Thu 31st Jul 2014 | Last updated: Thu 31st Jul 2014 at 12:02pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo
Hot Topics

Latest News

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

By on Thursday, 24 January 2013

Screen shot 2013-01-24 at 12.00.19

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

    “you are simply talking out of the back end of a prejudiced, bigoted horse’s back end.” – Tsk, one detects a little petulance and name calling. That’s not nice, you’ll get banned from the site!

  • JabbaPapa

    you don’t have to restrict your religious freedom to belief and worship (although it might be best if you did)

    Your parenthesis reveals the truth of your opinions and of your anti-religious agenda.

    Re Doctrines of Homosexuality etc – There are no doctrines.

    Homosexualism not homosexuality.

    Not all homosexualists are homosexuals themselves, given that it is a political movement.

    No gay people have caused trouble in a straight club

    Oh give me a break !!! How can you expect *anyone* to believe that ???

    Are you tolerant of the equal rights of GBLT people?

    Of course — but marriage does not create any state of inequality, nor is it a right.

  • JabbaPapa

    Sigh.

    So “if the Government says it, it’s not propaganda” then ?

    You have much to learn about ideological totalitarianism. Try starting with Brave New World.

  • JabbaPapa

    An organisation that teaches and encourages sin is not Christian.

  • JabbaPapa

    Certainly not yourself, anyway.

  • JabbaPapa

    Next time, just say “yes” — at least you’d spare us the hypocrisy.

  • RuariJM

    You can stand by your assertion all you like, Nick, but that will not make it true, because it is not.

    As you are so keen for others to lose ‘conscience exemptions’ or whatever you would like to call it, are you pushing with the same enthusiasm for gay charities to lose their exemptions from Equality Legislation?

  • RuariJM

    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. As I said, the case has not been tested as far as you maintain – 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 but it went so far as to rebuke 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.

    It asked the Commission to reconsider its action, as close as you can get to saying ‘you are wrong and unreasonable’. When it refused to do so, the Tribunal had to acknowledge that it had followed the law, and it was supported purely on that point.

  • whytheworldisending

    One of us is wrong. You think a Christian is someone who supports something that Jesus said was evil. Jesus said to people who pretended to be his disciples….”Why do you call me Master and not do what I say?”

    Jesus taught self-denial and as far as possible abstention from sex. He confirmed the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman, but expressly listed fornication - that is sex outside of marriage betweeen a man and a woman – as an EVIL, along with “indecency.”

    He also said “Many will come USING my name. Refuse to join them.”

    There is no such thing as a Christian who supports same sex marriage. There are however evil-doers who call themselves christians in order to get what they want. They use Christ’s name for their own immoral purposes.

    Many are realising this and shaking the dust from their feet as a sign to them. This is why so many are leaving the Anglican Church and joining those who actually agree with what Jesus teaches.  

  • whytheworldisending

    You expressly concede that all this – in your opinion – is a matter of opinion. Well tell us – why should anybody listen to anyone else’s opinion? The law cannot be based on opinions. It must have a moral basis. If it loses that, it loses the respect of the people. When that happens law and order break down. We do not follow our opinions. We obey God. If it comes to a choice between God’s Word and someone’s opinion, which do you think people will follow? And yes, of course, ultimately the law is backed by the state. That means that force. But read your history books. For 2,000 years eartly powers have tried to force Christians to choose between God and evil, and failed.

  • whytheworldisending

    The name National Secular Society is just a cloak to cover their true nature. They ought to be called the National Atheist Society. 

  • whytheworldisending

    “Perfect parents?” Nonsense. That’s just your opinion.

  • whytheworldisending

    The courts do not support you. They mechanistically apply rules laid down by atheists in Strasbourg, which they are obliged to follow because of the HRA 1998 – passed by Tony Blair. The courts are behind the times. They still consider themselves bound by Parliament. The Government gave up taking any notice of MP’s years ago.

  • whytheworldisending

    Without Christianity homosexuals would still be persecuted. They are biting the hands that protected them from the natural animosity which people of no faith feel towards them. Same sex marriage would be a big backward step for liberal Britain, and a tremendous boost for fascists.  

  • Nick

    We’re not talking about an “Atheocracy”, we’re talking about a Representative Democracy.

  • Nick

    So essentially JabbaJabba, they only way you’ll consider that you have the religious freedom that you think you should have is if you’re free to discriminate against Gay people and anyone else you want to discriminate against. Sorry NO – it ain’t happening. You’re just too used to getting your own way and now that you can’t, you don’t like it.

    And yep, I don’t believe there’s any reported cases of Gay people causing trouble in Straight clubs. Plenty of reports the opposite way round though.

  • Nick

    I’m not aware of gay charities discriminating – that’s the difference.

