UK’s high court has ruled that a couple’s traditional Christian views — specifically their believe that homosexuality is a sin — disqualifies them as foster parents.
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, and that homosexual ‘rights’ trump freedom of conscience in the UK. 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. (Source: Christian Legal Centre website)
I’m not familiar with the “Christian Legal Centre”, but a quick Google© search indicates several news sources essentially confirming this story. For example, see the stories in Contact Law(TM), A service of FindLaw a Thomson Reuters business; This is Derbyshire; and Ekklesia. The Ekklesia article clarified a bit. This Christian couple wasn’t actually banned from being foster parents. But essentially the court would not overturn a decision by the Derby City Council social service department that their Christian views made them unsuitable parents:
A Derby City Council spokesperson said: “It would be inappropriate for the Council to approve foster carers who cannot meet minimum standards. It would be difficult and impractical to match children with Mr and Mrs Johns if they feel that strongly [about homosexuality being a sin].
According to Lord Justice Munby and Justice Beatson:
We sit as secular judges serving a multi-cultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to ‘do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will…’ [R]eliance upon religious belief, however conscientious the belief and however ancient and respectable the religion, can never of itself immunise the believer from the reach of the secular law. And invocation of religious belief does not necessarily provide a defence to what is otherwise a valid claim.
In other words, it’s OK to be a Christian, so long as you don’t let your Christian beliefs conflict with secular views on “morality.” Think this court case has nothing to do with you, because it’s in faraway UK? Wrong.