Catholic Care granted permission to appeal against tribunal verdict in High Court

Charity Tribunal refused the charity permission to exclude gay couples from adoption services

Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) has been given leave to appeal to the High Court against the Charity Tribunal's refusal to allow it to change its objects so it could exclude homosexual couples from using its adoption service.

The tribunal upheld the Charity Commission's earlier refusal in its final verdict, issued on 1 June - but for different reasons.

The charity had to apply to the tribunal for permission to appeal within 28 days of the verdict. The tribunal has granted permission for the appeal on a limited number of points of law relating to whether it correctly interpreted the relevant section of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007.

The tribunal's ruling on the permission to appeal says: "This case is believed to have been the first in which a court or tribunal was asked to consider the correct interpretation of regulation 18 of the regulations. The tribunal considers that this case raises a point of law of public importance which it would be appropriate for the High Court to consider on appeal."

Mark Wiggin, chief executive of Catholic Care, said the charity had not yet decided whether to pursue the appeal. "We have to leave open the option," he said.

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