Christian Foster Agency must Change its Policy to Accept Gay Couples, Judge rules

(Ardrossan Herald ) An evangelical Christian fostering agency which only places children with heterosexual married couples must allow gay men and lesbians to foster as well, a judge has ruled.

Cornerstone (North East) Adoption and Fostering Service took Ofsted to court over the watchdog’s finding, in an as-yet unpublished report, that the agency discriminates by only working with evangelical Christian carers in mixed-sex marriages.

In a judgment handed down on Tuesday, Mr Justice Julian Knowles ruled that Cornerstone’s insistence that applicants are evangelical Christians does not breach the Equality Act.

But he said its policy does breach the act “insofar as it requires applicants to refrain from homosexual conduct”.

The agency does not recruit foster carers who are homosexual, in a nutshell. They are directly discriminating, we submit, on grounds of sexual orientation.

The judge said his judgment meant that Cornerstone “must change its recruitment policy to allow gay men and lesbians who are evangelical Christians to apply to become prospective foster parents and it cannot lawfully refuse to do so”.

His full judgment said: “It hardly needs be said, but I categorically reject any suggestion that gay men and lesbians cannot make wonderfully loving foster and adoptive parents, whether they are single or in same-sex partnerships.”

Cornerstone, which is a small independent fostering and post-adoption support agency based in Sunderland, said the judge had vindicated its legal action against the watchdog by upholding its right to recruit only evangelical Christi…

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Editors note. This article was written by Ardrossan Herald. Title changed by Pulpit& Pen


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