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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

    “An active homosexual relationship is sinful” – Only in your opinion. Not in the opinion of the law and wider society. Isn’t that why we’re getting equal marriage?
    “and therefore can never be ‘on par’ with a heterosexual married relationship” – Only in your opinion. Not in the opinion of the law and wider society. This very point was tested in the case of the discriminatory BnB swhere the high court judge said a gay couple in a civil partnership WERE indeed on a par with a heterosexual married couple. And this was further agreed by THREE judges at the court of appeal.So you’re wrong – it is.

  • Nick

    Your position is that we have freedom of religion in this country and thus you are free to practice that religion if you so wish.
    How are you not free to practice your religion in your homes and churches etc?
    But the law is clear, no one can be discriminated against in the provision of goods and services – its really very simple.

  • Nick

    So let me get this right – YOU DO subscribe to the notion that no gay relationship, no matter how loving, supportive, stable, faithful or committed can match the standard of a heterosexual relationship, however abusive, adulterous, deceitful, dysfunctional or short-lived!! YOU REALLY DO BELIEVE THAT.Erm and what has the consumation of a relationship got to do with adoption rights? Another sex obsessed Catholic it would seem.
    I rest my case (and fortunately the law the wider society agrees with me, not you).

  • Nick

    Sorry, but you’re wrong – they most certainly were given an equal right. Exactly the same equal right enjoyed by every other adoption agency who all seem able to function without a problem.

  • Nick

    Erm why is it a burden exactly?
    But yes exactly – “think about the natural child first” – this bit I agree with. And that is exactly what adoption agencies do (or at least should be doing) when considering prospective couple as adoptive parents.

  • Nick

    And would you say that to a heterosexual couple wanting to adopt and if not, why not? The law and society you see consider there to be no difference in the orientation of a couple seeking to adopt. Both can make equally good parents. If you have a problem with that, best take it up with your MP, not me.

  • Nick

    That particular study has a strong religious bias and isn’t given any credence by the medical professionals and social services in the UK.

  • Nick

    A child-unfriendly government?! So what will you be doing then, voting Labour nest time?

  • Nick

    I don’t know either for certain and in respect of the adoption agency in Scotland referred to here, the article doesn’t make it clear.But I do know that in England, most Catholic agencies closed down before being put in the position. The article states the agency “is directly discriminating against gay people by refusing to place children in the care of same-sex couples.” So the discrimination is in the stated refusal to do so – regardless of whether there had been any applications or not. Its the intent not to.I don’t think anyone is talking about teachers having to ‘endorse’ it, any more than they would be expected to ‘endorse’ opposite sex marriage. I would have thought explaining it factually is all that’s required. That certainly is what Maria Miller has indicated. But whilst not having to ‘endorse’ or ‘promote’ it, what equally couldn’t happen is for a teacher to say it was wrong or not normal – because that would be an opinion not fact.HomoSEXUAL / HeteroSEXUAL – not sure of the point you’re trying to make? Personally, I label myself as Gay. My Straight friends label themselves as Straight. But if sexual, why is biology a problem? It certainly isn’t for Gay people, so again I don’t understand the point – plenty of straight people have sex the way gay people do you know.”As I said, Catholic rules are binding on Catholics and no-one is forcing anyone to be Catholic.” – Yes I understand and accept this.”Catholic teaching does not accept homosexual acts as “normal”.” – I kind of understand this, but plenty of hererosexual people engage in these ‘homosexual acts’ you know. But in any case, there are accepted by wider society and the law – so you are on a collision course with both here. This is your problem if you’re going to insist on what you see as traditional teaching. Many Catholics of course do not. “It is the gay lobby which is pushing the “discrimination” card if Catholics do not accept the homosexual position (for example in adoption, education).” – Not so much actually – its straight people, wider society and the law these days. Take equal marriage – not that many gay people are really pushing for it actually… It has a momentum of its own. There are far more straight people pushing for it than gay people believe me.”Why can’t you do your own thing and let us do our own thing?” – We can. We’re happy to. We agree with freedom of religion. But you must respect the law – we’ve had to down the centuries.”Why do you cry “foul” if anyone disagrees with you?” – But that’s what you’re doing over equal marriage…. You’re crying foul, not us. You’re the guys kicking up the fuss, not us. But this ‘us’ thing – far more straight people than gay people are championing equal rights. Perhaps you should take it up with your MP. (That was said tongue in cheek it illustrate a point – that most MP’s champion equality).Re “catholicophobia” – But Catholicism isn’t a religion or a faith in the way Islam is.its a denomination of the Christian faith. And there are plenty of Christians and other Christian denominations that have no issues with full equality for gay people or equal marriage. And herein lies another problem for you – holding the views you do isn’t a requirement of the Christian faith – just your branches interpretation of it.You have free speech and you are able to express your opinions – but in doing so, you cannot take actions (or refuse to take actions) that impinge on the legal rights and freedoms of others. Its a question of operating within the constraints of the law – isn’t it?

