Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Charity Tribunal rejects adoption agency's latest request

Third Sector reports:

The charity Catholic Care has been refused permission to appeal against a ruling that it cannot exclude gay couples from using its adoption service.

That earlier ruling was reported here on 26 April: Charity Tribunal rejects appeal from Catholic adoption agency.

This latest ruling can be found at Decision on Application for Permission to Appeal (7 June 2011).

…In the document, Alison McKenna, principal judge of the charity tribunal, wrote: “I have concluded that the grounds of appeal before me do not identify ‘errors of law’ in the decision.

“In the circumstances, I conclude that there is no power for the tribunal to review its decision in this case and I have also, for the same reasons, concluded that permission to appeal should be refused.”

Benjamin James, a solicitor at the law firm Bircham Dyson Bell, acting on behalf of Catholic Care, told Third Sector the charity could appeal to the Upper Tribunal for a review of the charity tribunal’s decision not to allow the appeal. He said trustees had not decided whether to do so.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 at 12:12am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation

Why does the Roman Catholic Church continue in its programme of discrimination against monogamous, partnered, gay couples, whose only interest in offering themselves as adoptive parents is to do what is best for the child?

It is good that the Charity Tribunal is only interested in what is best for the child - not for the inbuilt discriminatory culture of the agency.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 at 1:29am BST

Please remember that this is not the "Roman Catholic Church" as a whole but just one agency serving 3 dioceses - Hallam, Leeds,& Middlesbrough. Other Catholic child-care agencies in England & Wales, e.g. the Cabrini Children's Society, have managed to comply with the legislation with no detriment to the children or families they serve.Historically, these other agencies have not discriminated against either single people or lesbian and gay people, and they decided that new legislation was not a reason to start discriminating now nor betray their previous good practice.

Posted by: martin on Wednesday, 22 June 2011 at 4:51pm BST

Thanks, Martin, for that assurance. I guess who the Bishop of the diocese is may make a difference.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 23 June 2011 at 3:42am BST


Why does the Equality act, religious exemption law ..not apply here.. is it because since 1973, the Social Services have handled and overseen the adoption processs?

Posted by: Robert ian Williams on Thursday, 23 June 2011 at 6:58am BST

The Equality Act 2010 is not the relevant legislation here.

Rather it is the The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007, made under section 81 of the Equality Act 2006,

There are some religious exemptions in those regulations, and there was a specific time delay added to give the adoption agencies the opportunity to change their arrangements. Most of them did so successfully.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 23 June 2011 at 9:13am BST

Hi Martin, regarding your comment “the Cabrini Children’s Society have managed to comply with the legislation with no detriment to the children or families they serve”
Sadly, this is not the case. Cabrini Children’s Society have experienced a significant drop in donations since its change of name from Catholic Children’s Society. They have just announced that, due to a lack of funding, they are to close one of their three “neighbourhood projects”, namely Hubert House Community Project in Dartford, Kent. Many families will be adversely affected by this decision. The Project offered affordable childcare for working families, by way of its breakfast and after school clubs. Many parents will no longer be able to work and pay for childcare. They also ran a social club for adults with learning difficulties and a lunch club for the elderly . Also it was a contact centre for children in care to see their families. Not to mention all the groups and clubs who regularly used the facilities. All the staff, some of whom had worked there for over 20 years, have been made redundant. Very sad news for the whole community.

Posted by: Sheila Riley on Wednesday, 29 June 2011 at 5:52am BST
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