The Telegraph reported their publication, Labour faces fresh battle over gay rights
The Daily Mail had Law to put gay rights ahead of religion
According to both these reports, the Church of England spokesperson said:
“As Ruth Kelly’s statement acknowledges, these regulations raise ‘complex issues about how to reconcile competing rights and freedoms’. The Government has gone some way to recognising the particular needs of churches and other religious organisations to act in accordance with their own convictions.
“We shall, however, want to study the regulations closely before commenting in more detail. It is a matter of regret that the decision to create new law in this way without going through the normal procedure for Parliamentary Bills means that the regulations will not have the full scrutiny that sensitive matters of this kind require.”
Faithworks welcomed them in this press release: Faithworks welcomes the publication of draft Sexual Orientation Regulations. An extract:
Faithworks welcomes the publication of the draft Sexual Orientation Regulations (SORs) as an attempt to ensure that goods and services are delivered inclusively and in non-discriminatory ways.
We stand by the statements we have previously made on the SORs (www.faithworks.info) and are confident that they do not pose a threat to Christians.
It is right that any organisation receiving public funds should deliver services to genuine public benefit. A commitment to diversity does not mean losing one’s distinctive faith identity: it actually presents an opportunity to develop a dialogue and demonstrate Christian love and service.
There is still a great deal of misinterpretation of the SORs, which is leading to fear and opposition. However, the draft legislation includes clear exemptions for faith-based organisations relating to doctrine, and government ministers have also publicly answered questions of concern over the scope of the proposed SORs.
We acknowledge the different contributions and views of the whole Christian church to the issue of human sexuality. The Faithworks membership is drawn from across the spectrum of the church. Our approach to the SORs and to Equality & Diversity legislation allows for Christian views of sexuality whilst encouraging unconditional love and service. This is the Jesus model: defending a person’s human rights does not involve endorsing their lifestyle choices.
Lawyers Christian Fellowship (LCF), the Evangelical Alliance, Care and the Christian Institute did not do so, New gay rules attacked from Religious Intelligence/CEN
The Evangelical Alliance issued Response to the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007
The Christian Institute said New ‘gay rights’ regulations put religious freedom in jeopardy and also a briefing note in a very smart PDF format.
CARE’s response is in a Word document here.
The Lawyers Christian Fellowship has a press release titled GOVERNMENT PUBLISH LANDMARK INTOLERANT LEGISLATION SETTING GROUND FOR CLASH OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
Giles Fraser writing for Ekklesia commented on these attitudes: Giving fundamentalism a secular boost
The National Secular Society has Government Stands Up For Equality, Forcing Religious to Back Down