with beatings, but they believed they were acting in a proper Christian manner.  

    ‘All clubs discriminate against non-members.’  I think it would probably be more accurate to say that all clubs prefer their own members to outsiders.  However, this should never tip over into outright discrimination, which is actually illegal except in specific, exempted circumstances (such as faith schools; and access to religious rites which are available only to members who have met the necessary preconditions).  This kind of discrimination is restricted to the religious environment, and is not acceptable outside of that situation.  For example, I’m reasonably certain it would not be legal for a firm’s Catholic office manager to hire a less-qualified Catholic for a job over a more-qualified Protestant or atheist.  Just as it would be illegal for an atheist to hire a less qualified atheist for the job than a more-qualified Catholic.  Our rights extend only to the point where they negatively impact on another person’s rights.  And this is really just as well, since we would not like other people’s religious demands imposed upon us, either. 

    ‘Your opinion is based on the common misunderstanding that anyone who calls themselves a christian is one.’  How else can we define a Christian except as one who believes in Christ and who believes they are following Christ and His teachings to the best of their ability?  

    I’m not sure how recognising the rights of all to equal treatment under the law (rights which benefit Catholics, too) enslaves people of faith or forces them to adhere to any values they choose not to adhere to.  Nobody can ‘force’ us to adhere to values we have not chosen: there is always another way, though it may not be an easy one.  My father once gave up a permanent teaching post because the school he worked for would not admit a child simply because of the colour of his skin.  That was not an easy thing for him to do, but he felt it was the *right* thing, once he found that the administration of the school could not be reasoned out of their prejudices.  So he did it, and found another job instead.  How we live our lives is up to us, and how we worship will not be affected at all, nor should it.  Ultimately, I believe, we should follow the injunction to ‘render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is God’s’.  Legal contracts and laws = Caesar’s.  Religious rites = God’s.  It’s a mistake to confuse the two.  

    I agree totally with you that Christ’s injunction was to leave a town where you are not welcome, or are disrespected, and to shake even the dust of the place from your sandals.  I read this to mean that it is better to move on than to hold resentment or to respond with violence.  I was taught that the early Christians refused to prosecute people who had caused them harm if such prosecution was likely to result in a death sentence or scourging for the criminal: I feel that we have come a long way in the wrong direction from that point.  From the Crusades to the Spanish Inquisition to Christians and even Catholics demanding the death penalty in the face of ‘Thou shalt not kill’, we are far from the self-sacrificing forgiveness of the early Christians.  Far from shaking the dust from our sandals when we are offended (or even inconvenienced!), far from Christ-like compassion, we respond with aggression, and with a refusal to see our own flaws.  This can’t be right.

  • Acleron

    As I never said mankind evolved in 2000 years, I call strawman. I said that society has evolved.

    We have learned that equality for everyone is an excellent way of increasing enjoyment for all. You haven’t learned that because you have an outdated list of rules.

    Calling your ancient list, wisdom, degrades the meaning of wisdom.

    Your understanding of modern germ theory is as adequate as those whose rules you follow, ie non-existent.

    You obviously don’t even read the propaganda you espouse. Look up the plague of boils in your text book. Incidentally, the first example of biological warfare, thanks religion.

    Neither HIV, influenza nor tuberculin bacterium were introduced or caused by gays. Your prejudice overwhelms your senses so much, you just start making up fiction.

  • Acleron

    So your statistics are so clear you are unable to rebut the criticism of them. You merely repeat them over and over again, presumably in the hope of convincing some less discerning reader. Well, your ancients that you adore so much may have got away with such propaganda but these days we actually question such figures and look for a substantive response. I know being actually challenged is horrifying to you, so much better just to force people to accept any gibberish you produce. I can easily see why such a society would be more comforting to you.

  • Acleron

    You are quite attached to that 1.5% figure, although the problems with it have been explained very simply to you. But the rest of us who I refer to are those who don’t hold your obnoxious prejudices.

    And yet again you expose your ignorance of germ theory, the transmission of HIV, statistics, gosh, even just knowledge. You said you don’t need evidence. That is the call of every charlatan known to man. The only reason for saying it is that you don’t have any evidence.

    All you have is that burning prejudice for a section of humanity. And the sad fact is that if it wasn’t gays, you’d be hating some other group.

  • whytheworldisending

    New does not mean better. “Enjoyment” that causes suffering is evil, and from Satan. Repent.

  • whytheworldisending

    You appear to think of yourself as christian and say that as such you should follow Christ and his teachings. Why then are you promoting fornication and sexual immorality, which Jesus listed as evils. (See the discussion about what goes into a man which followed the disciples eating with unwashed hands) Why do yu call Him master and not do what he says?

    The molecular biology of AIDS shows that it originated in monkeys. Bestiality is not listed as an evil in the Gospels, but that doesn’t mean it is permitted.

  • whytheworldisending

    The Gaytheists are “comforted” by the thought that there is no afterlife – because they hope to escape the consequences of their deeds. You cannot escape from your creator, however you obviously have exhausted argument and resorted to personal attack which I don’t bother replying to. As with all the opposition in this matter, there is ultimately no ground for agreement  on the matter, because we have different values and are starting from opposite premises. If you don’t believe in God, then you will have no coherent basis for any coherent set of morals, so all I can say to you is repent.

