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R (on the application of (1) EUNICE JOHNS (2) OWEN JOHNS) (Claimants) v DERBY CITY COUNCIL (Defendant) & EQUALITY & HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (Intervener)

Applicants for local authority approval as foster carers who claimed that their views on sexuality were not a legitimate fostering concern and that the local authority's approach constituted religious discrimination failed to obtain permission to apply for judicial review.

7 March 2011

The claimant husband and wife (J) sought permission to apply for judicial review to challenge the approach of the defendant local authority to their application to be approved as short-term, respite, foster carers. J were members of the Pentecostalist Church and believed that sexual relations other than those within marriage between one man and one woman were morally wrong. They applied to the local authority to be short-term foster carers. The local authority considered that J's expressed views on same sex relationships did not equate with the National Minimum Standards for Fostering Services which required carers to value individuals equally and to promote diversity. J's application was considered by the local authority's Fostering Panel which deferred a decision. J's case was that persons who held their views should not be considered unsuitable to be foster carers for that reason alone. The local authority's case was that it could lawfully decide not to approve a prospective fost...

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