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Catholic charities at risk after adoption agency ruled to be ‘discriminating’

By on Thursday, 24 January 2013

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A leading Catholic lawyer has warned that Catholic charities across Britain are at risk from equality laws after an adoption agency was told it could lose its charitable status.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator ruled that St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society in Glasgow is directly discriminating against gay people by refusing to place children in the care of same-sex couples.

The regulator said that although the charity provides a valuable service, it believed its current practice was unlawful, and gave it three months to change.

The ruling came about after a complaint by the National Secular Society.

Martin Tyson, the Scottish Charity Regulator’s head of registration, said: ‘We acknowledge the valuable service provided by this charity, but the fact is that all charities must comply with the law, including the Equality Act 2010.”

But Neil Addison of the Thomas More Legal Centre said the regulator threatening to remove the agency from the charities’ register was “surprising”.

He said: “There is an exemption in the Equality Act for charities. If what they’re doing is breaking the Equality Act there is a procedure for challenging it, for saying what they’re doing is unlawful.

“It’s a gross overreaction. It’s like closing down an entire hospital because one small section is in breach of health and safety.

“If they’re right, then the exemption in the Equality Act is worthless, because if you break the Act then you are not a charity. It’s a completely circular argument.”

Mr Addison also said that the ruling had implications for other areas of equality law, including the Government’s “quadruple lock” protecting religious groups in the event of gay marriage.

“It’s going to stop all sorts of Catholic charities which are arguably in breach of the Equality Act. If you apply this logic, what’s to stop the regulator refusing to register a church or diocese as a charity?

“It is very worrying. I think the regulator is going way beyond its powers and remits.”

Education Secretary Mike Russell said he was “disappointed” by the decision. He said: “We do not believe that this outcome is in the best interests of the children St Margaret’s helps, who are in need of a safe and loving family home.”

  • Nick

    JabbaJabba, I stand by the assertion that no study accepted by the mainstream medical profession or social services in the UK has disproved that gay couples in a loving, supportive, stable, faithful, committed relationship are able to bring up children any less well than straight couples.

  • JabbaPapa

    I live in France — and your hysterical worship of this country is laughable in its naïveté.

  • JabbaPapa

    Your ignorant, prejudiced, bigoted homosexualism is there for all to see in each of your posts.

  • JabbaPapa

    Bloody troll.

  • JabbaPapa

    Because of bigots like yourself bringing malicious legal actions against them.

  • JabbaPapa

    “the voice of reason” would not barge into some discussion and start gratuitously insulting most of its participants.

    Voice of trolling, more like.

  • Nick Hodgkins

    “This kind of thing may work very well for people in the Netherlands but in the UK we should be allowed to persecute and descriminate against those who do things we find a bit icky.” – What, people such as ignorant, prejudiced, bigoted Catholics you mean?

  • Nick

    Sinful? Oh please…
    Can hardly be sinful when we’re about to get same sex marriage can it.
    When all of the courts of law, the high court, court of appeal and the ECHR all find in favour of Gay people over bigoted Christians every single time.

  • Nick

    Sorry, I’m not your “Nautical Nick” – thanks for the compliment re voice of reason though.

    I cannot believe the extreme bigotry you get on this forum, from people who otherwise seem reasonably well educated. That ‘intelligent’ people can actually have these thought processes and opinions is beyond me

  • Nick

    What and you do compromise do you JabbaJabba?

  • Maccabeus

    And so the avalanche begins its hurtling flight down into the valley, gathering speed, gathering momentum, and when this farcical law finally comes into force all hell is going to be let loose.

  • scary goat

    I originally meant to post this on the thread about education, but it is closed for comments.  It is also relevant here, so I will post it anyway.

    Ok, so, the plot thickens.  And the only answer I can see is to change
    tactics.  I think we need to stop fighting “gay marriage” and start
    fighting for a redefinition of “human rights” and “discrimination”. 
    Until I realised what the implications were for education, I had the
    view of “let them get on with it” because secular marriage is already
    not the same thing as a Catholic marriage. Once I realised that it was
    going to affect education, I saw trouble coming.  To be honest, I think
    they are going to “get on with it” anyway so we need to turn our attention to how we are going to deal with our “minority rights” and “discrimination against Catholics”. 

    When
    I originally took the view “let them get on with it” some people argued
    that we still have a responsibility towards the wider community and
    should make our views known, not insulate and isolate  ourselves.  This
    is a valid point, except that you can lead a horse to water but you
    cannot force him to drink.  We can make our views known, but if others
    do not agree with our views, we cannot force them. 

