The charity regulator in Scotland has upheld a ruling that would force a Roman Catholic adoption agency to end its policy that requires prospective adoptive parents to be married for at least two years.
St. Margaret's adoption agency had appealed the decision put forth by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR), but after an official review, the regulator decided to uphold its decision. They claimed the adoption agency's marriage policy discriminates against gay couples.
St. Margaret's says its policy is lawful and may take further action to insure that adoptive families are providing a secure and safe environment for children. The OSCR did state, however, that the adoption agency must change its policy if it wants to continue to be recognized as a charity organization.
"We are disappointed at the decision. We will consult our lawyers before considering what course of action to pursue. In the meantime, St. Margaret's remains open for business," a spokesman for St Margaret's said in a statement.
This attack on the adoption agency was orchestrated by National Secular Society, who claims that the policy of searching for stable homes for children is "discrimination" against the unmarried and homosexual partners looking to adopt.
"This kind of crude discrimination is no longer acceptable in our society – and that goes double where the discrimination is, in effect, being largely financed by the public purse," spokesman Alistair McBay said in a statement.
As part of the request for removal of the policy, the OSCR has given St. Margaret's until April 22 to comply with the new regulation or they will be removed from the official Scottish charity registrar. This would prevent them from fulfilling adoptions in the future.
There has been a large outcry over the attack on St. Margaret's adoption agency. Traditional marriage supporters have highlighted the incident as an example of how religious bodies will be harmed by the passing of gay marriage legislation and other anti-Christian policies in the U.K.
"This proves the concerns have been valid. The adoption society has done an outstanding job throughout the years," John Deighan, of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, told The Christian Institute.