Comments: more guidance from Charity Commission on Equality Act

I think there is a very important question to be asked of the Government regarding the legislation:

Is a Local Authority, presumably licensed by the government to allocate resources to various charitable organisations; allowed to discriminate in its choice of agency - on the basis of that organisation's discrimination against e.g. LGBT foster parents?

This is not a frivolous question. It is an attempt to find out whether the Local Authority has the right to choose whom to trust with the allocation of foster-children. If it does, then it is surely up to the Local Authority to make that choice.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Wednesday, 7 September 2011 at 1:30am BST

Father Ron Smith asks on Wednesday, 7 September 2011 at 1:30am BST
"Is a Local Authority, presumably licensed by the government to allocate resources to various charitable organisations; allowed to discriminate in its choice of agency - on the basis of that organisation's discrimination against e.g. LGBT foster parents?"

In its most recent judgment on this case the first tier appellate tribunal concludes thus:
"62. Finally, the Tribunal notes that the Public Sector Equality duty imposed by
s.149 (1) of the Equality Act 2010 imposes a duty on public bodies to pay due
regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination and to promote
equality of opportunity. This provision is intended to come into force later
this year. Whilst forming no part of the Tribunal’s decision in this appeal, it
appears to the Tribunal that, even if the Charity were permitted to discriminate
in reliance upon s.193 of the 2010 Act, the Public Sector Equality Duty is
likely in due course to impact upon the willingness of local authorities to work
with a charity which discriminated on grounds of sexual orientation in respect
of adoption placements."


Posted by Martin Reynolds at Thursday, 8 September 2011 at 7:10am BST

Thank you, Martin, for that clarification.

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Friday, 9 September 2011 at 12:47am BST
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