    The way things are going, I think we now need to worry more about them not forcing their views on us.
    As
    we live in a multi-cultural, secular environment, as others have
    pointed out, how do we live in peace together?  It seems to me that the
    only workable answer is to agree to differ.  Catholic law is only
    binding on Catholics.  People have a choice whether to be Catholic or
    not.  But for those of us who are Catholic we have a right to our
    beliefs.  Whether homosexuality is natural/normal or not is a question
    of opinion. (and simple biology supports our opinion). Why do they seem
    to think their opinion trumps ours?

    I am of the view that we can
    only teach by example. But this means that we need to be allowed to hold
    our opinions and express our opinions, and live our lives and teach our
    children according to our opinions.  If others think we are “bigots”
    no-one is forcing them to join us.  But why do they think they have a
    right to stifle our views? 

    As someone else has mentioned
    previously, we can do a bit of re-defining of our own.  Drop the word
    marriage and use the term Holy Matrimony. We can do that.  But what are
    we going to do about “equalities” legislation that sees some as more
    “equal” than others? What are we going to do when it becomes illegal to
    say that we don’t agree with “gay marriage”?

    Personally I don’t
    mind if people want to have “gay marriages”.  I DO mind if I am not
    allowed to teach my children that I think it is a nonsense.  It is not
    my business what consenting adults do in private.  It is my business
    that I don’t want it forced down my children’s throats in school that it
    is “normal”.  The homosexual lobby want what they want….they even
    expect that it is their right to adopt children and teach them their own
    views….I want to teach my views to my own natural born children too.

    I don’t have a problem with letting them “get on with it” but they need to let us “get on with what we believe” too. 

    Why are same-sex-couples even going to a Catholic adoption agency in the first place?  Just to cause trouble and shout “discrimination”? Can’t they go to secular adoption agencies? This is my point: The Church is not in-sync with the world. We cannot force them….but they do not have the right to force us either.

  • Alba

    That is a red herring, since obviously the heterosexual couples chosen by a children’s charity as suitable adoptive parents, are not going to be abusive and/or dysfunctional.

    The point is that children do best with a loving Mum and Dad, and that is what this charity offers them.

  • JabbaPapa

    It is very hard to reconcile your rose-tinted views of France with the country that I actually live in.

  • JabbaPapa

    But why do they think they have a right to stifle our views?

    Bingo.

    I DO mind if I am not allowed to teach my children that I think it is a nonsense.  It is not my business what consenting adults do in private.  It is my business that I don’t want it forced down my children’s throats in school that it is “normal”.  The homosexual lobby want what they want….they even expect that it is their right to adopt children and teach them their own views….I want to teach my views to my own natural born children too.

    Some of these people’s views are so blinkered and indoctrinated that they don’t have the faintest clue what the phrase “religious freedom” actually means.

    Great post scary !!!

  • JabbaPapa

    gay couples in a loving, supportive, stable, faithful, committed relationship

    I can’t help but notice that you needed to introduce an eight word long adverbial here …

    But of course, the reality is that the norm for homosexual relationships is the exact opposite of this adverbial, isn’t it.

  • Anon

    No, it hasn’t been proven that children thrive in gay households.  In fact, a recent study carried out by Mark Regnerus of the Department of Sociology and Population Research, at the University of Texas.

  • Anon

    I meant to say, “proved just the opposite.” There are some serious social problems revealing themselves now that we have had years in which to study this.  

  • scary goat

    ” Rights that mean freedom of religion is set higher than other freedoms and rights.
     
    Because this then means you are infringing on the rights of others and discriminating against others.”

    If you substitute “homosexual rights” for “freedom of religion, you might start to have some idea of our position.

  • scary goat

     Indeed.  It is just so icky to teach our children that marriage is between one man and one woman resulting (usually) in offspring.

    I don’t see anyone preventing you from having whatever sort of relationship you want or engaging in whatever sexual acts you wish.  No one is forcing you to be Catholic, there are plenty of B&Bs you can stay in and no-one will say anything, you can even adopt children from any secular adoption agency.  Then you can send those children to state schools where they will be taught that homosexuality is normal.  What is being denied you?  Where is the persecution and discrimination?  You, on the other hand want to take away our right to disagree with you.  No freedom of speech for those who think that basic biology might have something to do with the nature of things.

