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How much should we respect religious policies?

09:15 UK time, Thursday, 19 August 2010

A Roman Catholic adoption charity has lost its appeal to not place children with gay people. How much should the law recognise religious teachings?

The charity, Catholic Care, applied for exemption from new anti-discrimination laws so it could restrict its services to homosexual couples on religious grounds.

The Charity Commission said gay people were suitable parents and religious views did not justify discrimination.

Can respect for religious views be a justification for discrimination? Should the law take precedence over religious beliefs? What should be the balance between the rights of organisations and the rights of minority groups?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    It matters not what our personal views are or what those of religious organisations are, the Law says you will not discriminate on grounds of sexuality. Unless the law is changed I don't see how Catholic Care - or anyone else for that matter - can seek exemption.

  • Comment number 3.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 4.

    Religion should not be allowed to interfere with rational thinking on policy matters. If people wish to be religious, that is their business and they should mind that.

    The sooner we recognise religion should have no special status the better. We should treat religions as we do other clubs and societies. There should be no special religious freedoms; just personal freedom (which will allow people to be religious if they choose to be)and no special respect for religious views. (there is a case for a degree of disrespect; how would you treat someone who talked to trees? Rationally you would treat religious wallahs the same).

  • Comment number 5.

    Secular law MUST supercede people's beliefs. If not, what's stopping me from starting my own religion and doing whatever the hell I like?

  • Comment number 6.

    In a sense it doesn't matter what the law says about universal equality -

    People of faith will believe whatever their faith tells them is true, regardless of the law of the land.

    To be perfectly honest, whilst i personally have no problem whatsoever with gay adoption, I think that there is a case for allowing Catholic adoption agencies to discriminate according to their beliefs, especially if it meane that otherwise all their adoption work will cease.

    As long as other agencies are prepared to facilitate gay adoption, then discrimination by the Catholic agencies is not actually a bar to gay couples wishing to adopt.

    Perhaps its just an example of a government imposing a blanket, accross the board ruliong when something with a little more flexibility would be both more apropriate and actually more beneficial from the view of children waiting for adoption.

    On a final note, as an atheist myself, is there any chance that this debaate could not turn into a running battle between aggressive atheists and people of faith, who feel they are under attack?

    Come on everybody , smile on your brother, lets get together and love one another, right now.

  • Comment number 7.

    Beware the duel 'twixt faith and politics,
    For these two things the state should never mix.
    Thus both do people twist and quite abuse.
    Their goal of moral righteousness confused.

    The state doth man encompass either way,
    Regardless where his sense of faith doth sway.
    The trouble be assertions bold of those
    Who have no right on others to impose.

  • Comment number 8.

    Irrespective of your views on Gay Adoption, the law of the land says it's OK, so that must apply to all, irrespective of their faith.
    It may be that this is a bad law (I have no strong views either way), but if so, I believe it would be one of many - laws that have been passed by the government, because they believe it to be right. There is seemingly no means of addressing this under our current system, so we must simply put up with it. Shame, because current technology would seem to make it possible for every individual who wanted to, to vote on whether any such a law should be passed. That would make government inclusive - the opposite of now.

  • Comment number 9.

    This is yet another reason why religeon is so bad. All relgeon does is divide people. As long as the child has a loving home with decent parents that's all that matters. Also Neil's point is spot on.

  • Comment number 10.

    There should be complete segregation between religion and the law especially in the multi-religious society that we currently live in. Allowing excemptions to the law for one religious group would open the door to massive descrimination on grounds of faith.

    So in answer to the question, the law should always take precidence over religious views and I applaud the charity commision for its decision

  • Comment number 11.

    Children need love care and attention. Sometimes I think this is in short supply, and gay people are more than capable of giving it. Just because the Catholic church does not officially support homosexuality, (even though many of their ranks own are gay), I cannot see why their rules would be affected by this.

    And to anyone who says a child needs a mother and a father, tell that to the thousands of single-parent families struggling, or the heterosexual parents that abuse their children. Life is not perfect, but at least this option will keep both the parents and children happy, even though it may infuriate the religious right naysayers.

  • Comment number 12.

    It's ironic that many of the laws in the UK actually came about as a result of religious & moral teachings. Now it seems the main group of people seeking exemption from the law and morality are the religious groups.

  • Comment number 13.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 14.

    This is not as the question states a matter of a balance between the rights of religious organisations and minority groups.

    It is a question of redressing the balance of a 1500 year christian (read fairy tale) religious/secular imbalance. The laws of this country and every country have been so inherently biased against anyone who is not or was not indoctrinated into a religious life, that a natural rebalancing through rational, intellectual and reasoned thought is not only appropriate but is necessary.

    This necessity to throw off the mantle of an archaic, unproven, unfounded and superstitious society and its similarly ancient attitudes and laws is driven because the British people (with some un-evolved exceptions)have grown up.

    They dont rely on a fairy tale book anymore, nor in ghost stories, they read, they understand the most basic tenets of science, and any policy, law or attitude based on a religious, rather than human secular understanding is justified.

    Religion and the religious have no place in our society (note I said our), as secular Britain, not religious Britain is at the fore, religion and religious discrimination is dead, the only issue is they dont realise it yet! Well done the Judiciary!

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Blimy this topic will regress into atheist vs religeous. For what its worth...adoption should always have the rights of the child at heart. I would imagine that being raised by two dads would cause the child serious problems at school. That should be taken into account...protection from ridicule and discrimination of the child by placing them in certain family set-ups.

  • Comment number 17.

    No one or organisation should be above the law.
    If you do not agree then try changing the law by representation to parliament, or stop operating.
    What would happen if I started a adoption agency which excluded redheads....would that be OK?

