OK, get your tin hat on folks it’s legal challenge time.
The Telegraph is reporting on the the case of Christian foster carers Eunice and Owen Johns, who had their fostering application withdrawn due to their stance on homosexuality. Put simply, the council discovered they would not teach a child that homosexuality was acceptable and normal.
Well, on Monday, Eunice and Owen Johns will have their day in court
On Monday 1 November 2010 the Johns are going before the High Court to ask for clarification on the council’s position on the suitability of foster carers who have traditional beliefs regarding sexual ethics. This is a vital case for Christian freedoms. The council has an obligation to respect the Johns’ religious beliefs, but also to comply with equality law, which prohibits discrimination because of sexual orientation. The case will decide whether the Johns will be able to foster without compromising their beliefs.
This is the first time that a court have been asked to decide how local authorities should deal with foster carers who have traditional views on sexual ethics. The implications are huge. It is no exaggeration to say that the future of Christian foster carers and adoptive parents hangs in the balance, and that the outcome of Monday’s case will have a direct effect on whether Christians decide to apply to be foster carers or adoptive parents. It may not be long before local authorities decide that Christians cannot look after some of the most vulnerable children in our society, simply because they disapprove of homosexuality.
The premise of the case appears to be sexual equality legislation trumping religious freedom.
It is of course the Christian legal Centre representing the couple.
Whichever way this decision goes, it will make big news. If the Johns’ fail, then the persecution narrative is further reinforced leading to more legal cases. If they win, then the LGBT community will be up in arms.
UPDATE: Bad news. Lord Carey has personally jumped into the fray: