Catholic Agencies Must Adopt to Homosexuals: UK Charity Tribunal

Legal defence say local bishops left Catholic adoption agencies "to sink or swim on their own"
Wed Jun 3, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST

By Alex Bush

LEICESTER, England, June 3, 2009 ( – The UK Charity Tribunal has ruled that Catholic adoption agencies cannot restrict homosexual adoption and keep their charitable status, which allows them to receive public funds. The decision came down against Catholic Care, one of the few adoption agencies in the country that has challenged oppressive homosexualist legislation instead of simply shutting down or secularizing.

Catholic Care was appealing a previous decision made in March, where they attempted to change their provisions (i.e., their charter, or objectives) that would allow them to restrict who is allowed to adopt, according to section 18 of the Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs). The SORs were passed in 2007, and were ostensibly meant to prevent "discrimination," but have instead led to a culture of persecution against Christians and Christian organizations who hold to age-old beliefs about sexual morality.

Section 18 of the SORs states that a charitable group may restrict services based on sexual orientation if the reason for the restriction is based on the provisions of the charity.

Catholic Care attempted to add “the advancement of the Christian religion in accordance with the tenants of the Roman Catholic Church” and “The Charity shall only provide adoption services to heterosexuals and such services to heterosexuals shall only be provided in accordance with the tenets of the Church” to their provisions, in order to qualify for an exemption under the SORs.

The tribunal, however, said that a public adoption charity could not restrict adoption to homosexuals for religious reasons, even if based on the provisions of the charity. The result is an insurmountable impasse between the teachings of the Catholic Church, and the increasingly homosexualist and anti-Christian legal situation in the U.K. Now the charity faces the option of either violating its own beliefs, shutting down its adoption services, or losing its charity status and possibly facing discrimination complaints.

In its decision the tribunal reasoned that one section of the SORs cannot trump another section, and pointed to Section 15, which states that an adoption agency can restrict their services based on sexual orientation on religious grounds only until December 31, 2008. The Tribunal decided that the purpose of parliament in enacting section 15 would be negated if the agencies “were permitted to continue with identical activities” before and after the time limit passed.

The Tribunal said that “regulation 18 could not be relied upon by the Appellant [Catholic Care] to permit activity which was no longer permitted, or which was made unlawful, by another regulation.” 

Neil Addison, director of the Thomas More Legal Centre, who has argued in the past that the SORs do not in fact absolutely restrict Catholic adoption agencies from refusing to adopt to homosexuals, called the tribunal’s statement a “fatuous remark.” He asked rhetorically on his blog, “If reg 18 only applies to activities which are not covered by the SOR's anyway then why would any Charity need to rely on reg 18 at all?”

Addison commented on the lack of support from the local bishops for the charities in question, saying, “I certainly feel ... that had the Bishops really defended the Agencies as a Unit they might have been able to win but what they did was to leave them to sink or swim on their own, most sank and the few who tried to maintain a Catholic Adoption Service were frankly deserted.”

“It is very sad that in the name of 'diversity' we are in fact destroying diversity by ensuring that their [sic] cannot be different agencies and organisations offering distinct and unique policies,” he said.

See the Tribunal's Decision:

The Sexual Orientation Regulations

Related Coverage:

Experts Worldwide Find Gay Adoption Harmful for Children


UK Catholic Adoption Agencies Voluntarily Refuse Religious Opt-Out Clause for Homosexual Adoption

Catholic Adoption Agency Will Close Before Giving Children to Homosexual Parents, Bishop States

Keep this news available to you and millions more

Your gift will spread truth, defeat lies, and save lives

Share this article