Catholic Care’s latest appeal in its ongoing campaign to be allowed to prevent gay couples from using its adoption services, began before the Upper Tribunal today.
Mr Justice Sales is hearing the two-day appeal at the Rolls Building in London (pictured). It is the eighth stage of the case, which began in May 2009 when Catholic Care (Diocese of Leeds) went to the Charity Tribunal to challenge the Charity Commission’s refusal to allow it to change its objects to discriminate against same-sex couples. The Charity Tribunal upheld the Charity Commission’s decision.
When the Upper Tribunal, in September last year, granted leave to appeal the most recent judgment, permitting today’s hearing to proceed, it told Catholic Care’s lawyers in writing that it believed “the appellant has a real prospect of success in establishing that the First-Tier Tribunal (Charity) had erred in law in one of three ways”.
The charity says it has given careful consideration to the cost of pursuing the case but claims that if it is forced to allow same-sex couples to adopt its child beneficiaries, it will lose so much donor support that it will be unable to continue providing the service at all.
It won’t say how much the case has cost so far but admits it has been funded by donations, a legacy and a grant from a US foundation which supports legal actions for Catholic beliefs, with the charity making up the difference.