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October 30, 2010 permalink
British Christians Eunice and Owen Johns cannot continue as foster parents because they are unwilling to teach children that homosexuality is acceptable.
Acceptance of homosexuals has passed the point where they are the equal of everyone else. Ottawa's children's aid society boasted to gay newspaper Xtra that it placed 36% of its children with same-sex couples. With the continuation of the current trend to push out heterosexual couples on grounds of tolerance, fostering and adoption, already areas favoring homosexuals, could become dominated by same-sex couples.
Christian couple who cannot accept homosexuality challenge their fostering ban
A Christian couple who were banned from becoming foster parents because they believed homosexuality was unacceptable are taking their case to the High Court in a landmark legal challenge.
Eunice and Owen Johns will argue that Christians are now being forced to live “in the closet” as the state’s interpretation of equality law favours gay rights over religious freedom.
The Christian Legal Centre, which is backing the couple, said the future of Christian foster carers and adoptive parents “hangs in the balance”.
Gay rights campaigners said the couple’s views were out of date and that councils should protect the rights of a child before the “prejudices” of parents.
Mr and Mrs Johns' case represents the latest clash of rights resulting from equality laws which were introduced under Labour and designed to prevent discrimination on the grounds of religion or sexuality.
Roman Catholic adoption agencies have closed because they cannot reconcile the requirements under the new laws with their belief that children should not be placed with gay couples.
Mr and Mrs Johns, who have fostered almost 20 children over several years, applied in 2007 to become foster carers, providing respite care for children between the ages of five and 10.
But Derby City Council withdrew their application after a social worker discovered that their traditional views on the family meant they could never tell a child that homosexuality was acceptable.
The couple then challenged the council and were given the opportunity to reapply in 2008 but Derby’s adoption panel failed to come to a final decision about the their application. A judicial review of their case, which is supported by the council, is expected to begin at the High Court, sitting in Nottingham, on Monday.
“It may not be long before local authorities decide that Christians cannot look after some of the most vulnerable children in our society, simply because they disapprove of homosexuality,” said a spokesman for the the Christian Legal Centre which was set up to protect the freedom of Christians to live their lives in accordance with their beliefs.
Andrea Minichiello-Williams, barrister and director of the CLC, added: “The Johns are a loving Christian couple, who have in the past, and would in the future, give a wonderful home to a vulnerable child.
“Research clearly establishes that children flourish best in a family with both a mother and father in a committed relationship, like the Johns have.
“One of the issues before the Court is whether Christian couples, who have traditional views on sexual ethics, are ‘fit and proper persons’ to foster - and, by implication, adopt.
“That the Court even needs to consider this is a remarkable reversal in the concept of the public good and the traditional definition of sexual morality.”
However, the gay rights campaign group Stonewall backed the council’s earlier decision not to approve Mr and Mrs Johns as foster carers.
Ben Summerskill, Stonewall chief executive, said: “Too often in fostering cases nowadays it’s forgotten that it is the interests of a child, and not the prejudices of a parent, that matter.
“On the evidence available to us, Derby City Council have clearly made a sensible decision. Many Christian parents of gay children will be shocked at Mr and Mrs Johns’ views which are more redolent of the 19th century than the 21st.”
Source: Daily Telegraph
Addendum: Christian adoption agencies throughout Britain are closing down.
UK Law Forces Christian Adoption Groups to Close
LONDON, England - Nearly every Christian adoption agency in the United Kingdom has been forced to close after resisting the government's equality laws.
The legislation prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, and requires adoption agencies to consider same-sex couples as potential parents.
However, Christian agencies say they can't comply because homosexuality goes against their beliefs.
Since the U.K. equality bill was passed in April, the number of adopted foster care children has dropped by 30 percent, and it's estimated there are 4,000 children still awaiting adoption.
However some agencies have managed to remain open after re-branding, including the Cabrini Children's Society.
"It has been difficult because any re-branding exercise is difficult," said the society's chief executive Terry Connor. "And it has been a question of convincing our supporters that we are still operating in much the same way as we always have done in terms of the services we were delivering."
Connor added that the increasing number of orphans awaiting adoption is concerning.
"I think it is a worrying time. Statistics have decreased in recent year, and that is worrying because there are at any one time over 60,000 in public care," Connor said.
Christian Institute spokesman Mike Judge believes the equality law is direct discrimination against Christians standing by their beliefs and seeking what's best for the children.
"Well this is yet another example of Christians being sidelined from public life. Remember, it was Christians who pioneered adoption work in the first place, and it's faith-based adoption agencies now that have done a remarkable job in finding loving homes for hard to place kids," he said. "And sadly it's the children who are going to most suffer from this."
The same law cost Christian doctor Sheila Matthews her job on an adoption panel. She felt homosexual couples shouldn't be able adopt because children are "best placed" with a father and mother in a stable relationship.
"I became increasingly uncomfortable about approving same-sex couples," Matthews recalled. "And when I asked to abstain from voting on these cases I was dismissed from the adoption panel."
Matthews recently lost an appeal against the decision.
"The Christian adoption agencies were doing a fantastic job in working with harder to place children," she said of the decreasing Christian adoption groups. "And I think it's a great loss they're not able to continue doing this."
Source: 700 Club