Christian foster couple lose ‘homosexuality views’ case

by Richard on March 1, 2011

From the BBC

A Christian couple opposed to homosexuality have lost a court battle over their right to become foster carers.

Eunice and Owen Johns, 62 and 65, of Derby, said the city council did not want them to look after children because of their traditional views.

They claim they were “doomed not to be approved” due to their opinions.

The High Court ruled that laws protecting people from sexual discrimination should take precedence.The Pentecostal Christian couple had applied to Derby City Council to be respite carers.

They withdrew their application after a social worker expressed concerns when they said they could not tell a child a homosexual lifestyle was acceptable.

I wonder if I’m alone in thinking that there’s something not quite right about the way that this story has been presented? Read on, and you’ll learn that the couple were already successful foster parents. Listening to the couple in a radio interview this morning, their case seemed to have more to do with their opposition to gay equality laws than it did with the care of troubled children. Then I read of the involvement of the Christian Legal Centre, an organisation which appears to be committed to proving that Christians are being persecuted in Britain, and I’m forced to conclude that this couple have been cruelly used.

{ 3 trackbacks }

Gay rights over christian Morals « Dear England
03.01.11 at 10:54 am
UK Christian foster couple don’t ‘lose’ homosexuality views ‘case’ | Bene Diction Blogs On
03.01.11 at 1:12 pm
Open Question: does god condemn gays?
03.02.11 at 8:42 pm

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }


Stuart 03.01.11 at 8:33 am

Yes, there is some fine analysis here and here.


Richard 03.01.11 at 8:42 am

I’m grateful for those links, Stuart. Gavin Drake hit the nail squarely. Thanks.


Kim 03.01.11 at 10:17 am

The Drake article is very good.

BTW, a niggle I have. Drake describes himself as a “Christian journalist”. I’m pretty sure he means more than that he a Christian who is a journalist. I suspect he means that he is a Christian who is a journalist who writes about Christianity (he’s the director of communications for the diocese of Lichfield). It is, however, semantically possible, if unlikely, that he might be an agnostic, an atheist, even a Muslim, or even a tree-hugger, who is a journalist who writes about Christianity. The point is that being a “Christian X” is usually a sloppy phrase - and a writer, in particular, should be attentive to sloppy phrases. Graham Greene was/is almost always described as a “Catholic novelist”. It used to drive him nuts. No, he would say, I am a Catholic who happens to be a novelist (even though his novels are permeated with Catholic themes, imagery, etc.). Word-care.

I know: I’m off point. So sue me.


Richard 03.01.11 at 11:30 am

I’m not sure that you are off topic, Kim. Word care is an important part of this court ruling. Reading the judgement,the judge was scathing of the couple’s barrister, Paul Diamond because of his lack of word care. Incidentally, is it me, or is it the same barrister always bringing these barmpot cases?


John Meunier 03.01.11 at 12:43 pm

In America, the foster care system is always in need of more homes. I don’t know if the situation is the same in England, but this seems like a short-sighted decision.


Richard 03.01.11 at 1:08 pm

There’s a lot of pressure on the foster care service here too, but I think that’s missing the point. While this is being presented as a ‘landmark case’, the judge made it clear it was no such thing.


David 03.01.11 at 1:23 pm

Claims of Christian persecution in 21st century UK are outrageous (if not insulting, given what others experience) exagerations… but if they keep it up they could become semi-self-fulfillign prophecies, as the media increasingly turns on Christians as self-absorbed twisters of the truth (as per the misleading press release from the Christian Legal centre)


Kim 03.01.11 at 4:19 pm

Yes, David, the combination of self-importance and self-pity is truly nauseating, and the longing for Christendom theologically (ob)noxious. Of course it would be quite unChristian of me to say that I’d like to feed these claimants to the lions; nevertheess, it would be a lesson, albeit their last one, in proper persecution.


Richard 03.01.11 at 4:57 pm

I know what you mean, Kim — but I disagree. I reckon the couple involved have been cynically used inthis.


Bob Gilston 03.01.11 at 5:06 pm

Unfortunately, for many people it’s a case of it’s in the paper so it must be true. The media report only what they are given without always checking it out. Sloppy journalism.


Kim 03.01.11 at 5:56 pm

Richard, by “claimants” I was specifically referring to David’s comment (#7) which begins “Claims of Christian persecution …” - the “claimants” being those who make these claims. Evidently that was unclear. I plead guilty to lack of sufficient word-care!


Richard 03.01.11 at 6:11 pm


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