  • Nick

    Sorry there are no paragraph breaks – there were supposed to be, but I had trouble posting and had to do some copying / pasting.

  • Nick

    Not if its closed down for discrimination or shuts it’s doors it won’t be.
    Why is it that just about all of the Catholic adoption agencies in England have either closed their doors voluntarily, or changed the focus of their acivities?

  • Nick

    Most secularists support religions freedom in a tolerant society….
    Its a pity Catholic Christians can’t reciprocate and support the freedoms of others….

  • JabbaPapa

    Thank you for your lovely ad hominem — but then, I’m not the one posting propaganda and opinionation on a forum whose target readership is liable to be typically hostile to my opinions…

  • JabbaPapa

    Its irony and subtle double meaning.

    Do try harder !!!

  • JabbaPapa

    The Americans have a word for your sort of attitude — “entitlement”.

  • JabbaPapa

    Nick : Most secularists support religions freedom in a tolerant society

    Most secularists falsely imagine that religious freedom is strictly limited to freedom of belief and freedom of worship.

    Because of this, most secularists are perfectly happy to crush the true religious freedoms that are inherent to a public religious life under their jackboots.

    When have ANY Catholics or Anglicans EVER campaigned against the rights of homosexualists to air their views in public, and to act according to those beliefs ?

    And yet, the rights of Catholics and Anglicans to simply provide publicly the teachings of the two churches are being frontally assaulted by that political lobby, so that not only will the sexual teachings of the Christian religion be criminalised in classrooms, workplaces, and other places of business — but Christians will also be legally required to provide sexual teachings that conflict directly with the Religion, or otherwise face losing their jobs.

    Doctrines on homosexuality will be forced upon teachers regardless of any religious views that they may have, and it will become a criminal offense to provide any Christian teaching, or even simply to refrain from any contentious teachings at all from either camp, and instead they will be forced into positions where a requirement is made upon them to choose between Church and State.

    Christian hostelries providing an atmosphere that is coherent with Christian beliefs have already been declared illegal (but how would you feel if you heard of some “straight pride” activists who barged in to some gay pick-up joint and tried to forcibly heterosexualise the place ???), Christians wishing to organise the placement of their orphans with other Christian families are being told that this is somehow wrongful and even criminal, and even the simple wearing of religious symbols is under concerted assault !!!

    This is NOT “religious freedom”, nor is it evidence of a “tolerant society” — it is a nice and friendly, politically correct form of straightforward ideological totalitarianism.

  • whytheworldisending

    I read that the Klu Klux Klan accepted a black man as a member. If that means that racist murderers have repented of their past deeds, I think that’s great, but if so, a simpler way to do so publicly would be to disband or at least change the name. If the name KKK doesn’t stand for what it used to, why continue to use it?

