Friday, January 26, 2007

Anti-Gay Adoption Agencies To Be Phased Out in UK

The British Prime Minister, Tony Blair has conceded that Catholic adoption agencies who turn away same sex couples should be phased out.After a call from the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, for Catholic adoption agencies to be made exempt from plans to make them consider gay couples as prospective adoptive parents, Mr Blair was looking for compromises in the new Sexual Orientation Regulations.

His u-turn decision came after several Cabinet ministers threatened to resign unless equal rights laws were imposed on all adoption agencies.His surrender will infuriate church leaders, effectively meaning individual religious convictions can be overruled in the interests of equal rights.

The move could spark the resignation of Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly, a devout Catholic who was pushing the Government to find a compromise that exempted religious groups from the law, despite the fact that her department is responsible for equality.

The new Sexual Orientation Regulations, which came into force in Northern Ireland on January 1, are due to come into force in April. They protect gay, lesbian and bisexual people from discrimination when accessing goods and services.

A petition created by a visitor to the Prime Minister’s website, calling on the British government to rescind the Sexual Orientation Regulations in Northern Ireland has attracted more than 8,000 signatures.Another popular petition on the site is one calling on Tony Blair to sack Ruth Kelly.

(Courtesy of



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