The Price of Religious Homophobia

Okay, so Sunday’s story in the Independent about Ruth Kelly and the Maximum Tone trying to backslide on the introduction of the Equality Act Sexual Orientation Regulations in England & Wales and slip in a last minute exemption for Catholic Adoption Agencies is hardly a surprise (it is, however, a resigning matter, Ruth) and nor is the fact that the Catholic Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols has been leading the the campaign for an exemption:

Archbishop Vincent Nichols, who is set to become the leader of England’s Catholics, recently warned the Government not to “impose on us conditions which contradict our moral values”.

“It is simply unacceptable to suggest that the resources of… adoption agencies … can work in co-operation with public authorities only if the faith communities accept not just the legal framework but also the moral standards being touted by the Government,” he sermonised last November.

And here’s Vince, again, in the Birmingham Evening Mail only last night…

Archbishop Nichols said: “Granting an exemption to Catholic agencies will not alter the legal rights of same sex couples seeking to adopt children.

“But this is not a service that Catholic agencies themselves can provide because of beliefs that are well known and widely shared.”

So it’s all about moral standards is it Vince?

Well, let me introduce you to Father Hudson’s Society, which is a “social care agency working within the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, which includes Staffordshire, Stoke on Trent, Birmingham, West Midlands, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Worcestershire.”

…a social care agency that is owned and operated, as registered charity, by the Catholic Archdiocese of Birmingham, of which Vince is the Archbishop.

As you can see, Father Hudson’s Society provides a range of social care services, including family and adoption services, which I guess would make this one of the adoption agencies that the Catholic Church are threatening to close if they don’t get their exemption, but if they do get their exemption then they’ll carry on providing their adoption services and that’s alright because it doesn’t alter the legal rights of same sex couples seeking to adopt children…

…and Father Hudson’s Society also gets to keep the £900,000+ of taxpayers money it receives every year from Local Authorities for providing those services, even though if you’re gay then you can fuck off.

That’s right, £900,000+ – actually its £950,337 in total according to their last published accounts.

Oh, plus there’s another £2.7 million on the books for Adult Care services (guess which exemptions coming next), most of which comes, again, from Local Authorities (although there are some private fees in there as well).

So it about moral standards… and near enough a million quid in taxpayers money  (which oddly doesn’t get a mention) plus, who knows? There’s time to start whining about wanting other exemptions (and theatening to take their ball home) yet…

Isn’t there Vince…

2 thoughts on “The Price of Religious Homophobia

  1. I wish someone out there,with resources I don’t have,could research how much public money finds its way, one way or another, into the coffers of the different churches. I think the public would be truly gobsmacked if they found out.

  2. It would be doable, but very a time-consuming exercise.

    A simple FOIA request, even a department by department one would probably get a rash of ‘info not held centrally and too expensive’ replies – it’d need someone to FOIA every local authority in the UK plus as some quite specific questions of central government to get the info.

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