    Now an organisation that teaches and encourages sin is not Christian. “all those faiths” that support Gay marriage are not Christian, and do not believe in God. If they were, they would listen to what Jesus said. Why do they continue to use the “Faith?” They are imposters. They cause people to sin, and so should be shunned by true believers. It is better to enter Heaven without them than to enter Hell with them – however numerous they are, since broad is the path that leads to destruction. The Church consists od those who believe in Christ, and they do what he says.

    Jesus said that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and Equality under the Law is a cornerstone of Democracy, but equality is not the same as uniformity, and seeking to be equal in material terms, to those who are richer or more powerful, is just what we used to call the rat race. It is a symptom of materialistic atheism and contrary to the Gospel, which teaches contentment and contempt for riches and worldly esteem. Gay Pride and militant feminism are concerned with worldly things. They are based on the lie that if the rats run fast enough all their dreams will come true. The sad truth is that the faster the rats run, the fatter the cats become.

    Valuing Diversity is nonsense. If Diversity were intrinsically valuable, we would be trying to increase the number of pathogenic micro-organisms, and legislating to encourage paedophilia and bestiality (actually that would increase the number of pathogenic micro-organisms too). But No, we do not value diversity for its own sake. It is a nonsense slogan used to supress legitimate grievances at the erosion traditional British morality and culture, which is of course, Christian. The PC brigade preach diversity while imposing uniformity on the masses, by demanding that people of faith conform to their evil ideology – Consumerism, which is totalitarian materialistic atheism.  

    The best things in life are free gifts from God. This planet was one of them. 

  • whytheworldisending

    Civilised people don’t burn sheep alive in the streets (and other people’s sheep at that) in order to protect their businesses. Britain is a nation of animal lovers, because Britain is Christian – remember St Francis. There are many Christians in France, but the State, and State policies is something different. There are many Christians in Britain, but they are  under-represented in Government.   

  • whytheworldisending

    People on this thread have expressed the view that a secular state is best, and they say that we ought not to live in a “Theocracy.” I agree that our poitical institutions: Government, Legislature, and Judiciary ought to be impartial, but they are not impartial if we live in an “Atheocracy.” A fundamentalist Atheist state is not a Secular state, and that is where we are headed. It is the worst form of totalitarian state, since it is both unrepresentative AND amoral and therefore devoid of any legitimacy.

  • scary goat

     Children are “goods and services” ??????

  • scary goat

     Well said, Jabba.

  • scary goat

     I think he was on your side and his comment was sarcastic.  Hence my response.

  • scary goat

     “Equality and diversity” that’s one of those non-existent “doctrines” of political-correctness that Jabba keeps trying to point out.  I’m afraid the Catholic Church beat you to it on that one by a few centuries, only they did it better.  It’s called “the dignity of each human person”. No one is stopping you from being as “diverse” as you like but “equality” doesn’t mean “sameness”.  I have heard about black people fighting for their right to be seen as equal human beings….of course that is their right…..but I have never heard black people wanting the word “white” redefined to include them.  That would be a nonsense. 

    “All those faiths and churches”.  Well, Catholics, Orthodox, Muslim do not accept “gay marriage”.  Also some protestant sects do not.  That covers by far the largest numbers of religious populations.  Some protestant sects might approve it, I’m not sure about Hindus and Buddhists, will have to look that up.  The Christian denominations which accept it are away from their religion…..make it up as you go along.  The Catholic and Orthodox Churches are the root of Christianity.  The others are off-shoots.

  • scary goat

     Just out of interest Nick, and I’m not trying to be funny, it’s a serious question, what are your views on equal marriage rights for polygamous relationships, incestuous relationships, under-age relationships (post-pubescent) and bestiality? Can you say which of these you would approve and which not and why.

  • Herbertpooler

    No its the rights of the child to have natural parents that meaning a proper MUM  &  DAD!!!!

