A Pentecostal Christian couple are fighting for the right to be foster care parents — despite their views that homosexuality is disgusting.
Eunice and Owen Johns, a sexagenarian British couple, pulled their application after a foster care review official told them they would be “doomed” to be rejected because they find the “homosexual lifestyle” unacceptable. So they took the matter to court … for pre-approval. The Guardian relays:
Their lawyer, Paul Diamond, told the court the couple were “doomed not to be approved”, which was why they agreed with the council to seek clarification from the high court.
He said: “The promotion of values is something that the court should be protecting, especially when these religious values are recognised as giving a moral framework to values in our country. No one is disputing that the duty of every public authority is to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child. It is conceivable if there was an extremely vulnerable adolescent practising [homosexual] child, who may be placed in a certain familial relationship that was disapproving, that may not be a sensible placement.”
Diamond said the couple, who have fostered 15 children in the past, wanted to be respite carers for short-term placements for a child aged between five and 10. He said: “They say they would offer a secure and loving home relationship to a young child whose family are unable to cope and need a short break.” But he told the court that the couple’s views on homosexuality did not fit in with the council’s standards on valuing diversity.
And therein lies the difference between respecting the beliefs of adults and valuing the interests of a child first and foremost. If you place a child who happens to be LGBT, or learns he or she is during the course of a foster care stay, in the custody of two people who believe that child is living in sin, there will not be a healthy environment for the child. That alone is reason to disqualify this couple. Foster parenting is not, despite the beliefs of the Johns, as equally about the adults as it is the kids.
(NB: Also, I think it’s about time we and the media discontinue referring to these types of beliefs as “traditional,” as the Guardian does. These views are not traditional. They are outdated, discriminatory, and horrendous.) [Guardian]