Scotland is heading towards “more equality, less diversity and no justice” in the wake of the ruling against a Roman Catholic adoption agency, a columnist has warned.
Michael Kelly said in The Scotsman newspaper that “no other conclusion can be drawn” after the charity regulator ruled that St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society failed the charity test over its pro-traditional marriage policy.
The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) said the agency’s policy to place children with heterosexual couples who have been married for at least two years discriminates against gay couples, following a complaint by the National Secular Society.
Mr Kelly pointed out in his column that no discrimination had actually taken place: “This is a hypothetical case arising from a complaint, not from the gay lobby, but from secularists pursuing an agenda to remove any vestiges of religious belief from public life.”
He said there is now a “hierarchy of rights, with religious belief at the bottom of the pile”.
Mr Kelly said the regulator’s ruling was a “devastating blow against the practice of religion”.
St Margaret’s is appealing the OSCR’s decision, intending to challenge it “at every available opportunity”.
Brian McGuigan, a board member of the agency, said its “origins and identity are inseparable” from the Roman Catholic Church’s “values and moral teaching in respect to marriage and the family”.
Tom White, the chairman of St Margaret’s, warned in its annual report: “Our country is on the brink of declaring illegal the belief that every child where possible deserves a mother and father.”