A quango is trying to force homosexual adoption on Northern Ireland despite overwhelming public opposition.
When the issue was put out to public consultation in 2006, 95 per cent expressed their opposition.
But now a quango has won the legal right to go to court over the issue.
The Human Rights Commission wants the law to change to allow unmarried and homosexual couples to adopt and the quango has been granted leave for a judicial review by a High Court judge.
Northern Ireland attorney general John Larkin will represent the Government department which is defending the case.
He said it is “a very interesting case and an important case”.
Commenting on whether it was appropriate that the case be brought by the quango, he added: “It’s not for me to attempt to influence the Human Rights Commission in its litigation strategy or indeed the tactical outworking of its litigation strategy,” but said that its decision was “a perfectly lawful one”.
The Commission said: “The Human Rights Commission has been granted leave to take a judicial review in its own name regarding adoption law in Northern Ireland.
“The issue concerns an anomaly in Northern Ireland law that prevents unmarried couples, or same-sex couples, from jointly adopting a child.”
The Commission claimed that the law at present “does not comply with human rights”.
Joint adoption by homosexual couples was legalised in England and Wales in 2002 and came into force in 2005. The Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007 legalised joint adoption by cohabiting heterosexual and homosexual couples in Scotland.
In May 2009 the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF) was widely criticised for printing a guide to same-sex adoption in which people who opposed the practice were referred to as “retarded homophobes”.
BAAF subsequently apologised for the use of the word “retarded” but said “we do still stand by the sentiments behind it”.