A Leeds UK based adoption agency has sought to restrict its service to heterosexual couples. The Charity Commission found there was no justification for barring gay and lesbian parents. The commission said it could not accede to the charity’s demands.
It is still a problematic situation that even in the UK discrimination against LGBT people can still be justified as exampled by what Mr. Andrew Hind (Chief Executive) said. “In certain circumstances, it is not against the law for charities to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation. However, because the prohibition on such discrimination is a fundamental principle of human rights law, such discrimination can only be permitted in the most compelling circumstances.” Sadly we do not live in a perfect world.
Catholic Social Justice calls us to “Observe, Judge, Act” in socially complex situations, and accurately reflects the idea that there is no one single Papal approach to issue of Homosexuality. The Rainbow Sash Movement condemns unequivocally any attempt to discriminate, and we call on all Catholics to work for the day when discrimination is not allowed under British Law.
While we are thankful that the Charity Commission found for Gay Couples, and opposed the request of the Catholic adoption agency to opt out of the 2007 sexual orientation regulations based on the Catholic Church’s homophobic Teaching on the Homosexual Person, we find it deeply troubling that the potential for discrimination based on sexual orientation still exists under the law. It is important that we do not grow cynical or succumbed to the Church’s frailty, but rather put our energies into working for reform.
The Rainbow Sash Movement will not excuse the hierarchy for the part they played in all this. Nor will we shy away from the call that the Church needs to change its Teaching on the Homosexual Person in order to exist in heterogeneous society. Our goal must be to reflect the integrity of the gospels in our changing attitude towards sexuality and gender. There is no shame correcting one’s errors the Church found the courage to do it around such issues of usury, and slavery.
Those who would promote their good works as an excuse to discriminate are bigots. Our language in describing them must be unambiguous. The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales lack the backbone to stand up to this brand of Vatican directed homophobia, and should crystallize for many of us the need to keep the public pressure up. Let’s really give the Pope a welcome he deserves.
Rainbow Sash Movement