  • Comment number 18.

    The law should undoubtedly take precedence over religious beliefs, there should be complete separation between religion and state. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs and I would die to defend that freedom, but obeying the law is not a matter of choice, whereas religion is a matter of choice. Democracy means that laws are made to promote the greatest good for the greatest number, if one or two minorities get their noses put out of joint, that's too bad, there's no room in this world for prejudice!

  • Comment number 19.

    The building block or starting point for of all religions should be love and compassion for your fellow human. If a religion chooses to discriminate against someone and show hate (as the judgmental Catholic church so sadly often does) then we need laws to keep them in check. Without laws, religions would still hold witch trials for midwives and force millions into a life of HIV by denying them contraception. (oh wait, the Catholic church still does!)

  • Comment number 20.

    Religion has no place in decision making. Time and effort should be taken to make it socially unacceptable, kind of like drink driving. Although I admit that drink driving kills far fewer people each year.

  • Comment number 21.

    Catholic Care is mixing religious teaching with the care for the child to provide it with good parents. Many adopted children will tell of being abused by one adoptive heterosexual parent or both. It is unfortunate that Catholic Care speaks for the Catholic Church and reinforces the Churches' belief that homosexuals are evil and sinful. There is no true concern for the welfare of the child that will be given a warm welcome by same-sex couples and will experience a happy family life. I know of couples who came out of heterosexual marriages and into same-sex partnerships, taking their respective children with them. They are good families and they have struggled the same as any blended family who goes through this experience of blending to families together. Catholic Care must stop mixing personal religious convictions with providing help to the children seeking a good home. It is disappointing that over 100 years of experience in providing adoption will now be given up just because their discriminating religious policies have not been allowed to continue.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    As an Atheist, for me it comes down to a simple question: Do you support a couple who want to provide a loving home to a disadvantaged child, or do you support an organisation that doesn't want to home a child with such a couple?

    Let's not forget that Catholic Care is made up of people who worship an all-powerful deity that, according to them, allowed the child to become disadvantaged in the first place.

  • Comment number 24.

    Religious belief is a private personal matter

    In public subject matters, the law applies.

  • Comment number 25.

    The political correctness brigade may think that god-like they can select the views we all should hold in the name of 'Tolerance'. However, when humans take this attitude they are actually being intolerant: they seek to impose their views upon others, and refuse to tolerate any disagreement. I for one don't see good reason for forcing children to be brought up in abnormal circumstances. That homosexuals desire to have children in their lives is all well and good, but the present ruling seems to be more concerned with the desires of homosexuals than it is with the happiness of children.

  • Comment number 26.

    I find that the Roman Catholic church is centuries behind with its outdated views on marriage and relationships, but that being said I do believe in the freedom of religion, and I find that people are entitled to such views, however stupid they may be.

    I also believe that, if you choose to deal with a Catholic organisation, you have to accept their views. So if I were gay and wanted to adopt a child I would not go through Catholic Care.

  • Comment number 27.

    As for the comment above re priests' abuse of children - these men were sadly mistaken and NOT acting as Christians. To be encouraged to despise a faith on these grounds is illogical ----and an old ploy of the Devil!

  • Comment number 28.

    I recommend No. 5 Dan Dover. Yes, secular law must supersede people's beliefs. There are too many nutters out there brandishing their outmoded and downright hideous practices. I am a non-believer but I recognise the rights of others to take part in their religion so long as they keep it to themselves and do not interfere in the law of the land.
    Hope this debate doesn't degenerate into a nasty smear campaign. It is quite worrying of late how many posters seem to spend all day on here being, quite frankly, downright rude ! Debate by all means but keep it clean. Have a few breaks and make a cup of tea ! But then, I'm an old girl now and perhaps the wind has gone out of my sails.

  • Comment number 29.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 30.

    I know a church near me, where they were told they couldn't ask for a

    Christian worker, but that anyone who wanted to, could try for the Post. I

    disagree. Their reigion is important to them, like other people think their

    religion is important to them too. Rules in any religion is important,

    providing they are not hurting anyone, like a child or nothing sexual...so if

    this religious group didn't want children going to a gay couple, then the gay

    couple should accept this. I am sure there are many other children they can

    adopt.

  • Comment number 31.

    Religious views should not be tolerated ever under any circumstances, It is illogical irrational and Profoundly untrue.
    Organised religions are the most Immoral institutions on the planet but then starting from a position of complete fiction where else can they go.
    Judaism the oldest of the three main religions is 6 thousand years old and thats how old believers of the three main religions think the world is.

    Its is completely stupid there is no other word for it how dare you base a descision that will impact another human being on your own personal irrational belief in a completely fabricated myth.


    Whats next Rupert the bear told me it was ok to steal!!
    Religion is for the weak and feeble minded who just do not understand or choose to be ignorant of the scientific facts.

    Earth 4.54 billion years old
    man 200'000yrs old(give or take a few)

    Judaism 6 thousand years old started out as 3 separate cults in the middle east.

    By the time the torah says god got round to creating the earth man had already domesticated dogs and had started farming sheep, and growing crops.

    Seriously starting from the position of complete fiction where can you go.

  • Comment number 32.

    Well, this is a tricky one isn't it! Catholic Care is a charity, not a business or a arm of the state. All charities make morality judgements with regard to what causes they support. Some place value on rearching for cancer cures, other place value on supporting former servicesmen, others still believe that money is best spend on aid for third world countries.

    Catholic Care doesn't have the option of being "flexible" with regard to this particular morality judgement. As they see it, their scripture says that homosexuality is immoral. So, I'm guessing this leaves them no option but to withdraw from this particular area of charitable work. I think, on balance, that that's probably an own goal for equality legislation.

