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Leeds-based catholic charity might close adoption services over ban on refusing same-sex couples

A Roman Catholic charity said it might close its adoption services after a tribunal ruled that it cannot refuse to help gay couples adopt. The charity says the regulations clash with Roman Catholic doctrine.

Catholic Care, the care agency for the Diocese of Leeds, has already been told by the Charity Commission it cannot opt out of equality laws that force it to offer adoption services to homosexuals.

It had asked the Charity Commission for permission to amend its constitution so it could lawfully decline the services to same-sex couples. But the commission refused and the charity unsuccessfully appealed against the decision made at a charity tribunal last year.

"Without the constitutional restriction for which it applied, Catholic Care will be forced to close its adoption service. In doing so, it will be joining many other faith-based adoption services that have been forced to close since 2008. The reason for this is that the services permitted by the current constitution are in conflict with the aims of the charity. It is Catholic Care's view that this will reduce the number of adoptive parents available and the number of children left waiting for adoptive parents will continue to increase."

– Catholic Care

"The charity had failed to show that there were sufficiently weighty reasons to justify the discrimination it proposed to engage in. The fact that same-sex couples could seek to have access to adoption services offered elsewhere tended to reduce somewhat the immediate detrimental effect on them, but it did not remove the harm that would be caused to them through feeling that discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation was practised at some point in the adoption system."

– Mr Justice Sales