  • Nick

    I’m quite happy with the world as it is JabbaJabba – its improving all the time.
    You seem to be the one with the problem.

  • Nick

    What the Quakers?
    The Unitarians?
    The Bishop of Buckingham?
    The Vicar of Ross on Wye?
    They’re not Christian? So no Chrisitan who supports equal marriage is actually a Christian?
    Well Jabba it seems if you guys can’t agree between yourselves…. If you’re so diametrically opposed to each other…
    We’ll just leave you to get on with it and let civilised society pass you by…

  • Nick

    Right, so please tell me where Jesus said being gay was evil?
    What did Jesus in his teachings as recounted in the Gospels have to say about homosexuality?
    Please give me some quotes from the Gospels about homosexuality? And in particulr about Gay people forming loving monogamous relationships?

    You’re just making it up…
    There’s nothing in there…
    I’ve caught you out…
    You’re a fraud….

    “There is no such thing as a Christian who supports same sex marriage. There are however evil-doers who call themselves christians in order to get what they want. They use Christ’s name for their own immoral purposes.”
    Ok, well I’ll leave you to tell that to the Quakers, Unitarians, the Bishop of Buckingham, the Vicar of Ross on Wye, Reverand Steve Chalk and many many more Chrisitans who are far more Christian that you are.

  • Nick

    No, I think the post as it stands was far more revealing…

  • RuariJM

    Charities aimed at LGBT people have exemptions under the Equality Act that allow them to discriminate against non-gay people – i.e., those who they were not set up to support.

    Were you unaware?

  • JabbaPapa

    Please don’t explain how you would define “sin” — your response appears to be based on a very confused notion of what it actually is.

  • JabbaPapa

    Representative Democracies do not declare the political views of any constitutive minorities to be illegal.

  • whytheworldisending

    Where do you think the Government, the Courts and Legislature gets their authority from? God, or the people?

  • whytheworldisending

    .”…you cannot take actions (or refuse to take actions) that impinge on the legal rights and freedoms of others.”

    But (so much for equality) YOU can! You can engage in actions which cause millions of deaths of innocent people, and expose the whole human race to anihilation, and thousands of adopted children to the risk of sexual abuse.

  • whytheworldisending

    “So no Chrisitan who supports equal marriage is actually a Christian?”

    ALLELUIA! You’re finally beginning to understand, BUT one correction….

    Why are you calling it “Equal” marriage. Marriage IS equal. There is no prohibition on gays getting marrried. It is “SAME-SEX MARRIAGE” WHICH IS ILLEGAL, and rightly so. 

    Oh dear. Just when I thought you were making progress….now you think society is civilised. Do you live on a desert island?

  • whytheworldisending

    They discriminate alright. Would a gay adoption agency put forward a child for adoption by a Catholic married couple (man & woman), without demanding that they relinquish their human right (protected under Article 8 of the Convention) to bring up the child in the Catholic faith, as they would be obliged to do in all conscience as Catholics (or for that matter, Evangelical Protestants, or for that matter ordinary people with traditional family values)?

    Of course not. Some are more equal than others. What you really need is a new Convention Protocol protecting your right to Hypocrisy.

  • whytheworldisending

    Debate? You need more than other people’s views, contradiction and repetition to have a debate. The courts, government and many many people supported another public health hazard for a long time  – cigaretted smoking, until too many people had died. Slavery comes to mind aswell, which was only stopped when Christian campaigners finally got through to the establishment’s conscience. Stop depending on other people and stand on your own intellectual feet. Try to develop some sort of logical argument.

  • whytheworldisending

    And 34 million is alreadt far too many, but I suppose you think that doesn’t matter.

  • whytheworldisending

    Your question (which for some reason you asked 3 times in a slightly different way) doesn’t help you, since even if the assumption in it (which is incorrect) were true, it would not be any sort of argument for Christians regarding homosexual oractices as anything other than sinful. That is because Jesus said nothing about bestiality, and I think even you wouldn’t try to say use that to support the proposition that Bestiality is anything other than sinful. Therefore (this is called logic) you cannot use the same approach to assert that homosexual practices aren’t sinful

    I’ll answer your question anyway, but just once.

    Read Mark Chapter 7, verses 21 to 23 inclusive (Try King James Bible online if you don’t have your own).   

  • whytheworldisending

    Nick, you asked about Christian values. Christians value human life more than the selfish pursuit of pleasure. This is why they abhor abortion, which is killing for sexual gratification, and sodomy, which (leaving aside all the other evil consequences) has killed 34 million people and threatens to kill millions more – again for nothing more than sexual gratification.

    You said “Give us a laugh.” Well laugh if you like, but personally I don’t think any sin which causes the unecessary deaths of millions of God’s creatures is anything to laugh about.

