Religious freedom is in jeopardy in Edmonton, Canada. A straight couple, who have yet to be identified, has filed suit against Alberta stating they have been discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.
The couple claims that their religious views caused their application adoption to be rejected. The couple firmly believes that homosexuality and gay marriage are wrong, and they are sure that this is why they were denied the ability to adopt.
Living in Edmonton, the married couple completed their application for adoption in 2016, and were able to pass a course that is necessary for all people who want to adopt children in Alberta.
Officials came to the home of the couple to do further questioning, and this is when the couples say their religious views came up.
When asked what their views were about same-sex marriages, the couple was honest with their answer.
While the couple understands that same-sex marriage is now official in the country and they accept the reality, they aren’t supportive of same-sex marriages on a personal level. They made it clear during the interview that they believe homosexuality is wrong and it goes against their religious beliefs.
The government denied the application for adoption, so the couple has filed an appeal for the application to be reviewed. In the affidavit presented to the court, the couple is quoted, “The casework supervisor explained that our religious beliefs regarding sexuality were incompatible with the adoption process.” The supervisor further noted that this is the “official position of the Alberta government.”
In further exploration of the views of the couple, they were asked what they would do if an adoptive child was wondering about their own sexuality. The couple was again very honest with their answer, stating that children should not be experiencing or exploring their sexuality until they are adults.
The adoptive couple states that they are very respectful of everyone. They do not believe that their strong religious beliefs should prevent them from adopting children. They can provide a safe, nurturing home to a child, and just because they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman, doesn’t change the fact that their home is full of love.
Religious beliefs are at risk here. The couple is shocked that being faithful could have an impact on their ability to adopt children. With so many children in need, the couple is upset that they have been disqualified based on their religious beliefs.
The Alberta government has responded to the complaint. Press secretary Aaron Manton made a statement on behalf of Children’s Services Minister Danielle Laravee.
“Our government believes that every adoptive child deserves a safe, healthy, loving and inclusive home,” he wrote in an email. “We want to ensure that, in all cases, the adoption process gives both children and parents the best possible outcomes, which is why the application process is thorough and rigorous.”
The application for judicial review was filed by the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms to protect the rights of the couple.
With absolutely no evidence that the religious beliefs of the couple are hurtful to a child, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms believes strongly that this decision should be overturned. The government is asking the parents to give up their religious freedom to adopt a child. The couple could have simply lied during the process, leaving out any of their religious beliefs.
The religious views the couple holds aren’t rare. In the affidavit to the court, the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms points out that the same religious views held by the couple are similar views held by Orthodox Jews, Catholics, Muslims and other Christian groups.
The president of the Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms, John Carpay, argues that this decision goes against the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The couple has the right to their own religion, with beliefs that are widely held throughout the country.
“Making determinations about who is suitable to adopt on the basis of their sincere religious beliefs violates this couple’s right to religious freedom and equality under the law,” Carpay said.
When couples who profess their religious beliefs are denied adopting a child, it’s time to stand up against the discrimination.
~ 1776 Christian