A Canadian evangelical Christian couple say the province of Alberta made them ineligible to adopt a child because of their religious conviction that homosexuality is a sin as proscribed by Scripture.
As the National Post reports, the Edmonton pair are charging the province with religious discrimination.
John Carpay, a Calgary lawyer who is also president of the Justice Center for Constitutional Freedoms, is their legal counsel. The center announced its support of the couple’s lawsuit in a statement on Tuesday.
“If left to stand, this decision would have grave consequences for the freedoms of all Canadians, not to mention adverse consequences for the many children who will never be adopted if the government continues with this discrimination,” states Carpay.
The couple, who remain unidentified at this time, say their adoption request was approved until the provincial children’s services ministry intervened in the issue and suggested the potential parents had views on homosexuality were out of step with society and opposed to the “official position of the Alberta government.”
“If we did not change our religious beliefs regarding sexuality, to conform to the beliefs of Child and Family Services, we would not be approved for adoption,” reads an affidavit filed this week in Edmonton.
According to the initial report from the provincial adoption agency, the couple was described as well-adjusted, employed, financially stable and owning their own home. An assessment from a Catholic Social Services agent indicates she would have been “pleased” to approve the request to adopt.
But her report also suggested “a homosexual child” would not be appropriate for the couple since both potential parents expressed discomfort with homosexuality, even though they promised to offer unconditional love to any child.
After the provincial government got a hold of the report, it began its own investigation of the couple, interrogating them through a series of emails about their views on homosexuality. The woman responded after one query that she did not believe homosexuality was pre-ordained but a lifestyle choice.
The couple’s affidavit states that they could not in good conscience support a lifestyle choice that “we knew caused a higher proportion of anxiety, depression, and suicide attempts than other lifestyles.”