  • scary goat

    ” – because that would be an opinion not fact”.  It is also an opinion that it is “normal”. And why are opinions not allowed as long as they are expressed as opinions?  Will we be allowed to say “according to the teachings of the Catholic Church this is wrong”?  Or will this be classed as discrimination?  Will we be allowed to say “the law allows this although our beliefs are different”?  Will we be able to say “gays have been given the right to equal marriage because the government thinks a, b and c but we disagree with that because d, e and f.”?  Will we be allowed to continue to use our own Catholic sex-education materials used in our primary schools or will we be forced to use stories about “Adam and Steve”? and failure to comply will result in discrimination law suits?

    “plenty of straight people have sex the way gay people do you know”.  This is also a sin in Catholic teaching.

    “But in any case, there are accepted by wider society and the law – so you are on a collision course with both here”

    Yes we know that, although I’m not sure it’s as widely accepted by the general public as you think.  And might is right? The law may accept it but the law can be wrong. And yes we have to abide by the law of the country in which we live, But this law (IMHO) hasn’t been thought through properly and it will infringe upon the rights of others to freedom of religious beliefs and practice..

    “- But Catholicism isn’t a religion or a faith in the way Islam is”.  I’m afraid I feel a “Jabbaism” coming on…..Total pole dancing codswallop!  I haven’t got time to explain that in detail although I have touched on the subject in another post.  In any case it’s up to you to do your research on that one…..try the http://www. 

  • JabbaPapa

    The horrid (and ongoing) demonising of Ragnerus by the homosexualist Thought Police is sickening.

    No religious bias in his work can be successfully demonstrated — it’s just evil propaganda about him.

    by the medical professionals and social services in the UK

    “medical professionals” are not academics, and their views on academic studies not concerning any area of specialty of theirs are typically unsound.

    as for the social services, your statement simply shows their bias — because a refutation of the findings of any academic paper will be found in academic journals ; not in hastily cobbled together politically correct statements from pro-gay Lefties.

  • whytheworldisending

    “But in respect of teaching children, shouldn’t they be aware of the different types of relationships within society and how they are recognised?”

    Yes – they should be made aware that there are dreadful people out there who they must keep well away from since they mean to harm them physically, and evil people out there who seek to make it easy for them to fall victim to such people, by teaching them that they are to be trusted. As to how thay can be recognised. They cannot go by appearances, since wolves in sheep’s clothing like to appear kind and caring in order to cover their iniquitous designs. But they can be sure that those who oppose Family and Church and would isolate them from the people who do care for them – their natural parents – are deeply suspect.

  • RuariJM

    Because a very similar court ruling required them to place children with gay couples, Nick.

    Rather than do something so fundamentally against their principles, they ceased operations.

    We now have a ‘backlog’ of children ‘waiting for adoption’ to be processed through ever-so-balanced and right-on agencies; mostly state agencies. What a mess.

    Join the dots, go figure and do the math, whichever you prefer.

  • Nick

    People are welcome to a public religious life – but not if in doing so they are breaking laws that provide for non discrimination of others – its really very simple. Once again, it come sdown to the matter that you are asking for special treatment not equal treatment. – Well you ain’t getting it!!

    Re sexual teachings of the Christian religion… That’s only your opinion – plenty of Christians would disagree with you. Pity you cannot even agree amongst yourselves!!And why should be be allowed to preach and teach against that which is legal?

    Re Christian hostelries…. The BnB in Reading wasn’t a Christian hostelry…. Their web site didn’t make any reference to their Christianity – it did however say “A warm welcome for all”!!Gay people have never been known to “barge into” straight clubs and cause trouble. Sadly however, straight people have been known to do this in gay clubs. Until prejudice and ignorance ends in the minority of people it still exists in, gay people have a right to feel safe within a gay environment. Just as you have the right to feel safe in a christian church. Thus your analogy is ridiculous.

    Sorry Jabba, but we come back to the fact that the religious freedom you want is the freedom to discriminate against others – and you will NEVER get that back again, Your time is past.

