UK High Court refused Christian family in the right of adoption because of their disapprobation of same-sex relationships
LONDON – In a landmark judgment, which will have a serious impact on the future of fostering and adoption in the UK, the High Court has suggested that Christians with traditional views on sexual ethics are unsuitable as foster carers, reports the Institute for Religious Freedom.
The Judges stated that Christian beliefs on sexual ethics may be ‘inimical’ to children, and they implicitly upheld an Equalities and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) submission that children risk being ‘infected’ by Christian moral beliefs.
This ruling relates to the dispute between married couple Eunice and Owen Johns and Derby City Council (the case № CO/4594/2010).
The Johns applied to the Council in 2007 to foster a child but the Council blocked their application because they objected that the Johns were not willing to promote the practice of homosexuality to a young child. In November 2010 both parties jointly asked the Court to rule on whether the Johns were able to foster children, or whether they could be excluded from doing so under equality law because of their Christian beliefs.
In 28th February 2011 that judgment has been released. The judges declined to make the statement that the Johns, wanting to re-establish their fostering application, had sought. Instead, the judgment strongly affirms homosexual rights over freedom of conscience and leaves the Johns currently unable to foster a child as desired, despite their proven track record as foster parents.
In their judgment, the judges stated that there is no religious discrimination against the Johns because they were being excluded from fostering due to their moral views on sexual ethics and not their Christian beliefs.
But Christian Concern noted that is incredible and very disingenuous as the Johns moral views cannot be separated from their religious beliefs. The nature of the judgment means that Christians who hold traditional Christian views on the family, marriage and sexuality will continue to face difficulties in the fostering and adoption process and the Courts will not intervene to stop this from happening. In fact, the summary contained in the judgment sends out the clear message that traditional Christian ethical beliefs are potentially harmful to children and that Christian parents with mainstream Christian views are not suitable to be considered as potential foster parents.
In their statement, the couple Eunice and Owen Johns said: “We wanted to offer a loving home to a child in need. But because of this ruling we are unsure how we can continue the application process. We have been excluded because we have moral opinions based on our faith, and a vulnerable child has now probably missed the chance of finding a safe and caring home. We do not believe that our ordinary Christian moral views are infectious, contrary to what the Equality and Human Rights Commission believes. Being a Christian is not a crime and should not stop us from raising children. Today, it looks as though a child has missed out on a home.”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern and the Christian Legal Centre said: “What has happened to the Johns is part of a wider trend seen in recent years. The law has been increasingly interpreted by Judges in a way which favours homosexual rights over freedom of conscience”.
According to her words the situation must be addressed by Parliament as the Judiciary have failed to stand for civil liberties but have capitulated to the agenda of the homosexual rights lobby.
“Britain is now leading Europe in intolerance against religious belief”, – Andrea Williams added.
Svitlana Sydorenko, special for IRF
© 2011 The Institute for Religious Freedom – Kyiv, Ukraine