Thursday, March 07, 2013

Scottish Charity Regulator Holds Catholic Adoption Agency Does Not Qualify As A Charity

In a Report (full text) issued March 5, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator confirmed its Jan. 2013 decision that St. Margaret's Children and Family Care Society, a Catholic adoption agency based in Glasgow, fails to qualify as a "charity" under the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005.  The conclusion was based on the finding that St. Margaret's violates the Equality Act 2010 by discriminating against non-Catholics, and against same-sex couples, in placing children for adoption.(OSCR press release.) As summarized by the Report:
OSCR found that the charity does not provide public benefit because the way it provides benefit involves unlawful discrimination, which causes detriment to the public and to particular groups of people, the effect of which outweighs the other positive effects of the charity’s work. OSCR also found that access to the benefits the charity provides is unduly restricted. OSCR therefore found that the charity fails the charity test and confirmed the decision to direct the charity to meet the charity test.
The National Secular Society, which filed the original complaint against St. Margaret's, also issued a press release on OSCR's report.