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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”.

  • armykungfu

    It is immiterial to you as is, apperently, other people’s ability to disagree with you about matters of concience. Everyone should be forced to abide by your religios beliefs or lack there of. And the funny part is, you don’t even realize that you are the oppressor here.

  • armykungfu

    That is what the catholics thought about the muslims and jews in Spain. These heathens should be forced to believe the way we do…..

    You are on the side of evil, and by that I meen forcing people to behave in the way your morality dictates. Funny how the worm has turned. It used to be the Christians who were doing that.

  • Megaera

    Well, that is not *quite* what he measured.  He compared stable opposite sex families with all families in which one or more of the parents had had a same-sex encounter of any kind, even if only brief.  To compare like with like in effects on the children, he should have compared stable opposite-sex families with stable same-sex families, or all opposite sex families with children – stable or not, married or not – with all same-sex families – stable or not, married or not.  Then we would have some valuable data to mull over. :)

  • Acleron

    The fact was found by the person appointed to investigate a) The paper b) The refereeing and c) The journal’s part in publishing this paper.

    He found that 99% of the data was invalid. The author of this rubbish has refused to comment.

    All you have is a conclusion that coincides with your belief and so you conclude it must be right. Of course, this means ignoring all the previous research on this subject which showed no statistical difference.

    Your main tool of logic is the cherry picker. 

    But what are a few more contrary facts to your belief, you ignore so many already.

  • Cromulent

    “To compare like with like in effects on the children, he should have
    compared stable opposite-sex families with stable same-sex families”

    Ha! You haven’t read Regnerus’ latest article that in part addresses your objection – a common one. He re-sorted some cases (there were a dozen I think where the offspring reported that *both* parents had same-sex relationships) and looked again for just what you mentioned.

    The resorting produced 175 MLR(mom lesbian relationship) cases with fewer than half (85) reporting ever having lived with both their mother and her same-sex partner during their childhood.

    Regnerus: “31 reported living with their mother’s partner for up to 1 year only.
    An additional 20 reported this relationship for up to 2 years, five for 3
    years, and eight for 4 years.”

    How many children were raised by two women staying together from the child’s first birthday to his or her eighteenth? Just two.

    And how many such cases were there in the FGR (father gay relationship) category—of children raised by two men together for their whole childhood? Zero. This, out of an initial population of 15,000.

    To study stable same-sex families you are going to need a decent sample size. Good luck with that.

    Of course, your side never had these methodological problems with all of the studies Regnerus demolished. Then you were happy to claim the mantle of science for your policy preference. Its only now you object. Why is that?

  • Morodery

     Take your culturally marxist prejudice and stick it. The Charity Commission has become a lickspittle for politically correct fascists and you would not know immorality if it assaulted you.

  • Megaera

    It’s not really about ‘sides’, for me, but a genuine desire to discover what is actually damaging for children and for families.  If there was any scientifically rigorous evidence that children are damaged by being in particular kinds of families, then I think we would need to investigate that carefully, and try to work out how to avoid that damage.  For example, there is scientifically rigorous evidence that poverty damages children’s development in a multitude of measurable ways, from health to educational attainment to healthy social integration, and so, in the UK, we try to ensure that children do not live in conditions of abject poverty.  For the record, I believe it is *always* worth challenging any methodological problems as soon as they are identified, in any scientific study.  We need to have accurate information in order to make educated decisions.

    I have to repeat here that Regnerus was comparing children from stable (heterosexual only) relationships to children from broken relationships.  Really, their orientation was irrelevant: it’s obvious that children raised in broken homes will fare worse than children from intact homes.  

    It would be more difficult to find people in stable same-sex relationships than those in stable opposite sex relationships, because LGBT people are a much smaller percentage of the population than heterosexual people.  Recent polls indicate that openly LGBT people make up just 3% of the population.  Stable relationships are a small percentage of the total population.  So, just as stable opposite sex relationships are a smaller percentage of the population than 97% (the percentage of all heterosexual people plus homosexual people too afraid to be open about their orientation) so the percentage of stable same-sex relationships will be less than 3% of the overall population.  

  • Steve

    Or three men and two women!

  • Cromulent

    What a fantastic job of ignoring the point of my response. I guess that is understandable, since it demolishes your argument. You can’t study what you can’t find.

