Wednesday, June 03, 2009

British Tribunal Says Catholic Adoption Agency Policy Violates Equality Act

In Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) v. Charity Commission for England and Wales, (Charity Trib., June 1, 2009), Britain's Charity Tribunal has held that a Catholic adoption agency is violating the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 by refusing to furnish adoption services to same-sex couples. (Here are links to earlier rulings in the case.) A temporary exemption for Catholic agencies from the 2007 regulations expired in December 2008. The current case involved Catholic Care, an agency that has had particular success with "hard to place" children. Today's London Telegraph reports:
The Tribunal's ruling leaves leading charity Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) facing a deep religious impasse and creates a fundamental conflict between the tenets of the Catholic Church and the law of the land. If the charity now sticks to Church policy and continues to follow its "heterosexuals only" policy it could lose its charity status and public funding. It might also face discrimination claims by same-sex couples it has turned away in the past.
(See prior related posting.)