The ruling by two British Tribunals that a Catholic adoption agency must give access to same sex couples wishing to adopt or lose its status as a charity is the latest example of how religious freedoms are being eroded, says Rocco Mimmo, Founder and Chairman of the Ambrose Centre for Religious Freedom, reports the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.
"It is perfectly obvious the Catholic Church and perhaps other religious organisations, object to placing children for adoption in circumstances where a mother and father relationship does not exist," says Mimmo, who points out that such a belief is normal and takes into consideration what is perceived to be in the best interest of this child.
Mr Mimmo, a leading Sydney lawyer and expert on international, human rights and anti-discrimination laws, describes the recent decision by Britain's Upper Tribunal to refuse an Application by the Leeds Catholic Diocese to alter its Charity Constitution as alarming.
For five years the Diocese of Leeds has fought a legal battle on behalf of its welfare agency and registered charity, CatholicCare which has operated an adoption service for more than a century, placing an average of 10 babies with traditional families comprising a mother and a father each year.
The battle to allow CatholicCare's adoption service to adhere to the teaching of the Catholic Church began in 2007 when the Diocese applied to England's Charities Commission for exemption to Labour's newly-passed Sexual Orientation Regulations, requiring all adoption agencies to consider gay and lesbian couples as prospective parents.
The British Charities Commission turned down the Diocese's application insisting it had to balance the risk of closure of the charity's adoption service and skilled staff against "the detriment to same-sex couples and the detriment to society generally of permitting the discrimination proposed."
FULL STORY UK ruling over adoption puts Australia on notice (C-Mail)