    But your response about sample size (“because LGBT people are a much smaller percentage of the population than heterosexual people.”) is a straw man. 175 MLR cases and just *2* of those featured a stable enough relationship to steer a kid all the way thru childhood.

    175 cases, just 2 stable relationships. And that’s just on the female side. On the male side, z-e-r-o relationships to see kids all the way thru.

    It doesn’t matter how good stable same-sex relationships are at parenting if in fact there aren’t any stable same-sex relationships.

  • Steve

    The church’s moral teachings are now adjudged “divisive, capricious and arbitrary” in England.  You can already see that “tolerance” for the one thing begets social and legal disfavor of its opposite.  The militant gay agenda and traditional Christianity cannot coexist.  Let the Pograms begin!

  • JabbaPapa

    One person’s opinion, particularly when that person is biased in favour of one particular position, does not constitute an objective review of the findings by peers in the academic sense.

    No matter how loudly and extensively that opinion is echoed throughout the internet by the similarly biased.

  • Karen

    “A loving home is and should be, the first priority.”  Says who?  This is a sound-bite with no basis.

    It is indisputable that the nature of a man is complementary to the nature of a woman, insomuch that both are naturally pre-programmed in their DNA to mate with the other to produce offspring.

    Naturally a man or woman cannot transcend from the single life to the fulfillment of fatherhood or motherhood without this biological, psycological and complimentary coming-together.

    It is fantasy to imagine that the children are not also pre-programmed in their DNA or pre-disposed in their genes to best develop naturally when the dual role-models of father and mother are present.

    It would be contrary to the ‘survival of the species’ for a child to be groomed to gravitate to somone of the same-sex, for that would point to the opposite pole i.e. extinction of the species.

  • JabbaPapa

    No, I meant Nation-States — which are an invention of the 19th century.

    You are very confused — the notion that it is the State that *defines* marriage isn’t even *that* old — it’s an invention of late 20th century gay lobbyists.

    Perhaps you fail to grasp the difference between the legal provisions for the official recognition of marriage contracts and its definition, which ultimately exists outside of the Law and of State control.

  • drj81

    The children are the first priority.

  • drj81

    So are you happy for children to be used as part of this social experiment? If there is anything in what you say then you cannot possibly know the outcome for many, many years. Who will provide the compensation?

  • drj81

    You cannot possibly know that children do just as well in homosexual relationships because it will take several generations to gather enough evidence. What happens to the children in the meantime if you’re wrong?

  • drj81

    How can this be true? How many generations of children have been brought-up by homosexual couples? Have there been sufficient numbers to state that it is a valid cross-section of the homosexual population? Are you volunteering your own children to take part in this experiment?

  • drj81

    I have never seen a study that says that children with a single-parent, a mixture of parent combinations or whose parents have divorced are as well off as those children of a married-couple. The following are four usual areas where they lose out:
    Ability to form relationships themselves
    Achievement in all areas
    Financial circumstances.

    Most of these issues are long-lasting so affect the child well into their adult lives and impacts on their offspring too.
    These are percentages of course and there is some overlap between groups but I would never advise somebody to co-habit or live particular lifestyles based on the massive amount of data that exists. I have seen plenty of these reports from all over the world but please feel free to dig around if you think otherwise. Divorce and break-up is a much-discussed topic amongst under-25′s these days. They don’t like it.

  • NewMeena

    I hope those who make (and have made) these appeals are required to pay the full cost.

  • NewMeena

    I don’t know about HK but I think your knowledge of the French language and of France must be very thin.

  • NewMeena

    Since you have not recently lived in Britain, you may be pleased to know that I have never encountered “homosexual political fanaticism” during my many recent years of residence there.

  • NewMeena

    It is the Church which has failed to act in the interests of the children.

    Rather than comply with the law of the country it has chosen to close the adoption services, so depriving some children of the advantages of family life with heterosexual or homosexual couples.

  • NewMeena

    We have often heard, on this website, that gay marriage simply cannot exist – a nonsensical view I know, but one put forward by fundamentalist Catholics. 
    So the gay couple in question would NOT be married in Catholic eyes, so there is really no point or reason for fundamentalists to get steamed-up about it.

    The ONLY thing that matters is that the foster parents should be good people suited to child raising.

  • Elleblue

    Everyone has a right to their moral values. I agree with refusing to obey an immoral law.

