Thursday, January 25, 2007

Adoption backdown

No opt-out clause in Equality Bill

It seems as if the Prime Minister's authority has suffered another setback as he appears to have lost the argument in Cabinet over the suggested opt-out clauses for the Sexual Orientation Regulations in the Equality Bill. The Telegraph is reporting today that the majority view is that the Bill should go through unamended and that the Roman Catholic Adoption Society, and others, will be made to comply and break long standing items of faith. It is understood that Blair is holding out for a period of 'adjustment' for religious organisations who handle adoption cases.

The situation is far more fraught for the Communities Secretary, Ruth Kelly, who may now face the agonising decision to choose between her faith and her political career. Stephen Pound, one of Labour's most prominent Roman Catholic MP's accedes that she is in an invidious position.

"We seem to be living in a world where people who have strongly held views are somehow derided for that. In Ruth's case there is demonstrably a conflict. Is it right for us to expect someone to abandon everything they believe in because of the prevailing majority view? Does she abandon her ambition or her faith? She is in a desperately difficult situation. She is a Roman Catholic who happens to be a politician, not a politician who happens to be a Roman Catholic."

I'm not wishing to appear to be churlish, but Blair's government has hardly been marked by the chivalrous actions of ministers resigning, or 'doing the right and honorable thing ' when their conscience was pricked - we will watch this space.


The Daily Telegraph

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