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Christian couple who thought they could make an LGBT+ child ‘overcome’ their sexuality sue foster agency that rejected them

Patrick Kelleher
·2-min read

A couple are suing a foster agency in Australia after they were turned away because of their belief that they could change an LGBT+ child’s identity.

Byron and Keira Hordyk, who live in Perth, Australia, applied to the Wanslea Family Services agency in January 2017 to foster children, according to The West Australian.

The couple, who already have children of their own, underwent an assessment with the agency, during which they were questioned on how they would respond if a foster child came out as LGBT+.

During the course of the assessment, Byron and Keira Hordyk claimed that homosexuality is a sin and said same-sex attraction can be resisted.

They went on to tell the foster agency that they would be able to help a queer child to “overcome” their sexuality. Despite this, the couple insisted that their beliefs would not impact on their ability to raise a foster child.

Months later, the couple received a letter from Wanslea Family Services telling them that their application had been rejected because they had failed to meet one of the five competencies laid out by the Department of Communities and would be unable to provide a safe living environment.

A case I nows scheduled to be heard by State Administrative Tribunal president Justice Janine Pritchard in December after Wanslea Family Services unsuccessfully petitioned for it to be dismissed.

We hold traditional Christian values on how the Bible teaches us on sexuality and marriage.

Speaking to The West Australian, Byron Hordyk said: “We do feel we have been discriminated against and also we felt that if we were quiet about this and didn’t say anything about it, it could potentially harm or limit any people with the same Christian values as ours from fostering.

“We hold traditional Christian values on how the Bible teaches us on sexuality and marriage.

“We stated it from the beginning. We are not here to hide behind it. Everyone – particularly with a divisive issue – is afraid of being put into the realm of public opinion in a negative light. And my beliefs are strong enough that this might be my cross to bear.”

Meanwhile, Keira Hordyk said she would be staying away from social media throughout the trial as she was expecting to face criticism from the LGBT+ community.

The couple, represented by Perth barrister Steven Penglis, will argue that they were discriminated against under the terms laid out in two separate sections of Australia’s Equal Opportunity Act.