  • JabbaPapa

    Never read a copy of the Guardian, then ?

    How strange…

  • JabbaPapa

    ho hum, rubbish, again …

    1) Catholic Care is not “The Church”

    2) When, exactly, did they close their adoption service ?

  • JabbaPapa

    Well, what was the point of THAT little piece of your spite ?

    J’ai l’impression que dès que tu vois un Catholique, tu sens le besoin de lui inventer des torts et des tares. D’où vient cette haine ? Je la trouve à la fois abjecte et pitoyable…

  • JabbaPapa

    You should start your own website — you could call it The Daily Propaganda or something similar …

  • CatholicLeft


    the point is that no homosexual couple have ever approached these agencies who, it is worth noting, deal with those children who are most difficult to find a home for. Local authorities happily passed the responsibility to find homes for these children onto the Catholic agencies because of the expertise and care of those who worked for them.
    Now, because of a blinkered view that demands that all the nation follows one moral code, these children are likely to suffer.

    How it is immoral to find a traditional family for a child is beyond me – it is far more distopian to describe those who have given their entire careers to the care of these damaged children as immoral.

  • Acleron

    echoed throughout the internet by 

  • Acleron

    You are partially correct. We can never know with certainty. But the majority of research carried out so far shows no difference. 

  • JabbaPapa

    Acleron : The journal, the investigator, his peers and previously published work
    all disagree with him. To call that bias is just paranoia.

    This story about how this study is supposed to have been officially disagreed with at every possible level is a LIE.

    The bias that I’m talking about is your own bias towards believing this outrageously unacademic witch-hunting of the author of a perfectly ordinary study in a perfectly ordinary field of investigation, having its own perfectly ordinary virtues and flaws.

    And then you DARE complain about the dogmatism of others !!!

  • JabbaPapa

    Yes, exactly !!!

    The main victims of these ghastly political manoeuvres are, as always, the children…

  • Acleron

    Any evidence for that bizarre statement? You know that verifiable stuff that comes from trustworthy sources. That of course excludes catholic ones.

    Perfectly ordinary flaws in a paper do not include 99% of the data being invalid. 

  • JabbaPapa

    You know that verifiable stuff that comes from trustworthy sources. That of course excludes catholic ones.

    Your bigotry and prejudice are violently offensive.

  • Acleron

    Pure observation. 

    The mere fact that you try to use such a flawed piece of work as this paper is just one of many observations that you are untrustworthy when it comes to facts.

  • Jer29

    It is an excruciating decision to relinquish a child for adoption.  As Catholics we have always promoted adoption as an option for an unplanned baby, that might otherwise have been aborted.  I wonder how many women will not no longer consider adopting their babies, knowing that their baby might be raised in a same sex parented household.  Two men or two women, simply can not give the same balance that a normal male/female couple provide.  

    The other issue  of course is that the secular government is now legislating in such a way that it would be a sin to obey their law.  It is time for some very serious dissent by  people of faith.  It is time for some people to challenge this law by risking criminal conviction and jail time.

  • Albertzthecat

    Anybody got an opinion on this?

  • Katie

    Actually, that is just your moral bias. There is nothing wrong with cousin’s marrying. It just offends you personally. What about polygamists? Are you against them too?

    And who are you to say an animal may not be married, I think gorillas are even more intelligent than humans, why can’t they get married? You are just brainwashed by the gay agenda.

  • Kasia

    What about polygamists? Oh wait, according to you they are inherently sexists so therefore they cannot be allowed to adopt.

  • JabbaPapa

    Christianity is being criminalised … again …

  • JabbaPapa

    Meanwhile, your personal bigotry and prejudice are there for all to see.

  • JabbaPapa

    The point that *everyone* is missing — is Regnerus’ inability to find these stable and normally functional homosexual households as they are supposed to exist according to the propaganda.

    His findings are, among other things, that the vast majority of homosexual couples are inherently dysfunctional — his critics’ screeching and howlering that these findings are “biased” are supported by nothing but propaganda.

    So, just as stable opposite sex relationships are a smaller percentage
    of the population than 97% (the percentage of all heterosexual people
    plus homosexual people too afraid to be open about their orientation) so
    the percentage of stable same-sex relationships will be less than 3% of
    the overall population. 

    Non-heterosexuals comprise 1.5% of the world population.

