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Catholic adoption charity to challenge gay ruling in the High Court

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  1. It’s straightforward enough really. Religious beliefs should not be priveleged over any others. And if you open the door to a group to deny a service to one section of the community, then you open all sorts of other possibilities.

    E.g. let’s suppose that I have a serious moral problem with catholicism. Should I be allowed to refuse to provide services to, say, a ctholic school, and if not why not.

    Adoption agencies are not purely private associations, they are performing a public service, recognised by law, and should follow the law or get out of the market.

    Should I as a taxpayer be able to insist that none of my tax money goes to support catholic maintained institutions (schools etc.) and if not why not?

  2. I agree that religious groups should not be privileged to deny a service where that denial breaches the SOR 2007. But I can’t agree that it is “straightforward enough”, because there’s more to it than meets the eye.

    The presenting issue is not whether Catholic Care should or should not be able to deny a service. It is whether they should be allowed to change their charitable objectives – that’s what the Charities Commission ruled Catholic Care couldn’t do. That’s if I have understood the original story correctly.

    Catholic Care has decided to appeal in the High Court against that ruling. In this particular case, it’s fair to say that the ruling should stand, because it prevents a service provider from discriminating.

    The reason why it isn’t as straightforward is that from time to time a charity might decide to change its charitable objectives in order to include a wider range of beneficiaries. If the Charities Commission ruled, consistently with its ruling on Catholic Care, that they couldn’t, that would prevent perfectly legitimate potential beneficiaries of the charity from benefiting.

    There are charities, probably quite a number, whose terms of reference are so narrow that the number of potential beneficiaries is close to zero. I know of at least one, quite a wealthy one, from casual conversation, without having researched the issue. Who is to say that if the trustees decided, in their wisdom, to make the money available under a different set of objectives, and thereby do good in the world, that they should be prevented?

  3. I do not believe that any adoption agency should be directed by a religious ethos and that child protection law should prevent it. Inevitably such organisations are influenced by supernaturalist doctrines in their decisions as much as, if not more than, the empirically and rationally understood needs of children.

  4. I wonder if the case would reach the High Court if the charity wished to change its objectives to discriminate against black people! The clause in the Sexual Orientation Regulations which permits discrimination is the one, I assume, which allows for the provision of services specifically for gay people(orientation). However, it seems that the Roman Catholic adoption society wishes to define the discrimination in relation to heterosexual orientation. This appears to be a flaw in the regulations.

  5. Simon Murphy 14 Oct 2009, 7:05pm

    The catholic cult really hates children. First they go out of their way to protect the hundreds of paedophile priests. Now they are trying to ensure that needy children may be denied the chance of a loving home.

    They truly are scum of the earth

  6. They actually wanting the ability to discriminate, it’s just wrong, so wrong. Imagine what they would do when they get a gay kid, chuck him out on the streets? chuck him in the river? beat him? top bet is they will supply the noose, well after certain acts I wouldn’t want to put think about let alone put into words. If I am being honest this will be not far from the truth after considering they would rather shut down and make alot of kids homeless than give kids a good home to the “sinners”, what happened to Christains that followed Jesus’ teachings?

  7. Ian Charles 14 Oct 2009, 8:34pm

    “Many Catholic adoption agencies have chosen to close rather than consider gay couples”

    wow. That is rong on so many levels.

  8. . . . and the Catholics think they can discriminate in the name of Religon . . . which bit of Jesus Ministry of inclisivity do they not understand

  9. andrew flynn 14 Oct 2009, 11:16pm

    I would think the fewer children in the care of the catholic church the better. The funny thing is that they’re still trying to convince us all that they have principles. Ha! Give it up guys!

  10. “but Catholic Care is continuing to fight for its right to discriminate.”

    Says it all really. And if the Ryan Report in Ireland is any indication of this organisation track record with children and their well being, I wouldn’t let the Catholic Church run an ant farm.

  11. Real simple – they put their bigotry ahead of their social justice persuits for children.

    Strangley reminiscent of how in the USA (and in Ireland and Italy) the church hid for decades the sexual abuse of children under its care. Why – because they needed the priests to keep the flock in step and bringing in the money, which of course is the root of ALL evil.

    And the church blamed the gay priests. The old political trick of blaming the victims. The problem came about because when you put sex starved people over other people -especially younger people , they establish their power by humiliating the weaker via rape.

    And why did the church hide these vile crimes for decades, rather then dragging the perpetrators to the police in chains – the only reasonable conclusion is that the rot reaches all the way to the top.

    There are so many great catholics, of which in the USA about 50% suppoprt equal legal rights for gays despite their church, because of social justice concerns. But the hierarchy, when anythign threatens their teachings, just retreat to the worst of their beliefs, because faith might be called into question. And when that happens, change might occur, and more people might see how the church has been in some areas very very corrupt.

  12. Really – let them do what they want. I’m for freedom of association. I want gay clubs to be able to have gay-only entry policies. I am happy for gay adoption groups to give assistance to gay people only. I’m happy for all groups to have their own organisations that cater to them and to them only.

    As long as those groups do not interfere with the activities of others, people should have the liberty to associate with whom they wish and to avoid associating with whom they do not.

  13. “I’m happy for all groups to have their own organisations that cater to them and to them only.”

    I disagree entirely with this statement.

    That’s fine if you want to buy a handbag in a women only shop or fancy a decent cosmo in a men only gay gay bar, but there are limits. Adoptions is a service that buy law is provided to all, and any agency that wants to provide this service must comply with the law to all its citizens equally and the well being of the children. The law is there to protect the good of society, and the catholic church want to initiate discrimination, which is not for the good of society, or the children to be adopted.

    The natural conclusion of what you’re saying is hospitals can impose an ethos and refuse to treat certain “coloured” people, or civil servants can refuse to engage with sections of the public they think are “unworthy of citizenship”, and shops can refuse entry to anyone they see as “not part of their brand image”.

    In short, what your proposing is repealing equality legislation, and allowing anyone to discriminate. And quite frankly, the catholic church is a religious organisation and as such should simply stick to blessing children, reading the bible, and eating their god… anything else is a civil matter and should be handled by civil authorities that can obey the law for the good of all its citizens, not just the ones it likes.

    So, no, I don’t think there should be a “gay adoption agency”, a “straight adoption agency”, a “black adoption agency”, a “whites only adoption agency”, a “catholic adoption agency”….

  14. Given the recent Nursery Schools paedophile shock, (straight women with kids!) I think ONLY gays should be allowed to adopt(!) AND given the RC church’s histroy on children and abuse, they have no rights whatsoever to accuse Gays of sexual perversion!

  15. Brian Burton 17 Oct 2009, 11:29pm

    Mike,
    You have it so right there matey. Great comment!

  16. Sign the petition to ban the popes visit to the UK next year

    http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/PopeBan/

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