Monday, February 28, 2011

UK Christian Couple Loses Right To Foster Parent Over Views On Homosexuality

Owen and Eunice Johns might seem to be ideal candidates to become foster parents. The couple, 65 and 62 are Pentecostal Christians, and are both experienced foster parents with a good record who have provided respite care for 15 children.

After a short break, the couple had applied to Derby City Council to resume being foster parents but withdrew their application because of what they characterize as the social worker's attitude to their religious beliefs.

The couple claim not to be homophobic and said they would love any child they were given. However, they ran into problems because what they were 'not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing'.

So they went to court to seek a ruling that their faith shouldn't bar them from resuming their becoming foster parents, arguing that their rights are being superseded by those of homosexuals and the law should protect their Christian values.

They lost.

Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson ruled that the UK's laws protecting people from discrimination because of their sexual orientation 'should take precedence' over the right not to be discriminated against on religious grounds. Some animals are indeed more equal than others, as George Orwell famously wrote.

Outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London Mrs. Johns said: "We are extremely distressed at what the judges have ruled today.

"All we wanted was to offer a loving home to a child in need. We have a good track record as foster parents.But because we are Christians, with mainstream Christian views on sexual ethics, we are apparently unsuitable as foster parents.

We are unsure how we can continue the application process following the court's ruling today.We have been excluded because we have moral opinions based on our faith and we feel sidelined because we are Christians with normal, mainstream, Christian views on sexual ethics.

The judges have suggested that our views might harm children.We have been told by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that our moral views may "infect" a child.

We do not believe that this is so. We are prepared to love and accept any child. All we were not willing to do was to tell a small child that the practice of homosexuality was a good thing.

Worst of all, a vulnerable child has now likely missed the chance of finding a safe and caring home at a time when there are so few people willing to foster or adopt.

We feel excluded and that there is no place for us in society."

Actually, she's quite correct. In today's Britain, there really isn't much of a place for Christian ethics. Oh, you thought parents, even foster parents were supposed to give children a sense of values? Guess again.

Of course, there is one religious tradition British law respects and practically genuflects to, and oddly enough, it has even harsher views on homosexuality than the Johns' Christian beliefs. Islam's sharia law is mandatory for Muslims in civil matters in Britain, and has an equal and binding status in those matters with British Common Law.

If I had been the Johns' adviser, I would have advised them to pretend to be Muslims. I can almost guarantee that their application to become foster caregivers would have been approved in an instant.

(via memeorandum)

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