A Catholic adoption center operating in the diocese in Leeds, United Kingdom, has launched yet another appeal of a court ruling that could be a death sentence if left standing – because it orders the organization to stop being Catholic or stop helping in adoptions.
The announcement comes from the Christian Legal Centre, which confirmed that Catholic Care is appealing a ruling from a court tribunal in April that its officials must “offer their adoption services” to homosexuals.
The prevailing court action in the United Kingdom has been to order those who have biblical beliefs in opposition to the promotion of homosexuality to abandon them, and in fact, more than a dozen other church-related adoption agencies already have been forced to close or sever any ties to any religious group in order to continue running.
The Christian Legal Centre reported that Benjamin James, a lawyer for Catholic Care, has identified a number of errors in the April ruling, and is asking for permission to file the appeal.
“Some commentators have come out in support of Catholic Care’s tenacity and see its case as highly significant in the current era of ‘equality’ legislation,” the Centre reported. “The widely read conservative blogger Cranmer supports Catholic Care’s stand, stating that it ‘constitutes a fundamentally important point of religious liberty: when the state determines to outlaw centuries of orthodox belief and practice on the basis of ‘equality’, there is no logical end to what the state may impose upon believers.'”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of the Christian Legal Centre, welcomed the news of Catholic Care’s appeal, saying, “At a time when many are being cowed into submission by the politically correct lobby, it is a breath of fresh air to hear of this charity’s continued stand against intolerance.”
The dispute arose between the organization that operates in Leeds and the government’s Charity Commission after “Sexual Orientation Regulations” were adopted in 2007 as part of the nation’s Equality Act, which demands that adoption agencies provide their services to homosexuals.
The dispute has gone to the High Court, which concluded that Christians only have a “qualified right” to their beliefs, and they must abide by the political correct doctrine of homosexual “equality.”
The court, however, didn’t rule on the specifics of the case and instead returned it to the Charity Commission, which affirmed the ban on such “discrimination.”
Williams had said the tribunal’s decision “is yet another example of the problems that ‘equality’ legislation is causing for those who hold orthodox Christian beliefs.”
According to a report on Civil Society, the adoption agency’s officials had concluded they would not be able to further assist needy children if the ruling stood.
In its original challenge, Catholic Care said that the ruling left unchanged would “lead to the closure of the Charity’s services.”
“The Charity is not seeking to prevent same sex couples from adopting children; the Charity is simply seeking to ensure that it can deliver a valuable service in accordance with both the law and the religious ethos of the Charity,” the group’s statement at the time said.
The fight comes amidst growing concern that Christians rapidly are losing their rights in the U.K. to the bludgeoning of “rules” adopted to favor homosexuals and other alternative lifestyles.
Officials noted early in 2010 two bed-and-breakfast owners were accused of violating the law by refusing to provide double-bed accommodations to homosexuals.
The Christians in those cases are being supported by the Christian Institute’s Legal Defense Fund, officials said.
In the United States, special provisions for protecting homosexuals largely have centered on anti-discrimination or “hate crimes” laws.
A New Mexico photographer was fined more than $6,000 by the state for refusing to photograph a homosexual “wedding” in the state.
The issue also has reached the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which reviewed whether it is proper for San Francisco’s government to adopt a formal resolution condemning Catholics as “hateful,” “insulting” and “defamatory” and urging members to defy church beliefs.
The formal statement from the San Francisco Board of Supervisers attacked the church’s prohibition on the adoption of children by homosexuals.
The resolution, adopted March 21, 2006, calls the Vatican a “foreign country” that is meddling in the city’s affairs. Further it states that the church’s moral teachings are “insulting to all San Franciscans,” “hateful,” “insulting and callous,” “defamatory,” “absolutely unacceptable,” “insensitive” and “ignorant.”
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