    In the words of agent smith….me, me,me…..well, guess what, me too!  Other people have rights too you know.

  • Nick

    You do a nice line in avoiding the key issue and going off at a tangent my dear JabbaJabba – and in doing so reveal your ignorance…..
    I have been in a loving, supportive, stable, committed and faithful relationship for almost 22 years. – Is that long enough for you?

  • JabbaPapa

    What does length have to do with anything ?

    The key issue is of course — the children, NOT your sex life.

    I do not congratulate your destruction of the “education” thread by the means of your trolling, BTW.

  • cbblers5

    What  heatless persons would adopt a child who later on in life must carry the burden of explaining to his friends hes got 2 dads or 2 mothers. Think about the natural child first & not yourselves!!!

  • cbblers5

    NICK

    No way  can a gay couple which ever way one looks at it be the same as a male & female that are married. Being married for 44 years I for one find this most insulting to say the least.

  • Deggsiedeggsie

    Can I just point something out here…
    If a gay couple wish to adopt a child/ children then they can go through the exact same procedures as heterosexual couples – by applying through other agencies or the local council. St Margaret’s helps to place children every year but so do other agencies. I wonder if any gay couple has ever gone to st Mararet’s and asked to adopt – what do you think? I doubt it because they probably understand the procedures. Council agencies can also supply excellent support for those who want to adopt. Those people going after St Margaret’s are doing it to hurt the Church. It has nothing to do with equality. It has nothing to do with the children. And now if st Margaret’s closes down the council agencies will have extra pressure put on them meaning: children will have to wait longer, couples and I mean gay couples as well will have to wait longer. Voluntary agencies like st Margaret’s provide a vital service. Everyone will suffer for this.

  • Nick

    Reasonably valid points – but why then have most of the Catholic adoption agencies in England and Wales closed down – most voluntarily?

  • scary goat

     Ah, but that’s the whole point.  This is all about MY rights, not anyone else’s.

  • scary goat

     Thanks, Jabba :-)

  • Nick

    Some reasonably valid and fairly put points – but Catholics are not being discriminated against in any way. Why is it that you think you’re not free to practice your religion? What you do in your own homes and in your churches and how you live your life isn’t in question is it?
    Your views aren’t being stifled so far as I can see. You just don’t have the right to impose them on others. In exactly the same way as I have no right to impose my views on you.

    But a pity that you think of homosexuality only in terms of biology (presumably meaning sexual activity) and not in terms of emotion and affection and love. Why are you obsessed with sex and sexual practice?

    Your holy matrimony point however is excellent – there surely is the distinction you seek?
    Anyone can have a marriage, but only believers who get married in church enter holy matrimony. That seems very reasonable.

    But in respect of teaching children, shouldn’t they be aware of the different types of relationships within society and how they are recognised? Isn’t that bringing them up to understand diversity? After all, they’re going to be aware of it anyway – better it is taught in the classroom properly rather than through misinformed playground gossip.And are gay couples going to Catholic adoption agencies as I didn’t think they’d been any cases of them doing so? Gay people aren’t trying to force you – this decision has come from the regulator hasn’t it?

  • Nick

    Why is it farcical?

  • Nick

    And what about equality and diversity? What about all those faiths and churches that support minority rights and equal marriage – because actually, there are a lot of them?

  • Nick

    So tell us dear JabbaJabba, what is wrong with France?
    For it is indeed viewed as one of the most civilised and tolerant countries in the world! Perhaps you would be happier if you moved to the Vatican City State – you’d fit in nicely.

  • Nick

    “In the UK we should be allowed to presecute and discriminate” – Really?!!!
    So as a Christian you want to be able to persecute and discriminate!
    What do you think Jesus Christ would make of that?

  • Nick

    Correction – given there can be no discrimination in the provision of goods and services, Gay people can stay in and occupy a double bed in ALL B&B’s – its the law.Because B&B’s are a commercial enterprise to make money, just like any other.And nope, you can disagree with me all you want – so long as its in a reasonable way and not through ignorance, prejudice and bigotry. You have freedom of speech and I support that – but loving someone isn’t only to do with basic biology.
    And there are plenty of straight people practicing anal sex in addition to gay ones – especially young straight men. Its seen as the ultimate sexual activity to engage in with their female partners.

  • Nick

    Why can’t a gay couple be the same as a male and female that are married? Explain it to me please?
    Because I think you’ll find that they’re about to become just that.

