There is an Anglican angle too: Daily Mail Steve Doughty Anglican bishop threatens to close youth clubs in protest at gay rights. And sidebar Seven out of 10 say beliefs should not be abandoned over gay rights
The bishop is Michael Nazir-Ali of Rochester.
There are several reports of what RC archbishop Vincent Nichols has been saying about what he perceives as the government’s intentions in bringing in the proposed new regulations discussed here previously.
Daily Mail Steve Doughty Don’t impose your morality: Catholic Archbishop attacks gay rights bill and editorial comment Blair and the moral backlash
Telegraph Jonathan Petre Archbishop warns of gay rights backlash
Universe Church Fires Broadside Over Government’s Moral Neutrality
Catholic Herald Gay rights law threatens Catholic adoption agencies
It’s rather difficult to see what justification exists for most of these concerns. The Northern Ireland regulations are clear in providing religious bodies with an exemption from almost all the requirements placed on everybody else. The effect is that discimination by a religious organisation, in respect of sexual orientation. is permitted:
(a) if it is necessary to comply with the doctrine of the organisation; or
(b) so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religions followers.
which should be easy for the Roman Catholic church to meet. Charitable bodies, whether or not religious, are also exempted, provided their actions are taken by reason of or in pursuance of their charitable instrument.
The two principles from which there is no exemption provided in Northern Ireland are:
Postscript: there was a full page advertisement in The Times today placed by a group called Coherent and Cohesive Voice, self-described as “a network of hundreds of Christian leaders in the UK representing hundreds of thousands of voters”. Follow this link to read the text of the advertisement. Several claims made in the advertisement are quite false.