United Kingdom: A Catholic Adoption Agency Obliged to Accept Homosexual Couples

23-11-2012  
Filed under News, The Church in the world

The adoption agency “Catholic Care”, based in Leeds, in northern England, was obliged by British justice on November 2, 2012, to open its services to homosexual couples. According to the November 2 edition of the weekly Catholic Herald, the association had been trying for five years to obtain the legal recognition of its right to refuse to place children with homosexual couples. Its last appeal was rejected on the grounds that the law of equality forbids any discrimination of homosexual couples who wish to adopt. The legal instance indicated that “Catholic Care” had not managed to propose “serious and convincing reasons” to explain its refusal and that, on the contrary, it wounds the dignity of homosexual couples “whose capacity to be parents is indisputable”, and thus violates article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The Leeds tribunal refused the argument that homosexual candidates for adoption could go elsewhere. The former bishop of Leeds, Bishop Arthur Roche, had claimed during the procedure that the law ought to respect the Church’s opinion in the matter, “just as it does in not obliging her to celebrate same-sex unions.” The court answered that “the religious ceremony is a private matter,” whereas the adoption procedure is “a public service partially funded by the State, who thus has a right to oversee this activity.”

The association pointed out that this decision was going to force it to give up its activity, since once it acts against the demands of its own doctrine, it will no longer receive the donations that allowed it to continue its activity.

(sources: apic/Catholic Herald – DICI#265, Nov. 23, 2012)

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