  • Comment number 33.

    Religion and "Laws" do not mix it would seem? The Catholic religion is anti-gay and the "law" is anti-discrimination. So why hasnt the law said that Catholic "Fathers" can be also be Catholic "Mothers"?

    In France, female Muslems say that wearing clothing that hides thier identity is a religous choice, the authorities say that it shouldnt happen for instance on the grounds of security.

    If a religion is anti-gay, its anti-gay - wether this is abigotted position or not. You wont find many Black people in the KKK will you, or is that the next thing that someone will take to court?

    Human rights is one thing, but you have to keep a respectful balance and take into account the feelings for one side and the wishes or demands for the other.

    Gay parents will offer foster or adoption children the same love and protection as a hetrosexual couple. But what about the belieifs of the child, perhaps a Catholic Child?

    Balance, respect and using comon sence is the key. Im Jewish, but i'm anti-Israeli Government and its worldwide stance and intolerance, is that the same?

  • Comment number 34.

    At 09:57am on 19 Aug 2010, krokodil wrote:
    Blimy this topic will regress into atheist vs religeous. For what its worth...adoption should always have the rights of the child at heart. I would imagine that being raised by two dads would cause the child serious problems at school. That should be taken into account...protection from ridicule and discrimination of the child by placing them in certain family set-ups.

    ------------------------------------------------------

    In that case the children who are causing the 'serious problems' should be taken away from their parents and sent to live with the 'two dads' as they would then be brought up to be non-judgemental, non-bullying, close minded idiots.

    You hear of many children from 'normal sex families, ie mother and father' being abused by their parents, yet you don't hear of it happening in 'same sex' parent families.

    It is wrong that children are either kept outside a loving home just because other ill brought up children would make fun of them, or because it dosn't conform to what some out of date, bullying religious sect says is normal.

    It's about time 'religion' put it's own world in order, practised fully what it indoctrines into people before it started poking it's nose into the lives of those who live with a more generous heart and open minded attitude than they have. And who are they to speak ill of same sex families, when they all ponce around wearing dresses..........

  • Comment number 35.

    Firstly, we must question the reasons why a child would specifically become part of a Catholic adoption group. If it is becasue the parents were Catholic and wanted to raise their child in a similar manner, surely this would involve following Catholic beliefs, including the beliefs with regards to gay couples.

    Whilst I have no problems with anyone's personal beliefs as long as they aren't used for bad intentions (cause hate/offence etc.) I do think that a gay couple specifically seeking to adopt from a Catholic agency is almost inviting a reaction. I wonder what the backlash would be like if it was a minority religion, such as Islam. Not intending to cause a racial battle here, but I do think that sometimes we view the opinions of minorities as more important than those of a religion that has been one of the key aspects of European cultural development, from the Roman Empire onwards. I am in no way saying that we shouldn't progress, and move on from religion if that is what is right, but we shouldn't discard a religion that has played a major part in shaping the laws of this land. Look at the ten commandments and the teachings in the Bible. For the most part, the message is peace, love and helping others. Yes we can no longer realistically take the teachings in the Old Testament literally, but the message is still relevant. You don't need to be a Christian to hold Christian values.

    Far too many people are agressively anti or pro-religion when it comes to voicing an opinion, but the silent majority would rather everyone just shut up for once and just got along nicely.

  • Comment number 36.

    I have not yet heard of one instance where a child adopted by a lesbian or homosexual couple has been led astray or abused. For one thing, it seems that diversion from heterosexuality is built into one's genes, and not usually a practice that is cultivated by an elder. For another, the homosexuals and lesbians I have encountered are gentle, thoughtful people.

    Religion, on the other hand, is responsible for most of the problems we have today. Just look at the Middle East.

  • Comment number 37.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 38.

    5. At 09:43am on 19 Aug 2010, Dan_Dover wrote:

    Secular law MUST supercede people's beliefs. If not, what's stopping me from starting my own religion and doing whatever the hell I like?


    And then all you have to do is declare that something is an abomination unto Nuggin and get your own way.

    (Points to people who get the reference)

  • Comment number 39.

    The UN convention on the rights of the child.
    Article 21....Adoption....the first concern must be what is best for them.
    Article 12.....Respect the views of the child. Children have the right to have their views heard.
    Article 3....Best interests of the child. this should be the primary concern when making decisions that affect them.
    Article 2.....Non Discrimination.....No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.
    These should be respected when placing a child in the care of others. Their rights MUST come first. I contend that a same sex couple is NOT in the best interests of the child if we apply the above conventions.

  • Comment number 40.

    I think we, society, need to think very carefully about whether it is in childrens' interests to be adopted by same-sex couples.

    If we then decide the orientation of the adoptive parents has no bearing then the law should reflect this and apply equally to all.

    However I do not think we have necessarily reflected carefully enough on this and related matters.

  • Comment number 41.

    Most of the UK have moved on from gay prejudice and its time the Catholic church moderated its views. The child is the most important part of adoption, so it wouldn't be right to deny that child loving parents of whatever orientation, purely on the basis of doctrine. That would seem rather un-Christian and completely devoid of compassion.

  • Comment number 42.

    16. At 09:57am on 19 Aug 2010, krokodil wrote:
    "...I would imagine that being raised by two dads would cause the child serious problems at school. That should be taken into account...protection from ridicule and discrimination of the child by placing them in certain family set-ups."

    If a chld wants to bully another child they will find something. Should disabled people not be allowed to adopt because the child may be teased? Being adopted in itself may be enough to cause bullying.