  • Nick

    No Gay person opposes Family, so that eliminates them.
    Plenty of Straight people oppose Church however, so what does that tell us?

    I suggest it tells us that your post is on the verge of preaching hate and thus you yourself cannot possibly be a Christian and are probably one of those people who children should be taught to avoid.

  • scary goat

     Sorry, I know this is irrelevant, but his name’s Jabbapapa, or we call him Jabba for short. Or you can post without using a name.  He’s not calling you icky-nicky is he? It’s just starting to get on my nerves.

  • Nick

    Yes exactly – the Government is against your position, the High Court is against your position, the Court of Appeal is against your position, the ECHR is against your position and right thinking, civilised society is against your position!

    Join the dots, go figure and do the math, whichever you prefer.

  • Nick

    So you want to stifle debate now do you?
    You only want people posting on here who agree with you!
    And hardly propaganda when the Government, all of the Courts and right thinking civilised society all support my position.

  • RuariJM

    Actually, as the cases have not been tested to the High Court, Court of Appeal and EHCR, you are simply talking out of the back end of a prejudiced, bigoted horse’s back end.

    You really don’t get this tolerance, equal rights stuff, do you? Despite all your hissy fits and selfish demands!

  • Nick

    I’m sure I have as much right to call him JabbaJabba for short as you do to call him Jabba.
    I use it as a term of endearment – or do the Catholic indoctrination and thought police think that is wrong as well!

  • Nick

    Really, if you say so – I thought it rather summed up the Catholic position quite nicely.

  • Nick

    Erm I don’t think I’ve ever found anything subtle on this forum JabbaJabba.

  • Nick

    Oh yes, JabbaJabba is a strange guy all right.

    There is no overwhelming evidence any god like creature exists, but 100% proof positive that gay people exist.

    Thus it seems obvious who needs and rights should come first – those of real people or a mythical creature!

  • Nick

    I wouldn’t approve any of them – for two key reasons.

    1) No one is calling for them and
    2) In our society, its accepted that people form relationships as couples – whether that be homosexual or heterosexual.

    Polygamous / incestuous / underage would still all fall within homo / heterosexual.You forget, that most people in favour of same sex marriage and positioning same sex relationships on an exact par with opposite sex relationships are in fact straight.

  • Nick

    And what do you think my “entitlement” should be JabbaJabba? Different to yours maybe?
    Well that would be discrimination then!!

  • RuariJM

    Not true, Nick, as the case has not been tested as far as you think – or even in the route you think. The Upper Tribunal is not the High Court. It does not have the same powers as the High Court – it actually rebuked the Charity Commissioners for describing the charity in this case as ‘run by bigots’ or ‘bigoted’, which extracted a very reluctant withdrawal from the chairman.

    On a very narrow point of Law, that the charity could not prove that people would not use its services if it was not granted the same exemption as gay charities, the Tribunal allowed the Charity Commissioners’ nasty, partisan, bigoted, prejudiced ruling.

  • Nick

    No JabbaJabba, you don’t have to restrict your religious freedom to belief and worship (although it might be best if you did) - you can bring it into the public domain – BUT NOT if in doing so you diminish the rights of others or come into conflict with what the law provides for.
    For example, if you’re a Registrar but won’t conduct a Civil Partnership, then you can’t fulfill your job role and should be sacked. It all comes back to you wanting special treatment, not equal treatment.

    And you are campaigning against by belief that I should be allowed to marry the person I love. – So you are campaigning against my beliefs.

    Re And yet the rights of Catholics etc – Yes. Because you will be going against the law and what right thinking society deems acceptable.

    Re Doctrines of Homosexuality etc – There are no doctrines. Marriage is licenced by the state, not the church. Christian teaching is only appropriate in a Christian setting – IE a church.

