English Court rules Catholic Adoption Agency must serve Same-Sex Couples

An appeals court has upheld the ruling of the Charity Tribunal, which argued that Catholic Care had adopted a “divisive, capricious, and arbitrary” rule that excludes same-sex couples from adoption services. The court ruled that Catholic Care—which serves the dioceses of Leeds, Middlesbrough, and Hallam—had not demonstrated a convincing reason for that policy. In arguments before the court, a representative of the Charity Tribunal had insisted that the Catholic agency could not be allowed to restrict adoption services to male-female couples, because: “To do so would be to offer protection to the substance of the Church’s belief that homosexuality is sinful.”

A spokesman for Catholic Care said that the organization could be forced by the decision to end its adoption services. The result, he pointed out, would be a reduction in the number of children placed in adoptive homes, and thus a net loss for the children in need.