  • whytheworldisending

    Like all christians, I hate sin, but love sinners – homosexuals, fornicators, adulterers and so on -  I just don’t want them near our children. And no amount of cajoling with evidence, or grooming with treats, or oppressive haranguing, will change that.

  • Megaera

    Honestly, the only thing I am ‘promoting’ (I would say ‘suggesting’) here is the concept – which I think strongly benefits Catholics as well as others – that our rights extend only so far.  I have said in an earlier comment that I think it is perfectly fine for us to make decisions for our own lives based on whatever criteria we prefer, whether we make our decisions based on religion, on strict rationality or on deep prejudice is up to us: we are entitled to choose whatever criteria we like, as long as it affects only our own lives.  However we cannot expect to be able to impose our religion – whatever that religion may be – on those who do not follow it.  
    The Church teaches that God gave us Free Will.  Restricting other people’s ability to exercise that free will does not mean we have prevented them from sinning, if they are only not acting because we have forced them not to.  It is not educating them about our opinions or teachings about those actions, either, as our judgmental attitude closes their minds to whatever we have to say.  It is merely forcing our religious will upon them, in exactly the way we would not want the religious will of Jews or of Muslims forced upon us.  A book I read as a young teen made a deep impression upon me.  It was about a young man living in the USSR who converted to Catholicism but was persecuted for his religion.  Why should he have been persecuted for living his own life, for making his own choices about how to live his life?  Why should anybody else?As a child, I asked my father: ‘If a person is trying to kill you, what is the right thing to do?  If you try to kill them before they kill you, then you are committing murder.  If you allow them to kill you, so that you can avoid committing murder, then you are committing suicide.’  He said that it was a difficult question, and that he thought there was no right answer.  But he thought the Church would take into consideration that if the murderer stayed alive, then there was a chance he might repent in future, whereas if he died, then he would die with a mortal sin on his soul.  He felt that to make the choice not to kill for that reason would mean your death would not be a suicide.  So I ask you, even though the Church considers homosexual sex a grievous sin, is it right to persecute people – sometimes only teenagers – with our judgement, to the point where they can no longer face life and die by suicide, which the Church teaches is a mortal sin?  How have we saved them from sin if we drive them to a greater sin?  And what is our responsibility – the cost to our own souls – of driving a person to mortal sin simply because we rate judgement higher than compassion?  ‘Judge not, lest ye yourselves be judged.’  I think also that you will find that Jesus himself said not a single word, positive or negative, about homosexual behaviour.  And considering that his country was a province of Rome at the time, it is beyond belief that he did not know about it.Yes, the evidence is that AIDS originated in monkeys.  However, the route of cross-transmission to humans was not bestiality, but hungry people hunting and eating the monkeys (among other animals) as ‘bush meat’.  Similarly, the SARS outbreak was most likely the result of people eating civet cats (a delicacy in Southern China) which had been infected by bats, and the most likely cause of vCJD is people eating cattle infected with CJD.  I hope this helps. :)

  • Acleron

    Try any objective measure of society, health, wealth, violence, life span and they have all improved in UK society.

    Your invention of the concept of evil is your own cross to bear. You revel in suffering, a famous example is Theresa who looks to be fast tracked to awards by you. She told a dying man, while refusing him pain killers, it was better to suffer. That is wrong and that your deity who tells you what your rules of conduct has to be doesn’t inform you of that is amazing. Anyone with common decency can see that behaviour is wrong why doesn’t your entity? You complain about abortion yet according to you your deity murders far more foetuses and you think this is right? Unhappily, I have seen one of your ‘sophisticated’ theologians try to justify this bizarre belief on the grounds that it is only be suffering can you appreciate your god. What a perverted way of living. Your god tells you to be so prejudiced against segments of society that you are willing to throw away logic to try to justify it. And as I’ve said before, the sad part is that you don’t even realise why you are held in such high disdain by so many.

  • Acleron

    ‘ And no amount of cajoling with evidence’

    No comment.

  • sam

    Too many Americans are in prison today, and it is very important to improve the penitentionary system. You seem to be a very informed person in this kind of legal issues. You can publish on Attorney Online . This is a category with prison legal news http://attorney-online.info/news/prison/1-0-4 you can publish links to legal sites there. Moreover. Other people cam publish interesting news on this topic there.

  • whytheworldisending

    You appear to be on the other side of the unbrid-gable gulf spokn of in the gospel parable of th e Rich Man and Lazerus, which none can pass. This is because of decisions you took earlier in your life. There comes a point when the door is shut because we eventually cease listening to the truth. The sad thing is that salvation was open to you, and you refuse it. Gospel quote:The judgement is this: Though the light has come into the world, men prefered darkness because their deeds are evil. There is a reason why we believe and a reason why you do not. Someone sewed the seed and it grew.  With your hardline atheistic worldview, I can’t work out what you want from this website, but I will pray for anyway. God Bless.

  • whytheworldisending

    That is “Evidence.”