    And if you’ve been married 44 years, why do you find it insulting? It won’t impact you or your marriage. There’s nothing for you to feel insulted about.

    Speaking as someone who will have been with my partner for 22 years in June, what I find most insulting is that we are not allowed to get married! Well not yet – but very soon now. And then we will hold a marriage certificate, just like ou and your wife.

  • Nick Hodgkins

    Gosh you contradict yourself all over the place don’t you Jabba – and you seem to be getting a little I’ll tempered now with all of the insults – guess you don’t like being on the losing side of the argument.

    You tried to imply what you ‘thought’ was the norm for gay relationships – length of time demonstrates commitment stability – but of course you dont want to acknowledge that.

    And it seems you’re another Catholic obsessed with sex – poor you.
    Pity you don’t understand about love.

    Not trolling at all – just replying to you.
    But it really doesn’t matter what you think – equal marriage is the last piece in the equality jigsaw – then you will have lost every single one of your prejudiced ignorant arguments against gay people. There will be nothing left for you but isolation andsrhinalisation.
    Bye bye Jabba, bye bye x x

  • Nick

    Gosh you contradict yourself all over the place don’t you Jabba – and you seem to be getting a little I’ll tempered now with all of the insults – guess you don’t like being on the losing side of the argument.

    You tried to imply what you ‘thought’ was the norm for gay relationships – length of time demonstrates commitment stability – but of course you dont want to acknowledge that.

    And it seems you’re another Catholic obsessed with sex – poor you.
    Pity you don’t understand about love.

    That surely is for the adoption agency to decide when considering same sex couples for adoption!!

    Not trolling at all – just replying to you.
    But it really doesn’t matter what you think – equal marriage is the last piece in the equality jigsaw – then you will have lost every single one of your prejudiced ignorant arguments against gay people. There will be nothing left for you but isolation andsrhinalisation.
    Bye bye Jabba, bye bye x x

  • JabbaPapa

    Why are you obsessed with sex and sexual practice?

    You’re the one mentioning it non-stop.

  • Herbertpooler

    Thats correct because heterosexual and their child have one father & one mother exactly how mother nature intended us to have!! Also gay couples cannot consumate a relationship and I cannot for that reason  call that a marriage.
    I rest my case.

  • Mary Forrester

    Two issues.  Why would anyone want to adopt a child that has been disowned by the whole catholic church and parents, grandparents and relatives. And the child is so worthless that there often is no price attached to the adoption.  If those children were that valuable Im sure the clergy would keep them for their own social services representation.  In other words God threw those children out of their natural environment and the catholic church for a reason.  I’ve seen older children when they are of age being tossed out to make it on their own from caretaken homes.  Im sorry It seems hardhearted but I was never lastingly blessed through catholic adoption. Im surprised the clergy didn’t keep them for their own illicit sexual needs. 

    Other issue. Why would a god exploit such a gruesome death and almost nakedness on a morbid cross.  Such a play on death and forsakeness is illbred by an ill society.  There’s carpentry work the god did. Something to relate a catholic to.  My god, can’t you keep those crosses indoors on your own property instead of hanging for the world to see.  We really don’t need to see a depressive scene. We don’t hand our relatives out who died for humanity on their ropes, bedboards and chains. I had a close relative who committed such an act, and for you to keep reminding me every time I go down the street with your passion scene really could become a court case for the years of emotional distress and psychiatry I have needed to overcome my spiritual loss.  Please consider doing productive.  Morbid, morbid.  The years I spent crying in front of those crosses, only ended up with me being taken to jail for a few hours, but eternally remembered every day by the promiscuity of this cross winding me up being manhandled by the police and locked up for a few hours.  As a women I’ve never been treated that bad before by respectable law abiding citizens.  What god is that dignant?

  • Mary Forrester

    The mental state that made the homosexual what they are is horrendous already by the lack of societal compasion and nurturing from the beginning.  Most are made that way by their adulterous parents and relatives.  Illicit sexual activities by respectable clergy and governmental leaders should not surpass this.  they wouldbe allowed to adopt and carry on adoption procedings and they have already proved themselves soooooo worthless and in no way should the homosexual while they still have a live love and compassion be denied the relationship and nurturing love of children.. Instead you’ve let real perverts destroy love.  You let them get away with these perversions for decades. You’ve hel;d back the financial gain of those who love the homosexual and made it almost impossible to maintain the 8th and 14th amendment of the United States.  You continually cudd your weird pride of some  religious forenote of righteous and believe me someday you are going to get stuck in your own selfrighteous pigotry to deny anny human being the right to family life.  How many step brothers and half sisters do you know and make friends with?  Yet their hypocracy is really bad.  You vould always die and put up your cross next to the exploited death and nudity of the one who hangs on it.  My my your fammily could write its own testimoney of how great you are.

