Monday, March 19, 2007

The Catholic Church and Gay adoption ...again .

On Wednesday the Lords are debating the Equality Act regulations.

The Catholic Church is once again threatening to close down its adoption agencies unless they are allowed to discriminate against lesbian and gay couples wishing to adopt. As an aside I'm not sure if they have said they also wish to turn away lesbian or gay teenagers as prospective adoptees.

In response to these threats :

A cross-party working group has been set up to try to find a compromise to keep the agencies working.

Ministers hope the move will stave off defeat when Equality Act regulations go before the Lords on Wednesday.

The government had refused to allow Catholic agencies to opt out of the regulations, saying there can be no opt-out from discrimination laws.

It is hoped that the cross-party group, which will liaise with the Catholic Church to seek a compromise will also appease Labour and Tory backbenchers who oppose efforts to force the Catholic church to comply.

I have made my views clear on an earlier post.

I'm curious though as to what compromise can be reached and why one group should have a right to demand exemption. No one is making the church provide this service. No one is saying they cannot hold these beliefs. No one is forcing them to act against their conscience. They do not have to run adoption agencies , BUT if they do they cannot discriminate in the service they provide.

Substitute black for gay . Would it be acceptable for to argue exemption on grounds of conscience then ?

Update :An attempt to throw out the regulations was defeated by 310 - 100in the Commons.