Hip-Hip-Hooray fot The Charity Tribunal.
I hope this bit of news doesn’t fall on the deaf ears of the Scottish National Party and the RCC’s ‘secret plan’ to defy adoption laws.
Every Catholic should slip a condom in his/her collection enveloppe, just to make a point. I doubt the pa-astor will use them.
One word: Sweet.
No doubt we’ll have the usual charade of religious right-wingers crying at the face of god for such “injustices”…. well, f*ck them I say, its about time the law stopped protecting their small prejudices. If its about their “religious convictions” then shut down, or hand the agencies to the government. Simple.
Every child has the right to be adopted by the best possible people. Christian agencies are denying THE CHILD its rights by dismissing many couples.
This isn’t about the rights of Christians, Catholic or otherwise, but about the rights of the child.
The Catholic charity should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!
I heartily recommend the comments thread following the Daily Mail story on this:
There are a lot of Hanks and Skinners out there. And they’ll be voting tomorrow. So if you don’t, there vote will effectively count twice.
Look on the Peter Tatchell thread!
Thanks Ivan, had a quick read. Some of the comments are truly appalling. A delightful indication of the class of reader for that paper.
Well, the Daily Mail is nothing but a gutter rag for the intellectually retarded, and those with a penchant for the swastika.
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The point was a bit obvious, but it was important that the CT should make it. There is no theoretical limit to religious or other conscience or, therefore, the laws it would choose to disobey as a result. Some anarchists and far-righters object conscientiously to taxes; they have to pay up. Some groups believe conscientiously in their right to violent revenge if they are attacked or their ‘honour’ or beliefs are insulted. If they act on such principles they go to jail.
If you feel conscience-bound to disobey any law in a liberal democracy, you must accept the consequences and not request special immunity. I and other members of CND in the 80s were arrested for obstruction and trespass on military bases; we accepted arrest, went to court, and pleaded our cases. We did not expect immunity from prosecution or a special law for political demonstrators. A Quaker magistrate of the time stepped down rather than convict peaceful protestors against nuclear weapons of public order offences. He did not ask both to stay in the job and pick and choose whom he judged.
So the fair choices for Catholic Adoption Agencies seem clear:
1 Obey the law, without exception.
2 Decide you cannot in conscience operate the service under the law as it stands, and close.
3 Disobey the law and accept that you must pay the price.
4 Since it is a liberal democracy – well, roughly speaking – continue to campaign to change the law itself so that you can continue to discriminate against people some of whose salient characteristics offend your ideology but are empirically wholly irrelevant to the service you purport to provide. Good luck with this one – you will need it.
Thanks for the tip. I never would have gone back there.
Hurrah! Common sense prevails. NOBODY should be allowed to discriminate against others. I’m sure racists have beliefs about adoption too, but the Law doesn’t allow them to discriminate. Oh, but these are *religious* beliefs, so that’s different. Well, no, it’s not. The sooner all religions get that message the better. What gets me is that they don’t even have the guts to admit it’s their own prejudices, and try to pretend god tells them to hate certain people or treat them differently. Cowards and bigots.
Good. If they are incapable of providing their service without prejudice & discrimination, then they should shut. The children & their needs will be better put first by an adoption agency that does not discriminate.
Unfortunately, I cannot agree with this decision. In my opinion, it is the children who need to come first here, not us gay people. The closure of these places will, undoubtedly, negatively affect the children, and even if the religious adoption agencies do not want to put the needs of the children first in terms of placing them with gay couples or straight couples, then we must put their needs first. They will be well looked after in these places, that much is obvious to us, and to close them and further disrupt their live just for our needs to me, seems terribly unfair and not in the spirit of what the gay rights movement is about. Eventually, history will condemn them and I for one, am quite comfortable waiting for that day so that the children are put first.
While this is to be commended, the Charity tribunal only covers England and Wales. I am concerened that the Scottish government (SNP) will continue to do what they want with regard to gay adoption and let the St. Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society continue to discriminate against gay people.
“They will be well looked after in these places, that much is obvious to us, and to close them and further disrupt their live..”
Sammy, what do you mean?? These are RC adoption agencies who REFUSE to act in the best interests of the child by finding them the best parents. They wanted to rule out LGBT people EVEN THOUGH THEY MIGHT BE THE BEST PARENTS FOR THAT PARTICULAR CHILD. They also wanted permission to break the law. I think you must have misunderstood.
Basically, my point was that it is in the best interests of the child to be placed in a loving home, not to be placed with gay or straight couples, if that makes sense. The religious adoption agencies will be looking after these children and placing them in good homes, even if they are refusing to consider gay couples. To me, it is better that these children are getting placed with someone who cares and are being taken care of prior to their placement, than they close down so that we can feel a little bit more satisfied. I understand perfectly the situation, I just don’t believe in LGBT rights at the expense of innocent children.
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Could you please take a minute and rephrase what it is you’re trying to say.
Right now, you make as much sense to me as pope benny did when he said condoms would only make the AIDS situation worse in Africa.
The church would rather protect its prejudices then the children in its care.
Well, in the USA for decades the church hid endless rape of children by priests, moving the priests to new locations to continue their heinous crimes.
These crimes are essentially identical to prison rape. Where the most macho of usually hetero prisoners rape the weak, to establish their “authority” within the prison population.
And now it has just come out that the same thing happened in Ireland for decades. The Catholic “christian brothers” ran reform schools and orphanages. Kids were raped, worked half to death, fed inadequately, and left in poorly heated buildings.
The damages so far total about $175 million US. And expectations are they will ultimately total $1.75 Billion US
This is a church, or is it a nightmare – the longest living nightmare in western civilization.
Now headed by a leader who learned about power growing up in Nazi Germany
the catholic church has a chequered history of supposedly ‘caring’ for vulnerable children. Given the emerging ‘track record’ – not only in Ireland, ranging from good old fashioned brutality to way worse, can any thinking human consign children to its care?
On top of that there is the perpetual poisoning of childrens’ minds, and the destruction of their innocence in so many other ways.
Obviously there are exceptions, but institutionally there can be no doubt that there is only one ‘unsuitable’ candidate’ here – I say close them down, and let them get on with their hate mongering elsewhere.
Sammy, read what I said again. These RC agencies are NOT looking for the best parents for the children, they are seeking to inflict their own personal beliefs on the way they carry out their job. This means that if they had, for example, ten potential sets of parents for a child and the best parent was gay, they would rather place that child with a WORSE parent than one who’s gay. You’d think that would bother them if they care about the child – they don’t. They care about promoting hatred and their own religious dogma ABOVE THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD. Do you get it now?
(I also think you’re getting muddled between care homes for children and adoption agencies because you mentioned dusrupting their lives/places where they are cared for).
If you were really concerned with the interests of the child, you’d agree that they be placed with the BEST PARENTS FULL STOP.
“Eventually, history will condemn them and I for one, am quite comfortable waiting for that day so that the children are put first.”
I’m curious Sammy, as to why you think putting children with gay couples is not in the best interest of the child? Do you think an orphanage is the best place for them? I think not, if you have red the Ryan Report in Ireland on the abuses that go on in these so called “christian” institutions by catholic priests.
Perhaps if you spend less time siding with these bunch of religious bigots, and actually doing your homework, you’d see that every study done shows that gay couples can be as good, or better, than heterosexual parents. Seem to me that letting gay parents adopt is in the interest of the child.
And if you had a “christian” adoption agency refusing to allow white children with black parents, on “moral grounds”, would you still think this was putting the child first? Its should never be for the religious to decide the welfare of the child based on their so called principals, especially given the catholic version of “welfare” involves abusing these children. It is for the state to ensure the welfare of its children.
I have consulted a couple of my friends and they have confirmed that my point does make sense. I will try to explain my point again though, to see if I can clear it up at all for you. It seems that most people on here, would rather that these places close and the children lose out on a place that could potentially place them with parents, straight or gay, than the places stay open and not consider us as parents. I am all for LGBT rights, believe me, but not at the expense of children who are already in a bad situation. These places closing is not doing the children any favours at all.
“Sammy, read what I said again. These RC agencies are NOT looking for the best parents for the children, they are seeking to inflict their own personal beliefs on the way they carry out their job.”
Correction, they are looking for the best heterosexual parents for these children. Just because we are not being considered does not mean these children aren’t going to good homes.
“This means that if they had, for example, ten potential sets of parents for a child and the best parent was gay, they would rather place that child with a WORSE parent than one who’s gay.”
This is true. However, that does not mean the parents the child is placed with is bad, it just means that we aren’t considered. I’d rather the child have the oppurtunity to be placed with a good couple who aren’t gay and us not be considered, than the child not have that oppurtunity at all. They would lose that oppurtunity if the place closes down.
“You’d think that would bother them if they care about the child – they don’t. They care about promoting hatred and their own religious dogma ABOVE THE NEEDS OF THE CHILD.”
As stated in a previous comment, even if these places aren’t willing to place them with any couple as long as they’re suitable, we should be willing to put the child’s needs above ourselves. Yes, the discrimination is wrong and I of course, do not agree with it. However, it is my opinion that the children would suffer if these places close, just so we can feel a little more satisfied.
“Do you get it now?”
Please don’t be so condescending. I understood it from the beginning, just because I don’t agree does not mean I lack understanding. In fact, it seems to me that you are so blinded by your need for LGBT rights that you can’t understand my point.
“(I also think you’re getting muddled between care homes for children and adoption agencies because you mentioned dusrupting their lives/places where they are cared for).”
Yes, I did get slightly muddled up making my earlier point, I apologise.
“If you were really concerned with the interests of the child, you’d agree that they be placed with the BEST PARENTS FULL STOP.”
Of course I agree that they should be placed with the best parents possible, but you have to be realistic. If these places are going to CLOSE, that is no longer in the best interest of the child. The next best thing is that we are no considered, the place stays open and the children still have the oppurtunity to be placed with SOMEONE rather than NO ONE.
“I’m curious Sammy, as to why you think putting children with gay couples is not in the best interest of the child?”
You have not understood my point here. My point was not that placing children with gay parents is not in their best interests. My point was that placing them with ANY suitable parents is in their best interests. If these places close down, those children lose that oppurtunity. I’d rather they had as much chance as possible without us being considered, than us be considered but the place close down.
“Do you think an orphanage is the best place for them? I think not, if you have red the Ryan Report in Ireland on the abuses that go on in these so called “christian” institutions by catholic priests.”
It is precisely because I think the orphanage is not the best place for them, that I think these places should stay open and the children not lose another oppurtunity to get out. It seems to me that you are failing to see the contradiction in what you are saying here. If these places close, the children lose out on another chance of getting out of the orphanage. Although they are being denied a chance by these places by them not considering gay couples as parents, they have more of a chance if the place is still open.
“Perhaps if you spend less time siding with these bunch of religious bigots, and actually doing your homework, you’d see that every study done shows that gay couples can be as good, or better, than heterosexual parents. Seem to me that letting gay parents adopt is in the interest of the child.”
I am well aware of the studies that you are talking about. I am also well aware that lesbian couples tend to be better. Please don’t assume I know nothing about this subject, as I am friends with a couple who adopted two children and spend most of my spare time trying to educate people who are opposed to us about the facts of gay adoption and gay people in general.
“And if you had a “christian” adoption agency refusing to allow white children with black parents, on “moral grounds”, would you still think this was putting the child first?”
This fits in with my earlier point that eventually, history will condemn them and it will simply no longer be an issue. Of course I wouldn’t agree that THEY are doing the best for the child, but them closing down for the sake of US isn’t doing the best for the child either. I’d rather they stayed open and did the best by the child without considering us, than they close down and the children lose out on an oppurtunity for placement.
“Its should never be for the religious to decide the welfare of the child based on their so called principals, especially given the catholic version of “welfare” involves abusing these children. It is for the state to ensure the welfare of its children.”
Whilst I agree that there are terrible cases of abuse, these happen everywhere, not just in religious institutions. There are some religious institutions that have done and continue to do good work, despite their views about us. Bad people do good things sometimes.
Hi again, Sammy. Closing agencies like this won’t make a bit of difference to the placement of children. Other non-prejudiced agencies will take those children on and, hopefully, find them a good home.
Nobody’s asking for LGBT people to get special rights, just equal rights IF they prove to be the best parent for that particular child. Each child deserves the best adoptive parent(s) and that’s best served by looking at the widest range of suitable and willing adoptees. Ruling out one subsection of the community is not giving them the best chance of finding the ‘perfect’ adoptive parent. Moreover, it’s against the law.
I wasn’t being patronising, I honestly don’t get what you mean (although I appreciate you explaining further above). No child’s going to be thrown out on the streets or lose a place anywhere if these RC agencies are closed.
You said: “I’d rather they stayed open and did the best by the child without considering us, than they close down and the children lose out on an oppurtunity for placement.”
The children WON’T lose out on a placement. That’s my whole point. They will be taken on by other agencies who have their best interests at heart. The children will not be disadvantaged. People are having a go at you because you don’t seem to appreciate that. The only people who will lose out here are the RC agencies who will no longer be able to break the law and discriminate according to their own prejudices.
First, I should say how well impressed I am with your subtle assessement of the situation, and how clearly you did express yourself on this post. Thank you for taking the time to elaborate so well.
In my original post, which may have been confusing also because I did throw in a rather stupid joke, I was referring to a previous thread which had reported that the Scottish National Party and the RCC were ‘secretly’ planning to defy adoption laws, e.g. RCC adoption agencies could refuse gay parents and get away with it.
When I read in the present article that the Charity Tribunal decided that the adoption agency must either take on gay couples or be forced to close, I took it to mean that the RC agencies would not be permitted to break the law.
In other words, as Iris says in her very last sentence:
‘The only people who will lose out here are the RC agencies who will no longer be able to break the law and discriminate according to their own prejudices.’
To be fair, I must admit that there is in my own mind an undercurrent of resentement towards the RC adoption agencies, not only because of the RCC’s scandalous reputation of abusing children, but also because of the ‘secrecy’ involved when it, the RCC, was lobbying a political party even though I now realize that lobbying is usually done in a discreet, or shall I say in a prudent way.
The well-being of the child is not as much a factor in my mind as it is in yours because I took it for granted that the children would be transfered to secular agencies in the event that the RC adoption agencies would be forced to close.
On the whole, this has been an enriching thread for me and I would not have had the chance to examine my point of view so closely without your help.
It’s incedibly sad that these agencies are closing down, as now less kids who need loving homes will be finding them. But that is simply the adoption agencies faults for being so stubbornly narrow minded. I feel for the kids, but accept no blame as a gay person for demanding the right to adopt. The shame lies entirely with people who would rather a child has no loving home than one with gay parents. Truly shameful.
This ruling only applies in England and Wales. The other story about the Scottish National Party secretly helping the catholic church to get around the law has nothing to do with this ruling. The adopton agency in Scotland, St.Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society, is still allowed to discriminate against gay people. I contacted my MSP about it, but received a reply saying my comments had been noted. And that was it. All adoption agencies throughout the whole of the UK should have to abide by the same laws.
Thanks for your input. I wonder if we are simply saying the same thing, although your comment is more elaborate.
In my post (1), I basically said that I hope that this ruling does not fall on deaf ears in Scotland, where the SNP and the RCC are discreetly planning to circumvent the eventuality of such a law being extended throughout the UK.
So, you sum it up well in your last sentence, and if you have been reading Iris’ comments you may also agree by extension that the only people who would lose out in Scotland would be the RC agencies who could no longer discriminate according to their own prejudices.
In the final analysis, I would add that the RCC has taken a severe nosedive in popularity since the sex abuse scandals began to reveberate throughout the world. In fact, the Vatican appears to be clutching onto anything that remotely resembles the approval of one govenment or another without necessarily putting the interests of the needy at center-stage.
In my opinion, as a gay Canadian and a lapsed-cradle-catholic who was deeply involved in the social teachings of the Church in the 70′s through to the 90′s, the Vatican may not have been really concerned with the poor, the destitute, the helpless and innocent victims of globalization in the Third World.
If so, the papacy would not have condemned Liberation Theology because of its propensity to help the poor rather than to rub elbows with the officials of corrupt governments. Its efforts were to counterbalance its growing unpopularity in First World countries.
There are rumours that the present pope will be visiting the UK this year, rubbing elbows with whom, I wonder.
Jean-Paul, my concern is that the catholic church in Scotland has a lot of power, especially with the SNP who court the catholic vote. I’m also a lapsed-cradle-catholic, as you put it, and I get really annoyed by the attitude of the church towards gay people. You know, I once served as an altar boy (about twenty years ago) at a mass said by Cardinal O’Brien, the most senior catholic in Scotland, and the rest of Britain at the moment. I really cannot understand the venoumous hatred towards gay people spouted by him and his brethren, and it gets me really mad.
Jean-Paul, I’ve just realised that you are talking about the SNP/catholic adopton agency thing as if is hasn’t happened and could be stopped, right? As I understand it, and I may be wrong, it has already happened. This agency has already been given permission by the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator to change their constitution to allow them to, legally, ignore this law. The equivilant regulator in England and Wales, quite rightly, refused such a change in an English agency. So I think it’s already happened. As I said, I contacted my local MSP about it, but just got a “thanks for your comments” reply. Does anyone know if anything CAN be done about this!
I am on Adrian Ts new wall site and trying to cope. Burty-thats me. I will place my photo on the site as soon as possible.
After reading your two comments, I can see where I was confused, and it probably has to do with this strong undercurrent of resentment that I have towards the RCC.
I’ll try to be brief. Here in Canada, the RCC is barely hanging on by its teeth. The laity is getting older, the young have given up the practice, and the clergy are not being replaced by young priests because there is a severe shortage of them.
In my diocese, for example, which is in the northern part of New Brunswick, there are (were) 62 parishes 15 years ago, each with its own pastor. Today the same parishes are administered by 22 priests and there is only one seminarian. This means that the 22 remaining priests do the work of 62. A priest has to travel to 3, 4, 5 parishes for weekend Masses, for funerals, etc.
In a word, the Church is old and dying with not too much to do about it. Here in Bathurst, two chuches closed over the last 3 years and the aging faithful had to pick another parish. The problem is compounded by the fact that we have two official languages in this province. I digress.
So just there we are talking about two very different situations.
I don’t remember the last time I thought of the Church as powerful.
When I was younger (I am presently 64), I too used to serve Mass, but never for a Cardinal!
So much of my time was spent in studying the history of the Church that I have arrive at a certain understanding of why the RCC has been and continues to be hostile towards homosexuals. The more I know, the more furious I become, because Jesus said not a word about sex one way or another.
I hope I am not talking too much.
As for your second comment, you’re right. I didn’t realize that the exemption from the law was in effect in Scotland; I thought it was pending and that ‘secret’ negotiations had been exposed to the embarassement of both Church and State.
It’s a trickey situation because according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights both the religions and the LGBT population have rights; those are rights which are clashing.
The RCC has the right to practice and teach its doctrines thereby spreading homophobia; the LGBT community has a right to adopt a child. Depending on which side has the advantage, an entire scale of possibilities exists. For example, when the Church is powerful, the State will be swayed, etc.
As for your final question, perhaps when the government changes hands, the law may be amended if it is the wish of the people.
To change the subject, a friend of mine who lives in London vacationed in the Highlands not too long ago. I have Scotland on my list of things to do when I use Google Earth. Now that I’ve met you, I will have a look at Ayrshire as well.
I presume you were born in Scotland and that your family and friends are there. Also, I imagine that because the RCC is so powerful, being gay and living in Scotland can be a problem.
I’ve enjoyed spending some time with you, and again I hope I haven’t bored you to death with my endless babbling.
This is a far cry from the powerful RCC you describe. I presumed the Church in Scotland was experiencing the same deterioration and was desperatly clinging to the government for subsidies.
So You’re Burty!! I don’t suppose you have a picture of youself in a military uniform ???
Jean-Paul, Don’t get me wrong, the catholic church don’t control everything here in Scotland, it’s just that the current Scottish Government seem to pander to them a bit too much for my liking, especially when it comes to LGBT rights. I mean, the Government wouldn’t allow an adoption agency to continue to operate if it didn’t allow black or jewish people to adopt, so why allow this one to carry on, and moreover to help it so much? I feel that church and state should be completely seperate.
Something told me we would end up on the same track. You do well to feel that church and state should be completely separate. They should be, if not we are looking at some form of theocracy, are we not?
Here in Canada, where church and state are officially separate, problems occasionally pop up because some politician belong to one church or another, but it is usually an attempt by the RCC to interfere in the democratic process that makes the headlines. Then all hell breaks loose, because the media have a field day making fun of the RCC.
That is exactly the missing piece of the puzzle in a better understanding of Scotland’s mentality or circumstances. Is the press subsidized by the government? Or under the control of the RCC? Is there no independent newspaper? The media is a most powerful force when it comes to exposing injustices, isn’t it? For example, if this news item made it to PinkNews, did it not appear in the Scottish daily papers first? Were you able to discern how the population in general reacted to it?
I realize that newspapers are an industry. Here in New Brunswick, for example, The wealthiest family in the province, the Irvings, own and operate the news industry, and we all know to expect a certain slant in the editorials, which do lean to the right.
By the way, I did get a chance to Google Earth Ayrshire and only had time to focus on the city of Ayr. It appears to be in the lowlands, is that how you would call it? Is it farming and fishing country? Beautiful buildings, such character, so solid looking…very beautiful, or beautifully presented!
Sorry to leave you with so many questions, but I am curious by nature. If anything, I would be inclined to persue further by enquiring about the opposition party or parties, and their spin on the church-run adoption agencies.
Hi Jean-Paul, I’ll try to answer all your questions as best I can! The press in Scotland is not subsidised by the government or under the control of the catholic church. But it tends to report little in the way of gay news, probably as the mainstream press consider themselves just that – mainstream and have therefore no need to report stories that they consider only of improtance to minority groups. The story about the Scottish education secretary and the catholic adotion agency was first reported in the Sunday Herald, a mainstream paper. But I didn’t read or hear about it in any other mainstream media. I’ve also read no follow up in that paper or any other news outlet apart from Pink News. However, I must point out that I’ve not read every newspaper, so it may have been reported elsewhere. I personally feel that Scotland in general is fairly conservative – it has a presbyterian/calvanist history. I don’t feel that Scottish society is particulary homophobic, more that the general population have no opinion on gay issues as they feel is has nothing to do with them. That’s my view anyway. As for Ayrshire, yes it is farming country, and also fairly industrial in some towns (or at lest used to be). I suppose it’s okay, although as I’m used to it, I’m not likely to be as enamoured with it!
Yes, your answers are most informative.
To tell you the truth, I knew so little of contemporay Scotland that you were practically working with a clean slate, and I really do appreciate your taking the time to elaborate the circumstances in which you live.
What impresses the most though is to see what a firm grip you have on this, shall we say ‘flexibilty’ of the law in Scotland.
‘…they feel it has nothing to do with them.’ Now that’s a corker!
I had forgotten about the Scottish history regarding the presbyterian/calvanists; I vaguely recall reading about King James I, and Queen Mary’s husband.
Believe it or not, but I can relate to you. Things that happen in New Brunswick so often go unnoticed by mainstream Canada, and I too can see the dreary side of life here although we get tourists who say that this is heaven on earth, fresh air, no pollution, you know…healthy.
I Googled Ayr again last evening and I stayed there for a while. I did notice ships at the docks, and I believe there was a picture of a steam-paddle-ship in red and white. Then I went over the farming area…so much of it, such a wealth.
I’m curious to know if you would be interested in becoming a member of PinkNews. You don’t have to, but it is free, and members get a chance to write back and forth and get to know each other.
There are about 250 members at the moment, each with a brief profile. You can check it out without necessarily joining. All you have to do is click on the word ‘My’ at the upper left hand corner of the front page; it’s in the light gray area.
If not, well, looking forward to crossing you on another thread, eh Anthony.
New members are invited to identify themselves by using a nickname. You can find me under the nickname of ‘jaypea’.
I really would like to get to know you better. Up to you.
Or e-mail me: email@example.com I am retired and I have time on my hands.