It seems that after a challenge from the National Secular Society, St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society in Glasgow is being asked to comply with the 2010 Equality Act (your
report, 24 January).
The Office of Scottish Charity Regular has ruled that St Margaret’s adoption policy of giving preferential treatment to couples who have been married for at least two years immediately screens out gay couples and other types of families.
The regulator also found the agency was discriminating against non-Catholic couples and has explained its publicly funded charitable status was at risk unless it updates and amends its practice. It was concerning to hear education secretory Mike Russell has reportedly expressed “disappointment” at the ruling, sadly no doubt with an eye on the Catholic vote. I am certain St Margaret’s will continue to do great work but its current discriminatory practice prevents children gaining access to a whole range of loving adoptive families.
In the past there have been examples of religiously linked services which closed down rather than comply with the law. This would be to no one’s benefit so I hope the professionals involved will look carefully at their links with the Catholic Church and chose not to cut off their nose to spite their face.
Edinburgh Secular Society