“The Johns were asked, 'What would you do if the child was homosexual?' They were slightly surprised by that question, because they had indicated they wanted a child around age five or six for short-term care.”
“But one of them said, 'Well, we'd try to gently turn him around, but we'd always love him.' And that phrase was what triggered it.”
The Johns received assistance from the U.K.'s Christian Legal Centre in their fight to continue as foster parents. But they were told after losing the case that the prospects for an appeal were dismal.
“If we went to the court of appeal, I believe the outcome would have been worse,” Diamond lamented. “The judgment, which was so bad in terms of Christian rights, would have been reinforced at a higher level. And we have cost rules here, so you can end up paying the other side for your attempt to stand on your rights.”
“I thought an appeal, in the current circumstances, would be hopeless – and would make the situation worse for Christians. The senior court of appeals judge made it quite clear that he believes the outcome of religious practice is 'discriminatory' against homosexuals.”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, who assisted the Johns in her position as the head of the Christian Legal Centre, shared Diamond's concern over what was happening in Britain. Like Diamond, she voiced concern that the United States and other countries could be traveling a similar path, sooner than most citizens might expect.
In England, she recalled, Christians and other religious groups had received “continual assurances” that equality and non-discrimination laws would not be used to subject them to discrimination for their own beliefs.
“And yet,” she said, “the law has very clearly been used to trample Christian rights.”
“What we've got is the imposition of a new political orthodoxy,” Williams explained. “If you don't think or act in a certain way, you will find yourself barred from public office. It's very frightening, and it's very real. We have plenty of cases here at the Christian Legal Centre to prove it.”
“It doesn't take long,” she reflected. “We were not in this position at the beginning of the Tony Blair/Gordon Brown regime.”
“I want to give a warning to America,” Williams stated. “Look at what's happening here, in the United Kingdom. It leads to censorship, and the exclusion of a group of people from the public sphere.”
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“I would reckon that it wouldn't take much longer than a second Obama administration,” she estimated, “for America to find itself in the kind of situation we currently have.”