British Court to Anti-Gay Couple: No Foster Kids

Photo by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NYFH1.jpg">Tobit2</a>/Wikipedia

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Recently, a British royal court denied foster care rights to a married couple because they disapprove of homosexuality. Owen and Eunice Johns, who are Pentecostal Christians, fostered children in the 1990s without trouble. But things changed after the passage of a sexual orientation non-discrimination provision in Great Britian’s Equality Act 2006: When the Johns applied in 2007, a social worker barred them because they wanted the right to teach kids that a gay lifestyle is immoral. So, they filed a legal challenge based on religious discrimination.

The Equality Act extension also prevented Christian adoption agencies from turning away gay couples in the United Kingdom, which allows civil unions but not same-sex marriage. Pope Benedict urged British Catholics last year to resist the legislation with “missionary zeal” to defend religious freedom, but nearly all of the UK’s Catholic adoption agencies chose to close their doors or break ties with the church to comply with the change in law. In the eyes of the church, Monday’s ruling is a fresh attack on its beliefs.

But if a similar law existed in the US, it may have helped protect gay foster kids like Kenneth Jones. Passed around in a system that condones foster parents’ anti-gay views, Jones routinely endured harassment at home because of his sexual orientation. (And when it comes to gay people adopting and providing foster care, American law is in a state of flux: Mississippi and Utah prevent same-sex couples from adopting, whereas state circuit courts in Arkansas and Florida recently declared similar bans unconstitutional.)

For now, religious conservatives in the US are still delaying same-sex marriage rights by claiming that gays are inadequate parents. Needless to say, those claims aren’t backed up by any significant science. But that probably won’t stop likely GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum from arguing against gay marriage and adoption, nor Newt Gingrich from pointing to the British court’s ruling as further evidence that “gay and secular fascism” is on the march.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate