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No exemption for adoption groups but campaign continues
Yesterday the Prime Minister announced that there will be no exemption from the Sexual Orientation Regulations for religious adoption agencies. This explains the Governmentís stance on adoption agencies, but we donít yet know its view on other organisations such as Christian old peopleís homes. The fight over the regulations continues.
Religious adoption agencies will be allowed to continue to refuse homosexual couples until the end of next year, but they will then be expected to comply with the new law.
The announcement about adoption agencies is deeply troubling. Secular values are being imposed by law against the conscientious objections of many people. It marked a very sad day for children in care. The Government has put its commitment to gay rights ahead of what is best for children. We need to pray and continue to speak out for what is right.
The battle over the Sexual Orientation Regulations is not yet over. There are grave concerns about organisations which receive state money to provide a service to the public, such as Christian old peopleís homes. There is also the issue of individuals in business such as wedding photographers or printers being sued for their beliefs on homosexuality.
The regulations have not yet been published. They are expected soon. The precise implications of the new laws will not be clear until then. Whilst we think that the general activities of a local church will be able to continue as normal, we are alarmed at the possible impact of the regulations on individual Christians and some charities.
MPs will have the opportunity to vote on the regulations. Do meet or telephone your MP about the regulations if you have not already done so. Please encourage others at your church to do the same. Details of what to say are included at the end of this email.
Pray that God would act to protect our religious liberty and that there would continue to be widespread media coverage. Pray for the staff of the Institute as we continue to work on this important issue.
Yours in Christ,
The Christian Institute
Contacting your MP
Some MPs may very strongly support gay rights. It may not be appropriate to contact them. Please use your own judgment on this.
Meeting your MP face-to-face to explain your concerns in a constituency surgery could be extremely effective. To find out surgery details ring the local constituency office (details in the phone book) or consult your weekly press.
Another approach is to telephone your MP this week about your concerns. You can telephone them at the House of Commons on 0207 219 3000 and ask to speak to your MP by name.
If you do not know who your MP is, make sure you have your postcode handy and go to: http://www.locata.co.uk/commons
When visiting (or contacting) your MP please:
Be calm, measured and polite in your tone but clear and firm in your opposition to the proposed regulations.
Say you are concerned, not only for religious adoption agencies, but for Christian nursing homes and old people's homes too. They could be threatened with legal action if they refuse a double room to a homosexual couple.
Say these regulations will expose some Christians to hostile litigation simply because of their religious beliefs on sexual ethics. Say you want exemptions to protect religious liberty.
Say Christians are involved in a host of social projects because they are motivated by their Christian faith. Now they are being threatened with legal actions because some people don't like their beliefs on sexual ethics.
Published Tue 30th Jan 2007 22:13:02