Catholic Care has applied to the High Court to appeal a ruling by the Charity Tribunal that prevents it from discriminating against homosexuals – and could lead to it closing its adoption service.
The charity, which is the social care arm of the Diocese of Leeds, filed its appeal on 20 July. But it has not been recruiting new couples to its adoption service since early June, when the Charity Tribunal dismissed Catholic Care’s appeal against an earlier Charity Commission ruling that also barred it from discriminating.
Bid to change purpose to prevent gay adoptions
Catholic Care had wanted to change its “objects”, or the purpose for which it was set up, to stop homosexuals adopting through its adoption service.
It had planned to take advantage of an exemption in section 18 of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007 that allows charities to discriminate when acting in “pursuance of a charitable instrument”, such as governing documents.
Potential breach of equality laws
But the Charity Tribunal said Catholic Care would breach other equality laws by discriminating against same-sex couples.
Although it has stopped recruiting new adopters, Catholic Care said it continued to support couples in the assessment and approval stages, as well as those wanting to use its post-adoption support services.