Three developments which though not directly related to the Church of England are relevant to the general topic of such legislation in the UK.
Third Sector reports in Charity takes gay adoption case onward to High Court that:
The Catholic adoption agency that was told by both the Charity Commission and the Charity Tribunal that it could not restrict its services to heterosexual parents will take its case to the High Court.
The tribunal granted permission for the appeal by Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) earlier this month (Third Sector Online, 8 July), but the charity was unsure at the time whether it would go ahead.
Mark Wiggin, chief executive of Catholic Care, told Third Sector the charity would pursue the appeal, but he was unable to give any details about how the case would be funded. Taking the case to the Charity Tribunal cost the charity about £75,000…
Last week in the Tablet the RC Archbishop of Cardiff, Peter Smith wrote about the Equality Bill. His article is titled Voice that must be heard.
English and Welsh Catholic bishops warn that equality legislation currently before Parliament poses a threat to religious freedom. Here the chairman of their Christian Responsibility and Citizenship Committee explains why it is so important to challenge the secular status quo.
And, the RC bishops responded formally to the UK Consultation on the European Commission Proposal for an Equal Treatment Directive. They issued a press notice, and published their response in full, as a PDF. In it they assert that:
…the Church is not seeking special provisions which exempt it from universally applicable requirements.
They do however argue that:
…in the Church’s view an additional sub-paragraph is needed confirming that differences of treatment shall not constitute discrimination where such differences are required to enable a religious body to function in accordance with its ethos. A provision of this nature would go a long way to ensure that competing rights are balanced, rather than religious sensibilities being ignored or becoming the subject of tendentious claims.