(Jamaica Observer) A Jamaican-born British couple say they have been told they can’t foster a 16th child in their Derby County home, because as Christians they don’t believe homosexuality is right.
Owen and Eunice Johns, who are back home in Jamaica, are preparing to take the matter before the European Court of Justice with the support of a coalition of Christian groups who are firmly opposed to the gay and lesbian lifestyle.
“These people (gays) have more rights than Christians. We have been called retarded homophobics because we want to stand up for the truth,” Eunice Johns, a retired nurse who hails from Trelawny, said in an interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Johns appeared at joint press conference with the Jamaica Coalition for a Healthy Society, the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals and the Roman Catholic Family to highlight what they suggested was a “secular agenda” in the fight against HIV/AIDS epidemic.
The group, which consists of several influential Christian leaders, reaffirmed their objections to the lifestyle practised by gays and lesbians.
The Johns have been foster parents to 15 Jamaican children since they started taking children into their home in England in 1992. All went well, they said, until they went back to the Derby City Council to foster a 16th child in 2006.
“They started asking about my Christianity and I told them I was a Christian, I go to church on a Sunday. I told them I was a Bible-believing Christian,” Eunice said.
She was asked: “What if a child of five came to you one day from school and told you that they were homosexual?” To this she responded: “I would care for that child, I would give them love and attention and all that’s required.”
Her response, however, did not find favour with the social worker and when Eunice ventured to ask what her response should have been, she was told: “You would have to tell this child that it is alright to be homosexual.”
Failing to convince Eunice to change her mind on the matter, the social worker said she would have to raise the issue with her manager. Two weeks later the manager came to see her.
“She said to us: ‘Well, Mr and Mrs Johns, we were told that you said you could not tell a child it is alright to be homosexual, and in this day and age you would have to because so many children are not sure where they are and a lot of them are confused. So many people are confused these days, because they weren’t told that their sexuality and what they are feeling is right’.”
She said she and her husband were then taken before a panel of 12 persons at the Council where they were asked to explain their views on homosexuality. Two weeks after that, they got a letter thanking them for withdrawing their application to foster children. The couple were shocked, because they had made no such request. However, they decided not to contest the Council on the matter.