  • Comment number 43.

    "How much should the law recognise religious teachings?"

    Not at all.

    Religion of any description is an individual's personal choice and has nothing to do with the law. The law must apply equally across the board to everyone, regardless of any other consideration.

  • Comment number 44.

    "25. At 10:09am on 19 Aug 2010, orlando-furioso wrote:

    The political correctness brigade may think that god-like they can select the views we all should hold in the name of 'Tolerance'. However, when humans take this attitude they are actually being intolerant: they seek to impose their views upon others, and refuse to tolerate any disagreement. I for one don't see good reason for forcing children to be brought up in abnormal circumstances. That homosexuals desire to have children in their lives is all well and good, but the present ruling seems to be more concerned with the desires of homosexuals than it is with the happiness of children."

    I think it is grossly unfair and a sweeping generalisation to say that gays are unable to provide care and happiness to a child. I also think part of that statement is hypocritical in that you accuse others of forcing their views on others, then state that you see no reason for forcing children to be brought up in 'abnormal circumstances'. If you don't like gays adopting, that's your view and you are entitled to it. But it is unfair to go around essentially calling gays 'abnormal', that is intolerant in my view.

  • Comment number 45.

    At 10:09am on 19 Aug 2010, orlando-furioso wrote:

    "I for one don't see good reason for forcing children to be brought up in abnormal circumstances. That homosexuals desire to have children in their lives is all well and good, but the present ruling seems to be more concerned with the desires of homosexuals than it is with the happiness of children"

    Ah yes this standard troll, of course the use of the word 'abnormal', is of course dependent on your definition, is it abnormal for a child to be born in marriage, an artificial state? Is it abnormal for children to be born via caesarian section, not natural?, is it abnormal for one man and one woman to only mate with each other, a situation relatively uncommon in nature?

    This decision is about two things:
    1. Giving needy children homes and loving adult carers, because too
    often the children are put up for adoption because their religious,
    heterosexual parents, are degenerate, incompatable or unsuited to
    reproduce in the first place
    2. Religion and religious organisations are now dealing with a secular
    society, laws and populace, where secular, human values are now the
    norm, and where they can no longer claim privalleged status, and
    where they have because of this privalleged status, abused,
    indoctrinated and destroyed childrens lives for centuries.

    Orlando - read the 'Criminal History of the Papcy' by Tony Bushby, and then come back talk and debate issues such as the 'abnormal' and the happiness of children!

  • Comment number 46.

    "15. At 09:57am on 19 Aug 2010, allan wrote:

    Religion is man made and has caused endless wars and problems between different races and cultures.My view is that it should not be taught in schools and have no say in where children are cared for especially with its past track record."


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    Yeah Allan,

    Them God botherers like: Hitler, Stalin, MaoTseTung, Pol Pot, Kim il Sung and all the rest of the -people loving- atheists that you don't care to mention in that asinine statement!

  • Comment number 47.

    In the UK this has to be one of the hardest questions ever asked on this site.
    We have created a society where certain religions seem to be above the law. Whereas the traditional churches are no longer given any credibilty, certainly not in the eyes of English Law.
    Having more than one wife is against the law and yet there are a large number of people flouting that law. Didn't the last census show that a lot of couples had dependant 'sisters'?

  • Comment number 48.

    A 100% secular society is what we need - those who wish to believe may do so, in what ever gods or devils take their fancy. The country can get on with being run on a basis that is acceptable to the majority who are not religious enough to go to formal worship.

    Laws are for the running of the country for the benefit of all - not to be 'adjusted' by the 'morally just paragons of virtue' who deny emancipation of the sexes, those of differing sexual preferences and are controlled by clergy of questionable standards.

    I don't really trust politicians - but we have the ability to vote on them, but to have our laws medaled with by groups whom not only really don't I trust, but also really don't like, is not acceptable.

  • Comment number 49.

    There should be no recogintion by the state of religeon. In terms of changing the law to 'respect' religeous beliefs.

    For instance the church of england should not have a say over whether it employs women bishops, as we live in a society that does not allow discrimination against women in emplyment.

    Sending children to gay adoptive parents is the same. We have laws in the UK to protect the rights of gay people the church has no right to be made a special case.


    Most of all churches should not be allowed to be involved in the running of schools because religeous indoctrination of children is abuse and religeons should not be tax exempt.

    But here we go again. This 'have your say' is once again testament of how religeon is used as an effective excuse to be homophobic and sexist.

    Afterall you'd be hard pushed to excuse hgomophobia and sexism if you were athiest. ITs far easier to legitimise your disgusting attitudes by saying 'god said so'.

  • Comment number 50.

    The law of the country should always come before any religion. If you start giving religious groups the right to ignore the law we send this country back to the dark ages.

  • Comment number 51.

    If the religious leaders want to to influence the law, THEN GET ELECTED. Until then, secular law must take precedence: this is not a theocracy.

  • Comment number 52.

    "Let him who is without sin cast the first stone"

    The Catholic church should put its own house in order first before it crticises others. It is like your overweight GP telling you to lose weight !

  • Comment number 53.

    Roman Catholics have been given too many freedoms in this country. The heirarchy of the RC church have managed to get some sort of immunity of prosecution for turning a blind eye and downright hiding child abusing priests. How on earth can they deny gay couples the right to adopt?

    They are also allowed to brainwash their children, at taxpayers expense, in their "faith schools.

    Give them an inch and they will take a mile. People talk about moslems not integrating into British society should look at this lot first.

  • Comment number 54.

    I think it is a good thing that the Catholic Church should be persecuted in this way because it serves to demonstrate its fidelity to what the Bible says about homosexuality.

