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Christian freedom and gay rights

Tim Montgomerie

Last week two Christian foster parents, Owen and Eunice Johns (beautifully profiled here), who had successfully fostered 15 children previously, were told that they could no longer care for children because they held orthodox views on homosexuality - ie they believed what hundreds of millions of Christians have believed, throughout the ages, that gay relationships are wrong. It was a massive verdict and I'm grateful to historian David Starkey for objecting, as a gay man and atheist, on last Thursday's Question Time:

It was with regret that, yesterday, when visiting Derby, the Prime Minister appeared to endorse the court's verdict. My own views about homosexuality have changed over the years. I was brought up in a church that taught it was wrong. I no longer believe that. But I know that the many Christians who oppose homosexuality are rarely hateful. Their beliefs are sincere. I don't know Mr and Mrs Johns but I should imagine that they provided a temporary, loving home for the vulnerable children that needed foster parenting and passed through their care.

Britain now has new rulers in the form of Equality and Diversity Laws. Those laws, as interpreted in the Johns case, are not in children's best interests. We need a settlement that will allow gay rights and orthodox Christianity to co-exist. We haven't got it yet. Instead, in the words of David Starkey, we have a new moral tryanny, as oppressive as the old.

Thursday morning: Read the full judgment.


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