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Anti-discrimination ruling leads to discrimination shock

Anti-discrimination ruling leads to discrimination shock

An Evangelical Christian fostering agency ‘has failed to overturn a court ruling’ which held that ‘placing children only with heterosexual married couples is discriminatory’. The agency, Cornerstone, ‘brought legal action against regulator Ofsted after it downgraded the agency’s rating because it only worked with evangelical Christian carers in mixed-sex marriages’, but in July the High Court ruled that it ‘“must change its recruitment policy to allow gay men and lesbians who are evangelical Christians”’ to foster; now three Appeal Court judges have ruled ‘that the policy was discriminatory. Lord Peter Jackson said that assertions of the impact on carers were “inconclusive, and no attempt was made to prove any impact on children’” (‘Bar on gay fostering unlawful’, Daily Express, September 25, 2021).


If this ruling remains in place, the ‘impact’ on Christian childcare services will not be ‘inconclusive’ - at the very least their services will be called into question because Ofsted has thrown doubt on them. However, the ruling is fundamentally unsound, because any same-sex couples describing themselves as evangelical Christians would be going against the very teaching they claimed to embrace; as the agency’s barrister Aidan O’Neill QC argued earlier this year, the belief that ‘sexual intimacy was exclusively to be enjoyed in a heterosexual marriage was part of the evangelical identity. ... You cannot be an evangelical Christian whose lifestyle is one which endorses same-sex activities”’.


The best family environment for children – especially those from troubled backgrounds – is a home with a male and female role model as carers, in a committed, permanent relationship, and yet in recent years a number of Christians have been discriminated against in public life because of adhering to their beliefs.


Several years ago the Catholic Care adoption agency lost its legal battle to provide traditional foster and adoption services for children, and all Catholic agencies have since quit this sector of childcare. In 2007, referring to the issue, Tony Blair said ‘there was no place for discrimination in British society.’

This appears to have been translated to mean that there is ‘no place’ for traditional Christians in ‘British society’, even in areas where their services are badly needed; there will not be enough same-sex couples to fill the yawning gap, and it can be no coincidence that the numbers of children in care are at an all-time high.


Ten years ago, two High Court judges agreed that an Evangelical Christian couple who refused to tell foster children that homosexuality was acceptable should not be allowed to continue fostering, since the ‘right of homosexuals to equality’ had to “‘take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values”; it was ‘not yet “well understood” that British society was largely secular’ and that in the law there was ‘no place for Christianity’ (Daily Telegraph, March 1, 2011, p. 1).


Same-sex couples can foster and adopt through local authority services, but it is argued that Christian bans on same-sex couples constitute a slur on their characters; however, even if such individuals were completely blameless in character, they would not be able to offer children the benefits of a ‘mixed-sex marriage’. And as with the dangers involved in allowing self-identified ‘women’ to use female-only facilities, there is a risk of two paedophiles of the same sex becoming a ‘couple’ and putting themselves forward as fosterers or adoptive ‘parents’. This is not too far-fetched a scenario, given the notorious deviousness of such individuals, who have formed relationships with women in order to abuse children in their care’;  even female same-sex couples can be guilty of child cruelty.


Despite such problems, certain categories of individuals and relationships have been put beyond criticism, creating a ‘chilling effect’ on anyone with concerns about children in same-sex ‘families’, who may be accused of discrimination in reporting those concerns. Wokeness has triumphed over common sense and certainly over the interests of the neediest children, but even on their own terms, the anti-discriminationists fail the equality test: in insisting on the rights of a particular minority to do something they might not even want to do, and may be unfitted to do, they have succeeded in discriminating against all authentic Christians, who cannot provide a much-needed service without denying their religious beliefs – beliefs which are themselves protected under the 2010 Equality Act.


Now Christians are being forced to act against their consciences or risk being forced out of public life. In elevating ‘diversity’ and ‘equality’ as ‘values’ to which all must bow down, the progressive Left and their Marxist woke warriors have created an untouchable ‘priesthood’ in a new secular religion which, while condemning discrimination, actually practises it.