  • JabbaPapa

    Your moral perversions provide feelings of utter revulsion.

  • Acleron

    I was prepared to leave your rant the first time but…

    You libelled many researchers, academics, observers and skeptics with your provably untrue allegations at the start of this sub-thread. But then you accuse me, for a provable comment of prejudice and bigotry for criticising your church. 

    Slight case of the double standard.

  • Acleron

    The point you have now dropped is that the conclusion that same sex parenting is provably worse for children is wrong because the two populations he was comparing were wrongly selected.

    The problem now, is that having shown his primary conclusion was incorrect and that the selection criteria was flawed for that conclusion, can you trust the data he has to be correctly selected for secondary outcomes such as stability when it wasn’t even selected for that purpose?

  • whytheworldisending

    For one thing, cousins are more likely to concieve children with diseases caused by double recessive genotypes. Humans have hard-wired and/or inculturated “prejudices” against incest because it is seriously damaging to health. The same – obviously – goes for homsexualityand all other forms of promiscuity. Trying to create a false eutopia based on tolerance of everything we are naturally averse to is asking for trouble from nature – as if we hadn’t enough already with global warming. 

  • whytheworldisending

    What data? What problem? If you had a real argument, you would develop it, but you didn’t because you haven’t. The facts are becoming clearer by the day – for example, how many of the abusers in the Wrexham cover up were heterosexual?

  • whytheworldisending

    The legitimate aim is the protection of children from harm. Objective data shows that homosexuals are much more likely to sexually abuse children – and indeed each other. Another poster for example includes this link: 