    If the Church is prepared to suffer for what the Bible says that's a good thing.

  • Comment number 55.

    Until recently our laws were based on Christian ethics and so was our whole civilization. Since the demise of Christian believe Europe in the last 100 years we have entered a new dark age where codes of behaviour , social fabric and family life have declined alarmingly. Eventually if we continue to base everything on the man made ideas of social engineering and utopianism Britain will descend into a society where life will become intolerable for the majority of people and the weak and vulnerable will become prey to an uncontrollable criminal class.
    Roman Catholics are among the last bastion to uphold basic Christian principles in our society
    , when they no longer have a voice our society will fall apart even quicker.
    The media ,the government and the judiciary are unfortunately trying as hard as they can to remove our Judiac -Christian traditions. They are like people drilling holes in the bottom of a lifeboat. If this situation carries on a society far worse than Orwell's 1984 will come to pass.
    Only those societies that have adhered to a strong religious moral code survive, that is why the Jewish people have lasted thousands of years. Examples of atheistic societies based on man made Utopian ideas are those of Stalin, Mao , Hitler and Pol Pot, where the greatest known human misery occurred .

  • Comment number 56.

    krokodil wrote:
    ...adoption should always have the rights of the child at heart. I would imagine that being raised by two dads would cause the child serious problems at school. That should be taken into account...protection from ridicule and discrimination of the child by placing them in certain family set-ups.

    This is not very well thought through. Being the child of disabled parents can cause ridicule — will you ban them from adopting, too?

  • Comment number 57.

    Laws should always come before peoples religious beliefs.

    Religion should play no part in ANYTHING the government does, a good example of why this is was shown last night in Richard Dawkins' documentary on faith schools on channel 4. They receive 90% of their funding from the government yet can discriminate on religious grounds who goes to their schools, indoctrinate their children into believing that their faith is the only way forwards, segregate and cause divisions between large sections of the community. They also showed a Muslim science teacher who did not know the basics of evolution. This needs to stop.

    Why should I respect all religions if I believe in none? They cant all be right, they go against each others teachings and say that me as a non believer will go hell (which ever form of hell their religion uses as punishment), and im supposed to respect that?

  • Comment number 58.

    "26. At 10:11am on 19 Aug 2010, John Hudson wrote:

    I also believe that, if you choose to deal with a Catholic organisation, you have to accept their views. So if I were gay and wanted to adopt a child I would not go through Catholic Care."

    Sorry that doesn't cut it. ITs the thin end of the wedge. Afterall by your logic it should be okay for owners of a b and b to refuse a gay couple because they are chrisitians.

    You would say:-

    'well they shouldn't deal with christian owners of a b and b'

    Well what if ALL b and b's were 'chritian' what then?

    It is NOT okay to discriminate against people because of their sexuality, sex, religeon, physical disability whatever.

    And if you want to run ANY organisation in the UK you shgould abide by UK law.

    Don't like it? TOUGH.

  • Comment number 59.

    Someone should make and assessment of all these so-called religious-led charities to see if they are actually suitable to work with children, and 'place' children, as they say. I doubt the RSPCC and the other cohorts who do put children in need as their first priority are particularly pleased.

  • Comment number 60.

    The law has to have a wider tolerance of opinion and practice than any religion... because all of us, religious or not, need to be able to find that law acceptable.

    So it is correct to say that just because some religions do not accept a homosexual relationship as acceptable, the law as a whole should accept those whose preferance is for a member of their own gender... and so an adoption agency would be acting unlawfully if that was the SOLE reason for them deeming a set of potential adoptive parents as unacceptable.

    However, how many homosexual couples are going to approach an organisation that regards them as 'evil' for anything, let alone something as important to them as adopting? Surely they will go to an organisation which is supportive of their preferences and lifestyle choice.

    Are both the Catholic Adoption Agency and the Charities Commission creating a problem that doesn't actually exist?

    Wait until a homosexual couple are refused an adoption on grounds of their sexuality alone, and then you can start talking about unlawful decisions!

  • Comment number 61.

    Isn't it amazing that Christians always seem to lose cases like this, but other religions win. It's like comedy and satire - Christianity is fair game - but when have you ever seen a show ridiculing Islam?

  • Comment number 62.

    27. At 10:12am on 19 Aug 2010, orlando-furioso wrote:

    As for the comment above re priests' abuse of children - these men were sadly mistaken and NOT acting as Christians. To be encouraged to despise a faith on these grounds is illogical ----and an old ploy of the Devil!


    No true Scotsman eh? How convenient.

  • Comment number 63.

    No matter how much I disagree with it, the law is the law!

    There are already too many groups in this country who think they are beyond the law because of religious beliefs, it really is time these people were told that the law of this country takes precedence over their views and if they dont like it, well there are plenty of boats, trains and planes that leave this country every day.......

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

    The rights of gay people to adopt and the rights of a religious group to discriminate in accordance with their beliefs must take a back seat to the rights and welfare of the children.
    I can see no real argument to counter the fact that a heterosexual couple would bring the best balance of upbringing to the life of a child. However that is not to say that a gay couple could not also provide a good life.
    I would much rather have more gay couples bringing up kids than seeing the endless stream of children born to those who don't have the means or commitment to bring up a child these days.

  • Comment number 66.

    There's no God, full stop. What there is, is right and wrong. A child should only ever be placed with a settled family, preferably a married couple one male, one female. That is how a child is conceived, nature provided us human beings with the equiptment to produce children, we are designed in such a way to enable a man and a woman to do just that, no other format. It's high time we stopped the nonsense that's been allowed to denegrate the normal behaviour of humanity and childrens upbringing.

