gay-adoptionAn adoption agency supported by the Catholic Church is discriminating against same-sex couples, the charity regulator has ruled.

St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society in Glasgow has been told it could lose its charitable status unless it changes its adoption criteria.

The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) reviewed the practices of the charity after a complaint from the National Secular Society and found it was operating in breach of the Equality Act 2010.

St Margaret’s gives greater priority to prospective adoptive parents who are a couple, Catholic, married for at least two years and wish to adopt within the framework of the Catholic faith, the report said.

Lower priority is given to inquirers who have been married for less than two years, couples in civil partnerships, single people and married couples who do not wish to adopt within the Catholic faith, the OSCR said.

The report reads: “The charity’s preferred criteria prioritise couples who have been married for at least two years: marriage is not available to same-sex couples and this constitutes direct discrimination.”

St Margaret’s has until April 22 to comply with the Equality Act, OSCR said.

The Scottish Government announced plans to legalise same-sex marriage in July following a consultation, which attracted 80,000 responses.

OSCR’s head of registration Martin Tyson said: “We acknowledge the valuable service provided by this charity, but the fact is that all charities must comply with the law.”

St Margaret’s Children and Family Care Society is partly funded by the Catholic Church and the Scottish Catholic Church said it will respond to the report in due course.

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