    It is proportionate for all adoptive agencies and other public bodies to deny adoptive parents unsupervised access to children if the risk of abuse is raised. It cannot be disputed that the Catholic Church genuinely holds to this proposition, since it has itself taken the radical step of denying homosexuals entrance to the priesthood. Some Catholics regard that measure as perhaps too stringent given that it applies even to non-practicing, that is celibate, homosexual candidates. Although many otherwise excellent candidates will be turned away, the stark fact is that the safety of children comes first, and the Church has its priorities right. Now a stricter application of the rule would be appropriate in the case of adoption for 2 reasons. Firstly, would-be adoptive parents in same-sex relationships do not recognize the need to restrain their impulses, since, unlike candidates for the priesthood, they are not celibate but actively indulging their homosexual urges. Secondly they seek to have exclusive, unsupervised and unhindered access to other people’s children, which is a degree of access far greater than that given to any priest. The Church therefore seeks, in the light of objective evidence, to protect children from the increased threat of abuse posed by allowing practicing homosexuals unlimited access to the most vulnerable. The protection of children is a legitimate aim and the policy of Catholic Care in this regard is for the pursuit of that legitimate aim and goes no further than is necessary. It is justified on objective grounds and proportionate to a legitimate aim.
    At paragraph 17, Mr Justice Sales points out that local authorities were not only unconcerned about this, but viewed homosexuals as a ready method of disposing of children who nobody else wanted. He says, “The responses and other research indicated that same sex couples could themselves provide a good source of adopters of “hard to place” children (para. [51]).   Homosexuals are seen by local authorities as the solution to their administrative problems, and once again we see that bureaucratic machinations of local authorities takes precedence over the interests of the people they are supposed to be caring for. However it is well known from cases such as the Fred West “House of Horrors” cases and the Wrexham Social Services abuse prosecutions involving scores of as yet unknown household names who are homosexuals, that such predators deliberately seek those totally neglected children because nobody is watching over them. The other chilling thing about these cases is that homosexual abuse is more organised being dominated by men whose reputations are beyond question as long as they enjoy the protection of fellow male conspirators. Indeed even now a judge’s order is protecting the identities of the 100 or so alleged perpetrators in the Wrexham abuse ring. It is beyond question that there are serious and weighty grounds for discriminating between heterosexual and homosexual people when placing children for adoption. Over the entrance to the Old Bailey a reminder is inscribed about the role of judges, in the words, “Defend the children of the poor and punish the wrongdoer.” This judgement is an abusers’ charter which abandons the children of the poor and protects the wrongdoers.
    At paragraph 18, Mr Justice Sales refers to Dr Selwyn’s evidence that there is an oversupply of adoptive parents, from voluntary agencies, which local authorities are not able to use to the full. The Dr argues that the contribution of Catholic Care would therefore not be missed. However, Dr Selwyn is wrong when she concludes that the presence or absence of Catholic Care would “be unlikely to result in more children in need of adoption to in fact be adopted.” This is not a complex matter of law, but simple arithmetic. The numbers of children adopted from voluntary agencies is equal to the numbers of children proposed by those agencies multiplied by the rate at which local authorities adopt from those agencies. If an agency goes out of business, then either the numbers of children adopted will go down, or the rate at which local authorities adopt from remaining agencies will go up. The latter means that local authorities – presently “wary about using voluntary adoption agencies,” – will have been forced to relax their criteria in relation to agencies that do not go out of business. Even leaving aside the fact that such agencies will be prepared to place vulnerable children with practicing homosexuals, this relaxation of safeguards in relation to agencies which local authorities were previously “wary about,” represents an increased risk to children. Dr Selwyn’s reasoning might be sound if applied to an agency placing no children at all for adoption, but Catholic Care successfully placed about 10 children each year, and it would be wrong to say that the same argument is relevant because 10 is a relatively small number. Like the small boy who was challenged when seen throwing starfish back into the sea from the thousands lying on the shore waiting to be eaten by seagulls; in reply to the officious bystander’s assertion that the problem was so vast, his actions made no difference, he threw another back and said, “It made a difference to that one.”  Of course a bureaucrat, concerned only about clearing the beach of starfish, would reply that the boy’s services were not required since the seagulls do a perfectly good job.
    At paragraph 25, Mr Justice Sales notes the finding of the Tribunal that “…the legitimate aim identified by the Charity was not in fact one that would be achieved by its proposed method.” However, shifting attention, away from bureaucratic problems of local government in clearing the backlog of unplaced children, and towards ensuring the safety of the children concerned, the underlying and truly legitimate aim of safeguarding children can only be achieved by the method proposed by Catholic Care, since even absenting itself from adoption services puts children at risk by forcing local authorities to relax their safeguarding criteria in order to achieve a higher placement rate from those remaining agencies, of a necessarily atheistic bent, who are allowed to operate under the current regime.
    At paragraph 34, Ms Dixon, speaking for the Commission, is quoted as saying that Catholic Care’s pursuit of its aims is not proportionate because it goes further than it needs to by failing to make an exception for a hypothetical “celibate committed devout same-sex Catholic couple.” That is questionable for 2 reasons. Firstly neither the local authority nor the agency has any means of verifying that a couple is celibate, so it is something that any potential abuser could claim in order to bypass the rules. Secondly, the “celibate committed devout same-sex Catholic couple” is a contradiction in terms and does not exist in reality. People who wish to remain celibate do not deliberately put themselves in temptations way by cohabiting with another person whom they harbour sexual feelings for, and celibate or not, anybody claiming to be a Catholic whilst publicly living in a manner which is contrary to the Church’s teachings and to the Gospel, is not an adherent of the Catholic faith. Same-sex partnerships are against Church teachings and therefore it is not rational to propose, even for the sake of argument, that there is such a thing as a “celibate committed devout same-sex Catholic couple.”
    At paragraph 38, Mr Justice Sale spells out the position clearly, when he says that if,“…some real detriment to the general public interest (of sufficient weight) might arise unless a practice discriminating against them were adopted, then in principle it is possible under Article 14 and under section 193 of the Equality Act for such a practice to be found to be proportionate to the legitimate aim of preventing that detriment or harm and hence objectively justified.” The real detriment to the general public interest arises when the most vulnerable children in society are not protected from the greatly increased risk of sexual abuse posed by allowing practicing homosexuals to have unfettered access to them.
     Mr Justice Sales, at paragraph 70, completely rejected that argument, made – rather unwisely on the face of it – by the Commission. He states at paragraph 50, “There can be no doubt that the interests of children in need is a very powerful consideration in the context of this analysis.” He is right of course. It is exactly because children need protection from sexual abuse that Catholic Care and other right-thinking agencies ought to be allowed to continue as they were.

  • Acleron

    You talk about objective data and then link to conservapedia. A place hardly renown for its veracity. I followed the first two links to its data, the first didn’t exist and the second had nothing on the linked page concerning homosexuality.

    As the rest of your post relies on this assumption, perhaps you have another link to actual data concerning risk factors to children?