UK High Court Rules Against Last Catholic Adoption Agency


Here is the background explaining the case that a Catholic adoption agency in the UK brought before the court:

After the passage of the Equality Act which prohibited sexual orientation discrimination in adoption services, Catholic Care sought to retain its policy of placing children with married couples without violating the law. In a series of proceedings, the government’s Charity Commission refused to allow the charity to continue placing children for adoption unless it was willing to place with same-sex couples. The charity appealed to the Charity Tribunal.

... The court concluded that while “religious conviction in the sphere of personal belief is protected in both domestic and European equality law, so that acts of devotion, worship, and prayer (including ceremonies) are exempt from equality obligations” there is an “essential distinction between private acts of worship such as blessings and the provision of a public service such as an adoption agency.”

A couple weeks ago, and the court ruled once again against the adoption agency:

The UK’s First-Tier Tribunal of the Charity Commission rejected an appeal last week by Catholic Care, the last Catholic adoption agency in the country, to change its constitution to exclude homosexuals from adopting children. [...] Eleven Catholic adoption agencies chose to fight that law, which prohibited “discrimination” based upon sexual orientation; however, all but Catholic Care have now either closed their doors or severed ties with the Catholic Church.

... In response to last week’s decision, Bishop Roche said, “Catholic Care is very disappointed with this ruling. The Trustees are considering their position and whether or not to appeal.

“It is unfortunate that those who will suffer as a consequence of this ruling will be the most vulnerable children for whom Catholic Care has provided an excellent service for many years. It is an important point of principle that the Charity should be able to prepare potential adoptive parents, a service recognised for its excellence by the local authorities who are responsible for placing children, according to the tenets of the Catholic faith.