Thousands are signing a petition supporting a British Christian couple who've been barred from legally adopting their two foster children because of their conservative Christian beliefs on same-sex parenting.
As previously reported by the Daily Mail, the unnamed married Christian couple has been fostering the two unnamed children for nearly a year and began looking after them when they were preschoolers. They have been barred from adopting the children because of their belief that the children need to be raised by a "mother and father."
After the parents had been fostering the children for months, they were informed by a social worker that their house was not big enough to raise the children and that a gay couple was interested in adopting them. The couple reportedly asked if the social worker was joking and two days later the couple submitted their own application to adopt the children.
However, social services blocked their application and refused to consider the couple's request because of their "concerning" views on gay parenting.
Last week, an online petition was launched by the Christian-based petition website CitizenGo that addresses the Christian couple and condemns the local council's decision to bar the couple from adoption consideration. Over 8,442 people have signed the petition supporting the couple as of Wednesday morning.
"I find the council's refusal to allow you to adopt foster children in your care very disappointing and wish to express my support for you," the petition explains. "It seems to be the case that you are being discriminated against because you hold mainstream views about the importance of a child being raised by a man and a woman. You are absolutely right that this decision has nothing to do with the needs of children but much more about advancing ideological interests related to the structure of the family."
While many petitions in cases like this would be directed at the agency responsible for banning their application, this petition simply asks the Christian Legal Centre, which is now representing the couple, to pass on the support they are receiving from the signatories of the petition.
The Christian couple has written an appeal of the decision to their local council in which they argued that they have "not expressed homophobic views, unless Christian beliefs are, by definition, homophobic," the Sunday Times reports.
"[W]e are Christians and we expressed the view that a child needs a mother and a father," the couple wrote. "We expressed our views in modest, temperate terms based on our Christian convictions. We love everyone (regardless of sexual orientation) and we love the children and believe that they would benefit from the foundation offered by a mother and a father."
"The decision ... appears discriminatory to us and not related to the children's needs," the statement continues. "The children love us; we love them. All the reports show that we are a loving, caring and stable family. What more could a child need?"
According to the Daily Mail, a council spokesman said that the director of children's and adult's services would review the case within the week and could not comment on case specifics.