  • Comment number 67.

    Another HYS Catholic bashing.

    Gives Muslims and immigrants the day off I suppose.

    What a tolerant society we live in eh?

  • Comment number 68.

    Church and State have always been separate. The present head of State (The Queen) is the only person that takes responsibility for both even if it has been reduced to ceremonial functions these days.
    The State makes the laws of this land and these laws should be obeyed otherwise there would be chaos. It doesn't matter whether the laws are good or bad, the consensus prevails even if it is bad law or until they are amended or rescinded. Religion on the other hand has proved itself over time to be offensive, biased, murderous, restrictive, liars, dispassionate (despite their claims to be otherwise).
    So, who gave the Charity Commission the wisdom to decide that homosexuals are suitable parents for adoptive children? Are they simply obeying the law or do they have well-founded research into the subject? Since children are born out of heterosexual unions, I would suggest that they are best placed to undertake the responsibilities of parenting and adoption, that in my opinion is the most sensible conclusion despite what the Charity Commission decides. Experimenting with children as a result of legislation is not the best way forward.

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 70.

    At 10:24am on 19 Aug 2010, krokodil wrote:

    'The UN convention on the rights of the child.
    Article 21....Adoption....the first concern must be what is best for them.
    Article 12.....Respect the views of the child. Children have the right to have their views heard.
    Article 3....Best interests of the child. this should be the primary concern when making decisions that affect them.
    Article 2.....Non Discrimination.....No child should be treated unfairly on any basis.
    These should be respected when placing a child in the care of others. Their rights MUST come first. I contend that a same sex couple is NOT in the best interests of the child if we apply the above conventions.'

    I would be interested in how your premis of non-discrimination of, best interests of and the fair treatment of children, leads you to your contention that adoption with a same sex couple would not be in the child's best interest?

    How, or why would a same sex couple as opposed to a heterosexual couple be in a more compromising position on the basis of the UN convention?

    Now, think about your answer, will it involve discrimination on the basis of a religious indoctrination of attitudes in society? will it involve your percieved attitude in relation to how the child will be percieved in society? or is it based on fact such as the Stacey or Biblarz studies in the US or the Guasp thesis in the UK?


  • Comment number 71.

    41. At 10:25am on 19 Aug 2010, Barnabas wrote:
    Most of the UK have moved on from gay prejudice and its time the Catholic church moderated its views. The child is the most important part of adoption, so it wouldn't be right to deny that child loving parents of whatever orientation, purely on the basis of doctrine. That would seem rather un-Christian and completely devoid of compassion.

    Barnabas - the catholic church is not in a position to "moderate it's views". That's the point. They believe that, according to their scripture (which, personally I regard as a fairy-tale) that homosexuality is immoral. There is no room for compromise when it comes to matters of faith. And it's not for the likes of you and me to tell them what theur faith ought to be.

    The question here is not, should UK law prevent discrimination against gays, but rather: Does the state have the right to interfere with work of charities?

  • Comment number 72.

    61. At 10:40am on 19 Aug 2010, John Sparks wrote:
    Isn't it amazing that Christians always seem to lose cases like this, but other religions win. It's like comedy and satire - Christianity is fair game - but when have you ever seen a show ridiculing Islam?

    ----

    Last episode of 'mongrels' BBC3, about a fortnight ago.

    The Daily show on more4 on a semi perpetual basis.

    Numerous panel shows including 'Have I got News' and 'Mock the week' as well as quite a lot of comedy shows on Radio 4.

    But keep perpetuating the daily mail myth....

  • Comment number 73.

    46. At 10:29am on 19 Aug 2010, Cronk wrote:

    "15. At 09:57am on 19 Aug 2010, allan wrote:

    Religion is man made and has caused endless wars and problems between different races and cultures.My view is that it should not be taught in schools and have no say in where children are cared for especially with its past track record."


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    Yeah Allan,

    Them God botherers like: Hitler, Stalin, MaoTseTung, Pol Pot, Kim il Sung and all the rest of the -people loving- atheists that you don't care to mention in that asinine statement!



    Most of these tyrants were taught religion when they were young. In Hitler & Stalin in particular, it has been argued that their religious upbringing contributed to the way the behaved as adults.

  • Comment number 74.

    The law is an ass. There has to be some give and take for small charitable / voluntary organisations who cannot cater for all.

  • Comment number 75.

    46. At 10:29am on 19 Aug 2010, Cronk wrote:
    Yeah Allan,

    Them God botherers like: Hitler, Stalin, MaoTseTung, Pol Pot, Kim il Sung and all the rest of the -people loving- atheists that you don't care to mention in that asinine statement!

    -------------------------------------

    "With or without religion,
    you would have good people doing good things
    and evil people doing evil things.
    But for good people to do evil things,
    that takes religion"

  • Comment number 76.

    16. At 09:57am on 19 Aug 2010, krokodil wrote:

    Blimy this topic will regress into atheist vs religeous. For what its worth...adoption should always have the rights of the child at heart. I would imagine that being raised by two dads would cause the child serious problems at school. That should be taken into account...protection from ridicule and discrimination of the child by placing them in certain family set-ups.

    -------------------------

    Congrats. You stopped the religion dispute by making an assumption that homosexual parents is worse than social care and nobody wanting to adopt the child.

    Is it worse that nobody wants you or that you are loved by people with quirks?

  • Comment number 77.

    49. At 10:31am on 19 Aug 2010, bigsammyb wrote:
    There should be no recogintion by the state of religeon. In terms of changing the law to 'respect' religeous beliefs.

    For instance the church of england should not have a say over whether it employs women bishops, as we live in a society that does not allow discrimination against women in emplyment.


