A Christian couple unwilling to promote homosexuality has been denied the right to become foster parents by a UK high court. This landmark ruling is expected to have significant impact on the future of fostering and adoption by Christian families in the UK.
Eunice and Owen Johns, a married couple who fostered 15 children in the 1990s, were asked by a social worker how they would answer a foster child who came home from school with questions about homosexuality. The Johns made it clear that as Pentecostal Christians they could not tell a child homosexuality was an acceptable lifestyle.
Concerns by the social worker that the Johns’ views might be harmful to children led to a Feb. 28, 2011 ruling by a UK high court that denied the Johns the right to become foster parents.
Reactions to the ruling ranged from praise to dismay.
Ben Summerskill, chief executive of Stonewall, a lesbian, gay and bisexual charity is quoted said: “Thankfully, Mr. and Mrs. Johns’ outdated views aren’t just out of step with the majority of people in modern Britain, but those of many Christians too.”
Robert Pigott, Religious News Correspondent for the BBC, stated: “The court discriminated between kinds of Christianity, saying that Christians in general might well make good foster parents, while people with traditionalist Christian views like Mr. and Mrs. Johns might well not. Such views, said the judges, might conflict with the welfare of children.”
The Christian Legal Centre (UK) reacted to the ruling with great concern, saying that the judgment “sends out the clear message that orthodox Christian ethical beliefs are potentially harmful to children and that Christian parents with mainstream Christian views are not suitable to be considered as potential foster parents.”
For a deeper explanation of the case and the disturbing implications, see the Christian Legal Centre’s video below.