Charity publication Third Sector covered a Court of Appeal ruling involving Christian fostering charity Cornerstone, which highlights the difficulty for religious charities in handling the often conflicting obligations relating to faith and sexual orientation.
The Charity Commission had approved Cornerstone’s recruitment policy, however Ofsted, which also regulated Cornerstone, found that the recruitment policy was discriminatory on the grounds of sexual orientation. The charity challenged Ofsted’s report leading to legal proceedings.
Speaking to Third Sector, Stone King Partner Harriet Broughton said: “As a result of the judgment, we may see further challenges from regulators and beneficiaries where services are restricted to certain beneficiaries. Where charities benefit from public funding, it would be prudent to review activities to ensure they are not discriminatory.”
She added that the decision also served as a cautionary reminder that approval of one regulator would not insulate a charity against a claim, nor serve as a defence to potentially discriminatory practices.
To read the full article by Third Sector please visit www.thirdsector.co.uk
To read Stone King’s summary of the case and its implications for faith charities, please visit What faith charities need to know about Cornerstone v Ofsted