Will Catholics be excluded from fostering and adopting in the UK for being opposed to gay marriage?

The news that the Scottish Nationalist Party politician  Richard Lyle thought it necessary to introduce a clause to Scotland’s gay marriage legisalation ‘stating that a potential adoptive parent or foster carer’s views on marriage cannot be taken into account during the fostering or adoption process’ raises the question will Catholics be excluded from fostering and adopting for being opposed to gay marriage?

The Express reports that Mr Lyle MSP, who adopted his daughter 31 years ago after a lengthy process, said the law could stop children being adopted. The committee rejected his proposal during its consideration of stage two amendments, along with several other amendments designed to protect religious freedom.’

Richard Lyle MSP has raised an issue that should cause serious alarm among Catholics in view of the fact that the law has already established the precedent of excluding Christians from fostering because they upheld the apostolic faith that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

In 2011 Eunice and Owen Johns were banned by the High Court from fostering anymore children because of their faith-based opposition to homosexuality. The Daily Telegraph reported at the time:

‘The couple said they felt excluded for holding “normal, mainstream, Christian views” and had been willing to “love and accept any child”. “All we were not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing,” the couple said after losing their case at the High Court.
During the 1990s, the Pentecostal Christian couple from Derby provided foster care for nearly 20 children.

But following the introduction of equality laws, they were blocked from fostering in 2007. Social workers said the couple’s belief that homosexuality is wrong meant they were not suitable to look after a child aged between five and eight. On Monday two High Court judges backed Derby city council by ruling that homosexual rights “should take precedence” over the rights of Christians in fostering cases.

Mr and Mrs Johns, aged 62 and 65 respectively, said they were “shocked and disappointed” by the judgment.

Mrs Johns told The Daily Telegraph: “It is just one more blow for us. It seems a dark day for Christians.”

During the case, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, an official watchdog, suggested that the couple could attend a “re-education” programme, according to Mrs Johns.

“Why do we need to be re-educated? Because we believe that homosexuality is not right?” she said. “We said we would sit down and talk to the child to find out where it is coming from.

“They said, ‘No, you would have to tell the child it is all right to be homosexual because there are too many children that are confused with their sexuality.’ We thought, yes, but at eight?”

Their case was handled by Lynda Williams, a social worker, who assessed Mr and Mrs Johns in June 2008, after the council invited them to reapply to become foster parents. The national shortage of carers stands at an estimated 10,000.

In her 48-page report on the couple, Miss Williams described them as “well-meaning” and “kind and hospitable people who would always do their best to make a child welcome and comfortable”.

However, she concluded: “Mr and Mrs Johns’ views on same sex relationships, which are not in line with the current requirements of the national standards, and which are not susceptible to change, will need to be considered when the panel reaches its conclusion.”

Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that social workers were right to take the couple’s religious views into account. Under the current rules on fostering, introduced by the Labour government, councils and fostering agencies should ensure that children “are provided with foster care services which value diversity and promote equality”.

Foster carers should “recognise and address” the child’s needs, including in terms of their sexuality. Homosexual rights campaigners welcomed the ruling.

Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, said: “We’re delighted that the High Court’s landmark decision has favoured 21st century decency above 19th century prejudice.”

The Christian Legal Centre reacted to the judgment with dismay and warned that “fostering by Christians is now in doubt”.

The Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron agreed with the High Court decision to ban Eunice and Owen Johns from fostering children:

During a visit to the area, when asked about the case Mr Cameron told reporters: “This matter was decided by a court in the appropriate way and I think we should rest with the judgment that was made.”

Asked further if he thought Christian views were incompatible with an acceptance of homosexuality, he added: “I think Christians should be tolerant and welcoming and broad-minded.”

Protect the Pope comment: The shameful treatment of Eunice and Owen Johns by the English courts shows the necessity for Richard Lyle MSP’s clause to protect the rights of Christians to foster and adopt children. The fact that the Lyle clause was thrown out shows that intolerance to Christians will be implicit in the Scottish legislation, which is the state of affairs in English same-sex law. Tragically the answer to the question , ‘will Catholics be excluded from fostering and adopting in the UK for being opposed to gay marriage?, is most probably yes.



13 comments to Will Catholics be excluded from fostering and adopting in the UK for being opposed to gay marriage?

  • Nicolas Bellord

    And does David Cameron think that life-long Conservative voters like myself will vote for him next time?

  • Rifleman819

    Deacon Nick ,
    Only goes to show what many have known for years -scratch a “liberal” and you get a dictator.

  • John Fannon

    The new state religion of this country is rapidly becoming the Church of Sodom, so this doesn’t surprise me. I would hope ( though probably a vain hope) that Bishops publicly advise faithful Catholics not to bother with the adoption services – just a waste of time which will invariably lead to distress and humiliation. Imagine the furore that could cause, with Social Services saying ‘Oh no, this is totally false, we welcome Catholic foster parents …’ (The point being that their livelihood depends on there being a large number of applicants that they can assess).

