Today the Supreme Court of the UK has ruled that the Northern Ireland Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety had not meet the court’s criteria for an appeal and dismissed their case on the matter of same-sex and unmarried couples adopting.
A spokesman for the Supreme Court said:
“The Supreme Court issued an order on 22 October 2013 stating that the application did not satisfy the criteria of raising an arguable point of law of general public importance.”
In June the Court of Appeal backed up the previous High Court ruling that the ban on unmarried and same-sex couple adopting was unlawful. But not satisfied Health Minister Edwin Poots said he would take his appeal to the next stage. Today that next stage the Supreme Court has spoken and just over a year after the first court decision he is left without any further ground to appeal.
Speaking on the decision LGBT+ Liberal Democrats Northern Coordinator Stephen Glenn said:
“Thankfully the Supreme Court have come to a rapid dismissal of this latest appeal which was surely only launched in the interests of primarily hindering LGBT equality and not in the interest of children who need families.
“However, it has taken over a year of legal proceedings for Edwin Poots to finally run out of legal avenues to pursue at a great cost to the public purse. This should be a lesson to him to stop spending public money on continuous appeals to attempt to block LGBT equality moving forward in Northern Ireland. Though these is now also an appeal pending on the blood ban and there is still a differential viewpoint on same-sex marriage to the rest of the UK.
“We await and see how much longer it will be before the Health Minister makes a move to actually resolve this issue but we trust that the suitable provision will be made in the Adoption and Children Bill to be introduced next year.”