  • Nick

    Then why doesn’t the church support the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV in sub saharan Africa? That would save a few million.Plus if your reference to ‘sodomy’ links to HIV and AIDS, it kills more straights than gays.
    All these deaths you talk of – you’d think your ‘god’ would step in any do something about it wouldn’t you. Does it ever occur to you that actually, he doesn’t exist?And live in the real world – people do things for pleasure. That’s why your church is becoming ever more irrelevant.

  • Nick

    Well they would if they were grossly offensive to most other people.
    Particularly if they were also ignorant, hateful and spiteful views.

  • Nick

    Err – there are no gay adoption agencies. You are really being very silly now.

  • Nick

    Yes but there is no need to reason to exclude gay people from being considered as adoptive parents other than for reasons of prejudice and bigotry.

    And Indian and Chinese restaurants also have exemptions meaning they’re allowed to only emply Indian and Chinese people.

  • Nick

    That doesn’t even merit a reply.

  • Nick

    “You can engage in actions which cause millions of deaths of innocent people, and expose the whole human race to anihilation, and thousands of adopted children to the risk of sexual abuse.” – How so? Please explain to us?
    I’m particularly interested to know about the thousands of adopted children to the risk of sexual abuse bit?

  • Nick

    34 million? Explain it to us? Go on – no need for subtly, go for it.

  • Nick

    I think its your church that needs to try standing on its own two feet and not keep asking for special consideration, conscious objections and the right to carry on discriminating.

  • Nick

    Now you’re just being obtuse.
    And same sex marriage will be legal very soon. ;-) 

  • Nick

    Well I’m not a Christian, so it doesn’t matter.
    And I’m too old for fairy stories ;-)

  • RuariJM

    Hmmm.

    So it’s ok for gays to discriminate in favour of gays – that isn’t prejudice or bigotry. It is, presumably, serving the special needs of the community they were set up to serve.

    It s only prejudice ad bigotry when Catholic charities seek to serve he special needs of the community they were set up to serve.

    When you do it, it’s ok. When anyone else does, it’s prejudice and bigotry.

    I think you need to work on your logic and consistency a bit, Nick. Otherwise you might run the risk if coming across as a hypocritical bigot.

  • RuariJM

    Gay charities have an exemption that allows them to cater for those they were set up to cate for, serve and support – gay people – and to exclude those that do not fall into that category.

    Denying the same exemption to other charities – that  they should be able to provide support and services to those they were set up to support and serve – is nasty, bigoted and hypocritical, Nick.

    It is interesting that you seem to support the ‘right’ of Indian/Chinese restaurants to practice racial discrimination… 

    But, of course, you are mistaken. 

    They cannot discriminate on the grounds of race. 

    What they can do is require that employees have the necessary and appropriate skills for the job. Same as hospitals advertising for brain surgeons – they have to be skilled in brain surgery and able to speak the language to the level required to avoid embarrassing mistakes; race, creed and colour don’t come into it…

  • whytheworldisending

    You cannot reply “God” without admitting that your world view is not shared by the Crown in Parliament, which is entitled “Defender of the Faith.”

    If you reply, “The People,”  you will be asked “Then why are you ignoring the wishes of the majority?”

    That’s why you cannot reply…. Constitutionally speaking, your stance is wholly without merit.

     

  • whytheworldisending

    Thank God for that anyway.

    The very thought makes one shudder.

  • whytheworldisending

    Its the militant atheist homosexuals (“The Gaytheists”) who want special consideration. They don’t want the Law of England (which declares same-sex marrriage unlawful) to apply to them, and to get around it, they want to change the English language to suit them. How special is that?

    The Church presents a very carefully composed and moderate case for keeping both Law and Language uncorrupted and intact.

    I see no reason why believers need limit argument in the same way. There are myriad arguments, including the argument that same-sex marriage is divisive and undermines morality and social order.

    You have to defeat every single one of them to succeed. An impossible task. 

  • whytheworldisending

    That’s your opinion. Where are your arguments? Or do you have so much faith in the capability of this elective dictatorship to override the views of the people that you think arguments are unnecessary?

  • whytheworldisending

    You got your answer. You have no answer to it, and you don’t like that. If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen

  • whytheworldisending

    The burden of proof lies with the one who makes the assertion. It is not up to anyone to disprove the Gaytheist hypothesis. It is up to the Gaytheists to prove that they are in the best interests of any child. And this is really a red-herring, since any such “proof” would rest on an implicit value judgement as to which criteria should be employed to “measure” the child’s well-being and any benefits bestowed or disbenefits inflicted on it. In th eabsence off academia, use common sense.

    That’s what the majority will be using on Tuesday in Parliament, when they kick out the same-sex marriage Bill at second reading.