Updated again Sunday
The fourth appeal was heard in September, and reported here: Upper Tribunal hears fourth appeal by RC adoption agency.
Today the tribunal delivered its verdict, and unsurprisingly, the adoption agency lost again.
The full judgment can be found as a PDF file here.
The adoption agency Catholic Care cannot change its objects to exclude gay couples from using its adoption service, the Upper Tribunal ruled today.
The Leeds-based charity, which arranges around five adoptions a year, had appealed against a ruling in the charity tribunal that it could not restrict its service to heterosexual couples.
But the Hon Justice Sales, sitting alone, ruled that the lower tribunal’s decision was correct. He wrote in his judgment: “Notwithstanding some criticisms that can be made about the first tier tribunal’s reasoning, I am satisfied that the conclusion it came to is correct in law and that this appeal should be dismissed.”
The charity had argued that its desire to restrict its services was in line with section 193 of the Equality Act 2010. The section allows discrimination on the grounds of sexuality if this is “a proportionate means of achieving a legitimate aim”.
But the first-tier tribunal found that there must be “particularly weighty” reasons to justify discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
The charity argued that donors would stop supporting it if it allowed same-sex couples to use its adoption service, but the tribunal ruled that the charity had not demonstrated that this would be the case.
The charity first appealed in 2008 against an initial decision by the commission that it could not change its objects…
Catholic Herald Catholic Care loses its 5 year legal battle
An excellent summary of the judgment can now be found at UK Human Rights Blog written by Rosalind English Upper Tribunal confirms illegality of Catholic Charity’s ban on same-sex couple adoption.
A further analysis of the history of this case has been published by Frank Cranmer at Law & Religion UK Catholic Care: can an adoption agency restrict its services to heterosexual adoptive parents?