    Maybe it was ill- advised to close the Catholic Adoption services when the dictat was imposed that homosexual couples should not be disbarred from using the services. With a Catholic Adoption Service, Catholics might get a sympathetic hearing. The fact that they might have to cater for the odd homocouple might be an acceptable price to pay.

    When I read from Christopher Booker what Social Workers get up to in the Family Courts virtually kidnapping children, I dare not measure my blood pressure.

  • Leo Alba

    To put it simply, yes we will. It’s already happening in some parts of the UK. Where are social worker jobs, teaching jobs, local authority jobs generally advertised? The Guardian newspaper or website. There’s a mindset at work within the “system” that views Christianity, and Catholicism in particular, as backwards looking, discriminatory and dangerous. If you were responsible for placing children with families, would you put them with people you saw like that? I know I wouldn’t.

    Catholics have spent the last forty years compromising on the Faith and shaking off whatever might be conceived as a semblance of Catholic culture and identity, a movement spearheaded by our bishops. If we had retained a strong sense of identity and community then adoption within that community would still be not only acceptable but encouraged. When I look at the Muslim community, much as I balk at their religion, you cannot but admire that strong sense of identity, of family and of community that binds them together, and establishes them as something distinct within British society. Can you imagine social workers trying to give a Muslim child to non-Muslims, whatever their race? I know I couldn’t. We’ve been sowing these seeds since the forties, now were beginning to reap the harvest.

    P.s. Sorry I went on a bit but I find this whole situation very distressing and it makes my blood boil.

  • ms Catholic state

    I am quite sure it is already happening.

    But we need to challenge social workers….and charge them with the accusation that they put petty ideology AND their own careers before the welfare of children. Social workers are already deeply unpopular for these reasons…..not to mention their incompetence in the face of serious child abuse, when the Police and not social services should be contacted immediately. Social workers of course won’t approve of this….as their status and career comes first.

  • Paul Lynch

    Leo Alba hits a particular nail squarely on the head. Social Workers will never prevent a Muslim couple from adopting a Muslim child as a result of the couple’s objection to homosexuality. That’s too hot a potato for SWs to take on.

  • Michael Petek

    If you saw the BBC Panorama broadcast ‘I Want My Baby Back’ on Monday this week you’ll feel quite vindicated.

    Mind you, if you want to find something to charge social workers with, you might find that sodomy will be enough to account for no small number of the men. That said, it would be prudent to presume: (1) that they do indeed put anti-family ideology and their own careers before the welfare of children; and (2) that Satan is more trustworthy than social workers are to tell the truth in court. These courts sit in secret, and they wouldn’t need to if the social workers had nothing to hide.

    A disproportionate number of them seem to be gay men or lesbians, and so it would not be surprising if they were found likely to be preoccupied with the need to recruit children, since they can’t reproduce. How better to do so than by taking or keeping them away from Christian and ‘gay-negative’ parents and to do all they can to place them with same-sex and ‘gay-positive’ parents. The ones who are confined to care homes would in that case be the ones likely to be approached for what the gay community refers to as ‘trade’.

    I am pleased with Sir James Munby’s decision in the High Court that UK social workers must keeptheir hands of foreign children and that the courts must admit the state of their nationality as an interested party.

    • Nicolas Bellord

      I cannot help thinking there is a simpler explanation regarding the social services. When there is an incident like Baby P the Press and everyone go into overdrive with indignation blaming the social services and other agencies. All rather a contrast with the indifference shown to a handicapped child just before birth. The result is that the social services take children into care just to be on the safe side rather than risking the opprobrium heaped on them in the rather rare cases like Baby P.

      • Michael Petek

        They don’t just take the children into care. They take them for adoption. They are not above lying through their teeth in court, and they can get away with it because the evidence is presented in secret and not in open court where the public can scrutinise it in such a way that confidence in the administration of justice is maintained.

        If these slick, slimy, slithery little chiselers have nothing to hide, they’d have nothing to fear.

  • Leo Alba

    Oops! Just read my comment. I meant to say: “We’ve been sowing these seeds for the past forty years…” Sorry for the typo.

  • Dilly

    So much for the Catholic adoption societies. £157000 is being sought to pay their legal costs against two women turned down for adoption, as it was ruled indirectly discriminating to have a rule that a couple had to be married for two years before adopting. Satanic


  • ErnstThalmann

    Probably, but who are we to judge?

  • Mike2

    Catholics may well be prevented from adopting and fostering children but only those Catholics who are faithful to the Magisterium of the Church.

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