Vincent and Pauline Matherick will this week have their latest foster son taken away because they have refused to sign new sexual equality regulations. To do so, they claim, would force them to promote homosexuality and go against their Christian faith. The 11-year-old boy, who has been in their care for two years, will be placed in a council hostel this week and the Mathericks will no longer be given children to look after. […]
Earlier this year, Somerset County Council's social services department asked them to sign a contract to implement Labour’s new Sexual Orientation Regulations, part of the Equality Act 2006, which make discrimination on the grounds of sexuality illegal. Officials told the couple that under the regulations they would be required to discuss same-sex relationships with children as young as 11 and tell them that gay partnerships were just as acceptable as heterosexual marriages. They could also be required to take teenagers to gay association meetings.
When the Mathericks objected, they were told they would be taken off the register of foster parents. Mr Matherick, a 65-year-old retired travel agent and a primary school governor, said: “I simply could not agree to do it because it is against my central beliefs. We have never discriminated against anybody but I cannot preach the benefits of homosexuality when I believe it is against the word of God.” Mrs Matherick, 61, said they had asked if they could continue looking after their foster son until he is found a permanent home, but officials refused and he will be placed in a council hostel on Friday.