  • Mary Forrester

    If you thinkst biological relatives are loving and nurturing today, you not only need to replace your straw brain but you’ve obviously given your heart away to a bad demon, you really should seek psychological services from someone who could enlighten you as to why you should really keep your heart. N o one else really needs it.  Everyone has their own heart.  Any shotgun god who loves wars and rumoirs of wars at nearly turn really should sit with the german holocaust pope benedict who was responsible for millions of deaths of jews.  Is his righteousness so great that he can go on and save millions to catholocism just because he might be a touch heterosexual with a lot of perverce employees.  Oh you rags of righteousness.  You dont even know your god has thrown you out of his kingdom.
      He’s kept you so busy looking at everyone elses righteousness you don’t even know yet what he’s done to you.  Wake up get a life, Get a real focus on living instead of seeing how many ways you can get dirty.

  • scary goat

     I think you might have missed the point here.

  • scary goat

     No gays have gone to a Catholic adoption agency?  I really don’t know, but how on earth can we have discriminated against gays if no such case has arisen????  I suppose no gays ever went to a Catholic owned B&B either just to cause trouble? 

    As far as teaching children about homosexuality, I am not objecting to them being taught that these relationships exist.  What I object to is that we may well actually be forced to “endorse” it as failure to do so will bring “discrimination” law suits to our doorstep.

    I am not in the least obsessed with sex, but surely the topic in question is “homoSEXUAL ‘marriage’ “?  What are we to infer from this?  If we are talking about “homo-best-friendship, very fond of each otherness” there is no problem. It is totally “normal”. If you label yourselves as homoSEXUAL why wouldn’t people assume that it is sexual?  And if it is sexual, then the question of biology is a reasonable one, isn’t it?

    “Your views aren’t being stifled so far as I can see. You just don’t have
    the right to impose them on others. In exactly the same way as I have
    no right to impose my views on you.”

    If this is the case then there is no problem….I wish this were the case.  As I said, Catholic rules are binding on Catholics and no-one is forcing anyone to be Catholic.  Catholic teaching does not accept homosexual acts as “normal”.  It is the gay lobby which is pushing the “discrimination” card if Catholics do not accept the homosexual position (for example in adoption, education). 

    Why can’t you do your own thing and let us do our own thing?  Why do you cry “foul” if anyone disagrees with you?

    I am beginning to think we need to get with the terminology….we have “Islamophobia” and “homophobia”.  At this rate we are going to be needing “Catholicophobia”, then maybe the discrimination lawyers will look at our position. 

    All we want is the right to free speech and to be able to express our opinions, which we are as entitled to as anyone else.  . 

  • JabbaPapa

    At this rate we are going to be needing “Catholicophobia”

    The French have the word Cathophobie … but a transliteration would hardly seem euphonic in English ; plus the etymological meaning in the Greek is ludicrous !!!

  • drj81

    Catholic adoption agencies closed because the law was worded such that they were not given an equal right to decide the best situation for children. Despite their excellent record (indepently assessed) they are gone and how much of theat trusted network of loving, supportive, stable, faithful and committed couples were lost too?.

  • Nick

    Well if you bothered to look JabbaJabba you would see that I only mention it as a response to the post I was replying to.
    And I qualify it by noting that emotion, affection and love are for more important – something Catholics seem to ignore.Whilst you, with your obtuse comments and one lines. add nothing to the debate. I have noticed you have no posts of your own and specialise in sarcastic comments on everyone elses.

  • Nick

    And your issue with France in respect of the Catholic church are what exactly JabbaJabba?

  • Nick

    Really – how so?!!
    How on earth is it possible to miss or misinterpret “but in the UK we should be allowed to persecute and descriminate against those who do things we find a bit icky.”?
    Do please explain what it is I’ve missed….

  • Nick

    Why can’t a gay couple be the same as a male and female that are married? The law and society would seem to say that they can – isn’t that exactly why we’re getting equal marriage?And why are you most insulted? It won’t impact you or your marriage in any way…

    Whereas having been with the same partner for almost 22 years, I am the one who is insulted due to their being a minority of people with views such as yours who seem to think I shouldn’t be able to get married.