Disappointment after David Cameron says Christian foster care ruling was right

The Christian Institute has criticised Prime Minister David Cameron over his support for a High Court judgement upholding a local council’s right to refuse orthodox Christians as foster carers on the basis of their attitudes towards sexual ethics.

Published 08 March 2011
Owen and Eunice Johns had applied to be foster carers but their application was put on hold by Derby City Council after the couple said they would not be able to promote the homosexual lifestyle.

In response to a request by both parties for clarification on the law, the High Court ruled last week that the Council was within its rights to refuse Christian foster carers on the basis of their attitudes towards human sexuality.

Asked by the Derby Telegraph what he made of the ruling, the Prime Minister expressed his support.

“This matter was decided by a court in the appropriate way and I think we should rest with the judgement that was made,” he said.

“I think Christians should be tolerant and welcoming and broadminded.”

The Christian Institute raised concerns about the message his comments sends out about Christians.

Mike Judge, head of communications at the Christian Institute, said: “The Prime Minister has waded in on one side of a deeply controversial case, and suggested that Christians who share the Johns’ beliefs are automatically intolerant, unwelcoming and narrow-minded.

“One can disagree with homosexual behaviour without harbouring any hostility to homosexual individuals. Disagreement is not hatred.

“The remark will disappoint millions of orthodox Christians who hold the same views as the Johns.

“They will be surprised that the Prime Minister has taken a swipe at them for believing that sex is only for marriage.”

The High Court’s ruling has prompted concern among many Christians and even gay atheist historian David Starkey, who said on Question Time last week that he had “profound doubts” about the Johns’ case.

He suggested the ruling signalled the arrival of “a tyrannous new morality that is every bit as oppressive as the old”.

The Government-funded Equality Commission was forced to apologise last week over comments made in its intervention in the case in which it said that the views of Christian foster parents may “infect” the children in their care.

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