Our beliefs risk being made ‘illegal’, says adoption agency

Scotland is “on the brink of declaring illegal the belief that every child where possible deserves a mother and father”, the chairman of a threatened Roman Catholic adoption agency has said.

It follows the agency being told to end its pro-marriage policy by officials who say it discriminates against gay couples.

But one board member of the agency commented: “The ultimate irony is that apparently in the name of tolerance, societies such as Saint Margaret’s are no longer to be tolerated.”

Challenge

St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society, which is based in Glasgow, lost a ruling in March from the charity regulator.

The regulator backed a previous decision which forces the agency to end its policy of prioritising couples that have been married for at least two years.

But Brian McGuigan, a board member of St Margaret’s, says the agency will challenge the decision “at every available opportunity”.

Freedom

He said the agency’s “origins and identity are inseparable” from the Roman Catholic Church’s “values and moral teaching in respect to marriage and the family”.

And he added: “The reality is that the issue is not one about equality or diversity, but about freedom of religion and belief.”

Tom White, the chairman of the agency, 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.”

Not shared

He also described a campaign by secularists against the agency as “aggressive”.

However Glasgow City Council, which has launched a major advertising campaign that includes a push for gay adoption, dismissed the concerns.

A spokesman said while the chairman was “entitled to his views”: “They are not shared by all sections of civil society and that includes Glasgow City Council.”

Virtually all of Britain’s faith-based adoption agencies have been shut down, or have dropped their religious ethos, because of equality laws.

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