    Re Christian hostelries etc – The prosecuted BnB owners were not running Christian hostelries. They may be Christian, but the web site of the one in Reading says “A warm welcome for all”. There no mention or hint of Christianity. And they confirm a booking, take a deposit yet turn people away at the door late at night. – Very Christian.
    No gay people have caused trouble in a straight club, but sadly, straight people have caused trouble in gay clubs. Gay people need an environment in which they can feel safe (exactly as you should in your church) and actually, many many straight people now go to ostensibly gay bars and clubs – generally because they have a better time. A gay bar or club or no more a pick up joint than a straight one - in using the terminology you have, you further reveal your prejudice and ignorance.

    Re religious freedom and tolerant society – take a look in the mirror JabbaJabba. Are you tolerant of the equal rights of GBLT people? Its you religionists who are out on a limb – and you’re turning right thinking civilised society against you with every word people like you utter.

  • Nick

    Of course opinions are allowed – the problem you have is when they come into conflict with what the law provides for and what civilised society deems acceptable.

    Sorry, I don’t know anything about Adam and Steve. But if you take Adam and Eve as being literal, this is why you’re derided.

    And I can’t help what is against Catholic teaching – and neither can mainstream society. Again, you’re just on a major collision course with just about everyone and everything.

    NO YOUR RIGHTS TO FREEDOM OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS AND PRACTICE ARE NOT INFRINGED – how many times do you people have to be told. What you believe and worship in your church is your business – no one is trying to dictate to you. But again, you want a special dispensation to discriminate against others i every day life. NO!!!

    Catholicism isn’t of the Christian faith? Oh please….
    The faith is Christianity – the denomination is Roman Catholic, C of E, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran etc etc

  • Nick

    “Equality and diversity” that’s one of those non-existent “doctrines” of political-correctness that Jabba keeps trying to point out.” – Try telling that to all the private and public sector organisations who take equality and diversity very seriously.

    “The Christian denominations which accept it are away from their religion…..make it up as you go along.” – That’s just your opinion. And its not a numbers game.
    The Quakers have been actively capaigning to conduct same sex marriage for pushing 20 years. And the Unitarians are in favour. And Liberal Jews.
    And many many people (including ordained people) in the C of E. The Bishop of Buckingham has even made a video for the Out4Marriage campaign. So has the Reverand Sarah Jones of Ross on Wye. And leading Evangelical Steve Chalk is also in favour.

    This rather skewers what we read on here about it all being a minority ‘homosexualist lobby’.

  • Nick

    What a totally stupid post. – You are just showing yourself up as ignorant.”Now an organisation that teaches and encourages sin is not Christian. “all those faiths” that support Gay marriage are not Christian, and do not believe in God.” – Try telling that to the Quakers, Unitarians, Liberal Jews, the Bishop of Buckingham and many other ordained people in the C of E.

    “Valuing Diversity is nonsense.” – Try telling that to just about every private and public sector employer of any sgnificance.No wonder you people are out on a limb, floundering around, gasping for air.

  • Nick

    There are indeed many Christians in Britain – who support equal marriage!!

  • Nick

    I was talking generally – not specifically about this case.

    Thus I stand by my assertion that the Government, the High Court, The Court of Appeal, the ECHR and most importantly, right thinking, civilised society are all against the stance taken on these threads. They find against you and in favour of the equal rights of Gay people every single time.

    So I don’t need to have hissy fits – its just not necessary.
    Whereas you on the other hand appear to be at the point of bursting a blood vessel because you can’t get your own way.

  • Nick

    Now you’re just being obtuse.
    Adoption is a service.

  • Nick

    But my dear JabbaJabba, it remains the case that the study to which you refer (which does have a religious bias regardless of your attempt to suggest otherwise) isn’t given any credence by the medical professionals and social services in the UK. And it is they who are the decision makers in these matters, not academics.
    And in your post above, you haven’t been able to offer one iota of evidence that it is accepted.
    Rather the opposite actually, as in lashing out in your final paragraph, you’re revealing how desperate your arguments are becoming. TTFN.