Scotland’s adoption regulator has stated that a previous decision warning a Catholic adoption agency in the country to end its discrimination against LGBT couples by not allowing them to apply for adoption was upheld this week, meaning that the charity St. Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society in Glasgow could face losing its charitable status.
The ruling came in response to a complaint lodged by the National Secular Society against the Catholic charity.
The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator said in a statement that the “OSCR found that the charity does not provide public benefit because the way it provides benefit involves unlawful discrimination which causes detriment to the public and to particular groups of people, the effect of which outweighs the other positive effects of the charity’s work.”
Ironically, the Catholic charity said it reviewed the ruling, but declined to change its ways, which the OSCR said was illegal under British law.
“OSCR also found that access to the benefits the charity provides is unduly restricted.
“OSCR therefore found that the charity fails the charity test and confirmed the decision to direct the charity to meet the charity test,” the OSCR statement said.
The charity can appeal the ruling. Even the Scottish government said it was not pleased by the regulator’s ruling, saying “the Scottish Government is disappointed at this decision. We have worked with St Margaret’s to find a solution but the review process is a matter for OSCR to undertake independently.
“It is not for Scottish ministers to adjudicate on the law. There remain further appeals processes for St Margaret’s to pursue, should the society so choose,” the government said.
The ruling also comes less than two days after Cornwall, in southwestern England, said it was actively seeking lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals to become foster or adoptive parents and provide a home for children in the district.
Cornwall has a history of lesbian and gay couples becoming foster and adoptive parents. In a statement, Head of Children’s Social Work Services in the region, Jack Cordery, outlined the belief that discrimination should play no part in the selection process for adoption.
“What is crucial for a child’s happiness is the ability of their parents and carers to make secure, nurturing attachments, not their sexual orientation,” he said.
“Long gone and good riddance to the days when a child was deprived of that happiness because of prejudice and discrimination.”