A Canadian human rights law firm is accusing a government adoption agency of discriminating against a Christian couple who wanted to become foster parents.
The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms sent a letter to the Simcoe Muskoka Child, Youth and Family Services in Ontario demanding that they end what the group called “religious discrimination” against the couple.
The letter, whose online copy simply identified the couple as “A” and “L,” claims the couple’s application to become foster parents was denied “not due to any legitimate deficiency in their qualifications, but due solely to Child Services’ prejudice and bias against the religious beliefs of [the couple].”
According to the letter, the couple submitted an application in November 2017 to become foster parents. In the week of April 30-May 4 of last year, they met with a Child Services social worker.
The social worker asked the couple, one of whom is a pastor, if they “still” believe “in some of the more outdated parts of the Bible” and if they considered homosexuality a sin.
Last October, the couple received a letter from Child Services declining their application, stating that “the policies of our agency do not appear to fit with your values and beliefs.”
In a statement released last week, the Centre explained that with the demand letter, they hope to have “Child Services reopen the couple’s application to foster and properly process their application to become foster parents in a non-discriminatory manner.”
Founded in 2010, the Centre’s stated mission is “to defend the constitutional freedoms of Canadians through litigation and education.”
Last year, the Centre got a legal victory for an evangelical couple in Alberta who had been told they could not adopt because they oppose same-sex marriage.
Centre lawyer John Carpay said in a statement last May that he was “thrilled” by the decision in favor of the Alberta couple, adding that the legal battle "has not diminished their enthusiasm for adopting a child."
"The government has no right to discriminate on the basis of religion when looking at couples who are seeking to adopt," stated Carpay in 2018, according to The Canadian Press.
"You can't say that someone can't become an adoptive parent because they're Muslim, they're Jewish or because they're evangelical Christian."