Date set for gay adoption appeal

Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) will challenge Charity Commission's decision in High Court

A Catholic adoption charity's challenge to the Charity Commission's refusal to allow it to bar gay people from using its service will go before the High Court in early March next year.

Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) decided to pursue its case after the Charity Tribunal, in its inaugural judgement earlier this year, upheld the commission's stance.

The charity wanted to change its objects to take advantage of an exemption in the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007. This allows charities to discriminate on the grounds of "the provisions of a charitable instrument".

But the tribunal ruled that Catholic Care would infringe other provisions in the regulations if it discriminated against gay people and would therefore be operating unlawfully.

Mark Wiggin, chief executive of Catholic Care, said the High Court hearing would be held on 3 and 4 March next year.

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