    _________________________

    What? Being a preist is not a form of employment! Many people in the CofE believe that bishops are successors to the apostles and as such can only be men. Personally I think that's stupid, but if it is part of the religion then you have to run with it. Otherwise, you you could equally argue that "belief in God" should not be a pre-requisite for becoming a bishop.

  • Comment number 78.

    As a moderately protestant Christian secular state we have to accommodate a number of arbitrary religious viewpoints. Unfortunately this means that they cannot all be accommodated. If you want to live in a religious state them move to one.

  • Comment number 79.

    I have no fixed views on gay adoption per se.

    Normally, I'd just say that there are plenty of organisations which have no problem with it, and if some catholics have a problem with it, that's their right, so long as they don't get in anyone else's way.

    Religion, after all, is increasingly irrelevant in mainstream indigenous British society and culture.

    Unfortunately, one of the many disastrous consequences of the multiculturalism foisted on us by the authorian, out of touch Establishment, and cheered on by the dupes in the pc brigade, is that religion now matters.

    If we give in to the christians on this one, we have to give in to the new religions, such as islam, sikhism and hinduism, on issues that are important to them.

    So no, I can't support the catholics on this one. Give them an inch, and the ethnic minority religions will take a mile.

  • Comment number 80.

    65. At 10:45am on 19 Aug 2010, nothins_ever_easy wrote:

    'I can see no real argument to counter the fact that a heterosexual couple would bring the best balance of upbringing to the life of a child'

    and what is your rationale behind this 'fact'? or is it your opinion?

  • Comment number 81.

    If I wanted an example to demonstrate just how sick our society has become this one has got to be top of the list. Catholic Care, ignore religion for now, has been placing children with adoptive parents for decades considering the best interests of the children above all else. They do not believe that placing a young innocent child into the care of two men who are cohabiting together as a man and wife would to be in the best interests of the child. A significant difference of opinion. Our government’s solution to this is to say to Catholic Care OK if you are not prepared to give a child to two men then you are no longer fit to arrange adoptions. For a government to sanction the placement of an innocent child to grow up in such an off the wall environment, hope that's tame enough to get past the moderators, amounts to nothing short of state sponsored child abuse. That does not mean that I think homosexuals are necessarily more inclined to physical abuse t6han anyone else, I don't, but I do not believe that there's anything natural or normal about their lifestyles and removing an innocent child’s choice, which they could have made when they were older, and "forcing" them to live in such an environment is just plain, fundamentally wrong and smells of an attempt to try and "normalise" homosexual relationships at the expense of corrupted children. By all means let grown men play at mums and dads if they want to, that's their choice but I doubt that many children would pick two dads over a mum and dad were they give a choice. The government is wrong to take that choice away from them before they are old enough to make an informed decision.

  • Comment number 82.

    5. At 09:43am on 19 Aug 2010, Dan_Dover wrote:
    Secular law MUST supercede people's beliefs. If not, what's stopping me from starting my own religion and doing whatever the hell I like?
    ###############################################################

    That is exactly what Ron Hubbard did when he started Scientology.

    He was short of money and a friend advised him of the tax breaks available to religions in the USA. His invideous 'religion' has spread world wide, promoted by gullible 'celebrities'.

    Just read his un-authorised biography 'Bare-faced Messiah'; this guy could teach Jeffery Archer to tell lies about himself!

    As for the Catholic church; one of the main, some say THE main reason this church is against contraception is that it is always desperate for new members.

    I am glad to read the majority of posts here are stating that we should be living in a secular society, with NO laws or 'rights' for any religion to use as a 'special case'. Be it gay adoption or wearing of a crucifix when all jewellery is prohibited by an employer.




  • Comment number 83.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 84.

    My gay partner and I have been together 34 years. I was married before and have two sons he has helped me rais one is 35 the other 40. They are as straigth as my father was. As A former Catholic there arrogance never ceases to amaze me. The majority of adopted children are treated better than many other children. I am probably not going to see it but I can guarantee that Children born this year will see the end of religions infumence that we see waiting now. Think of how many people you know that go to Church or let alone believe.

    They should be more worried about situations like Baby P who was born out of a straight relationship.

  • Comment number 85.

    Superstition & fantasy should play no role whatsoever in 21st Century Britain. People who still adhere to the fantasies of goat herders in the middle east 2000 years ago should certainly not be in a position of placing children for adoption. It's a mad world we live in.

  • Comment number 86.

    "Yeah Allan,

    Them God botherers like: Hitler, Stalin, MaoTseTung, Pol Pot, Kim il Sung and all the rest of the -people loving- atheists that you don't care to mention in that asinine statement! "

    Always fun to see someone point out many evil atheist mainly because it is inevitable in these sorts of discussions. Firstly, Hitler was a Christian and secondly, those atheist leaders didn't kill millions in the name of atheism. They were just crazy people. So you logic fails.

    And on topic I think that there should be no respect for relgious policies. Religious Education should spend less time teaching what lies and fairy tails people believe and more on atheism. Religion is the enemy of the human race, not just because religion is false but because all major religions preach hatred and discrimination against various members of society.

  • Comment number 87.

    46. At 10:29am on 19 Aug 2010, Cronk wrote:
    "15. At 09:57am on 19 Aug 2010, allan wrote:

    Religion is man made and has caused endless wars and problems between different races and cultures.My view is that it should not be taught in schools and have no say in where children are cared for especially with its past track record."


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    Yeah Allan,

    Them God botherers like: Hitler, Stalin, MaoTseTung, Pol Pot, Kim il Sung and all the rest of the -people loving- atheists that you don't care to mention in that asinine statement!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And what you and all the others that use this silly argument fail to realise is that none of the above dictators did what they did in the name of atheism, did they?

  • Comment number 88.

    Should the law take precedence over religious beliefs? Yes. Always.

    How much should the law recognise religious teachings? It shouldn't. At all. Ever.

  • Comment number 89.

    "How much should we respect religious policies?"

    Not at all.

    Still coming across religion in 2010 is like finding a Victorian workhouse operating in the middle of an affluent city – its positively disgusting

    The state should never have made exceptions for religious beliefs or force by law the rest of us to 'respect' such nonsense and should now start to wind it all down by withdrawing charitable status, subsidies or the other economic perks that unfairly favour religion over the secular.

    Mankind cannot progress to evidence based reality when some are still clinging to ancient religious ignorance because their parents passed on the disease in childhood.

    Until it is made clear to all citizens alike that secular law has priority over religion at any level and in any circumstances these religious problems will continue to plague us.

  • Comment number 90.

    67. At 10:46am on 19 Aug 2010, coolhandpaul wrote:
    Another HYS Catholic bashing.

    Gives Muslims and immigrants the day off I suppose.

    What a tolerant society we live in eh?

    ..........................................................

    We are a tolerant society. Catholics, muslims,church of england non of these groups beliefs should be above the law of the country.

  • Comment number 91.

    I'm an atheist and my best friend is gay so I completely support this decision however I don't want to start a tirade against religions.

    Playing devils advocate - what happens if a gay couple want to adopt a religious child who doesn't want them as parents?

  • Comment number 92.

    Every religion has some version of the ten commandments, it's a shame they are not adhered to. Why is it that God is always supporting both nations in war? God despises war why support it. The Bible is a very good history book, we haven't learnt any lessons from it, still in denial and doing identical to what was proven wrong. If there is a God we must be pretty close to extinction - Armageddon here we come, if you are a believer then you are not worried as the afterlife is next, if a you do not believe then you don't worry, everyone is happy.

  • Comment number 93.

    Technically, this is a "Christian" country, although a more heathen land, with the basest of values, would be hard to find. This Catholic Adoption Agency, after this appalling ruling, should now close down. Where anything goes in this crass society, and religious values are only based on those of other religious persuasions, there is little point in continuing to maintain Christian values, as far as this agency is concerned, where these are totally opposed by the law. The day we rescind PC, human rights (without corresponding human responsibilities), and automatic civil liberties, will be the greatest day we ever see in this once great country!!

  • Comment number 94.

    Religion should not have any special place in law. If they wish to take part in activities which are regulated by the state, they need to obey those regulations. Their other choice is to stop those activites.

    Furthermore, religion should not have a special place in financial law. There should be no automatic presumption that religions should have charitable status. They should pay tax on all their income. If they wish to raise money for some cause or other, they need to set up a separate organisation for that purpose and apply for charitable status in the ordinary way - just as everyone else has to do.

    Finally, the C of E should be disestablished forthwith and there should be no reserved seats for them in Parliament.

  • Comment number 95.

    46. At 10:29am on 19 Aug 2010, Cronk wrote:

    "Them God botherers like: Hitler, Stalin, MaoTseTung, Pol Pot, Kim il Sung and all the rest of the -people loving- atheists that you don't care to mention in that asinine statement!"

    You are implying here that these people (Hitler was a Catholic BTW) did these things BECAUSE they were atheists. This is nonsense, they were simply bad people. It had nothing to do with their failure to believe in a deity.

    The old saying is sadly true.

    Good people do good things and bad people do bad things. It takes religion to make good people do bad things.

  • Comment number 96.

    As there is no single religion and there are many who do not wish to be part of any religion then it should have zero bearing on law.
    The Bible tells its followers to put to death those who do not respect the sabbath, as this will never be allowed why should any of it?

  • Comment number 97.

    26. At 10:11am on 19 Aug 2010, John Hudson wrote:
    I find that the Roman Catholic church is centuries behind with its outdated views on marriage and relationships, but that being said I do believe in the freedom of religion, and I find that people are entitled to such views, however stupid they may be.

    ----------------------------------------------

    "Centuries"? As I recall, homosexual activity was illegal in the UK until 1967 - scarcely centuries ago. A generation ago, perhaps.

    And this is an important issue - we tend to think that everyone is so much more tolerant and open-minded these days, but are they?

  • Comment number 98.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 99.

    How on earth can you possibly respect a relegion like christianity that was developed over 2000 years ago based on beliefs and standards of that time.
    The fact is that the world has changed beyond recognition in that time, whereas christianity has not.
    Also the book that is at the heart of the religion, the bible has been proved to be complete lies, science has proved that.

  • Comment number 100.

    87. At 11:10am on 19 Aug 2010, Len Day wrote:
    46. At 10:29am on 19 Aug 2010, Cronk wrote:
    "15. At 09:57am on 19 Aug 2010, allan wrote:

    Religion is man made and has caused endless wars and problems between different races and cultures.My view is that it should not be taught in schools and have no say in where children are cared for especially with its past track record."


    ______________________________________________________________________________


    Yeah Allan,

    Them God botherers like: Hitler, Stalin, MaoTseTung, Pol Pot, Kim il Sung and all the rest of the -people loving- atheists that you don't care to mention in that asinine statement!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    And what you and all the others that use this silly argument fail to realise is that none of the above dictators did what they did in the name of atheism, did they?

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Actually, many of them did. Often using the same arguments you hear on discussions like this time and again; that religion is "backward", "repressive", "divisive", "primitive" and that it should therefore have no place in the bright, progressive, modern world that (insert ideology here) is bringing about.

 

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