Couple 'doomed not to be approved as foster carers'

A Christian couple were "doomed not to be approved" as foster carers because of their traditional views on homosexuality, a court heard today.

Eunice and Owen Johns, 62 and 65, said issues were raised over their suitability as foster carers after they told social workers they could not tell a child a homosexual lifestyle was acceptable.

The Pentecostal Christian couple from Derby had applied to Derby City Council to be respite carers.

But two high court judges, sitting at Nottingham Crown Court, today heard the couple withdrew their application after a social worker expressed concerns over their attitudes towards homosexuality.

Their lawyer Paul Diamond today told the court the couple were "doomed not to be approved", which was why they agreed with Derby City Council to seek clarification from the high court.

He said: "I will be submitting that the promotion of values is something that the court should be protecting and promoting especially when these religious values are recognised as giving a moral framework to values in our country.

"No-one is disputing that the duty of every public authority is to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child.

"It is conceivable if there was an extremely vulnerable adolescent practising (homosexuality) child, who may be placed in a certain familial relationship that was disapproving, that may not be a sensible placement.

"Likewise, religion or moral values should not be singled out for this consideration."