I've added text on the gay parents adoption of children, to "Homosexuality" by Vexen Crabtree (2005), here is the majority of it:
New anti-discrimination laws have been passed in the UK (Equality Act 2006), making it illegal for adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex parents. This enforces equality. It will mean that more children are kept out of agencies, and are given stable homes. There is no rational reason to find this offensive or wrong, but many try to give worried-sounding excusees to explain their disguised dislike. Some common and ignorant complaints about gay adoption are iterated below, and countered:
- Gay parents will 'make' their children gay. Sociologists have made keen studies of gay parenting in countries where it is more commonplace and where it has been accepted for longer. The children of gay parents are not more likely to be gay than other children.
- Children of gay parents will get bullied at school. By this logic, children who wear glasses should be banned from school. Also, so should foreigners, and maybe anyone who isn't the same colour as everyone else. Perhaps the children of tax collectors shouldn't be allowed to school either! This is a ridiculous excuse for bigotry.
- It offends some peoples' religious beliefs. Everything offends some religious belief or other... discrimination is wrong, whether or not it is caused by religion, and the government is right to legislate against discrimination, as a democracy's duty is to protect those who cannot protect themselves, and to temper the ignorance of mass rule.
The most vocal opposition of anything that provides equality for gays are always Christians and Muslims. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the leader of the Catholic church in England and Wales, backed by the Church of England and the Muslim Council of Britain, have led a campaign to get the government to give exceptions to Catholic Adoption agencies so that they won't have to give equal rights to gay parents. He says that for reasons of conscience and morality, Catholics cannot be made to comply to the law. Tony Blair is rejecting their case, but has given them extra time to "adjust" to the new laws - they won't have to fully comply until the end of 2008. More later.
There Should be No Exceptions from Anti-Discrimination Laws
Anti-discrimination laws are passed to protect minorities from prejudice actions. The actions of prejudice, are wrong. Exemptions from anti-discrimination laws, therefore, are also wrong. An exception requires exceptional circumstances. That Catholic authorities don't like gays is what the law wants to stop. They they believe gays shouldn't adopt is also not the issue.
“Special religious rights are a travesty of justice [...]. The more special religious rights that exist, the worse society has become and the more democracy is undermined. The government passes laws because it is necessary and because it is for the greater good. The more exceptions there are to those laws, the more democracy is weakened. This seems especially true where religious superstitions replace the rule of law. For example in Islamic states where Sharia law is declared, or during the Dark Ages when Christian superstitions cost many people their lives (not to mention the torture!), society is at its worst. Theocracy is the worst form of government, and special religious rights are exceptional in their ability to uphold discrimination and barbarianism against the face of normal moral legislation. People do not have a right to do anything they wish. Just because something is a persons' religious belief does not give them extra rights to do it.”
"Religious Rights and Religion Specific Legislation" by Vexen Crabtree (2004)
Catholic Adoption Agencies Threaten to Close Rather Than Comply
The seven Catholic adoption agencies account for only 4% of all children placed each year in the UK, and their spokesperson has said that they would rather close than allow gay parents to adopt children. Elsewhere, this is exactly what they have done. Similar legislation has been passed in a number of states in the USA, "with the result that the Catholic Church from Boston to San Francisco has closed down its adoption agencies", especially after the Pope Ratzinger once said that these anti-discrimination laws are "the legalisation of evil".
They would rather allow the continued suffering of homeless and abused children (and discriminate against gays, too) - rather than infringe on their own religious beliefs. Their religion is more important to them than the welfare of children. The government is making plans on how to amalgamate their work into other, non-discriminatory agencies, in order to prevent children being harmed by the Church's refusal to entertain equality.
There is an economic contradiction in granting Catholic Adoption Agencies exemption from the Law of the Government... the fact that in part, such agencies are funded by the government:
“Catholic adoption agencies receive public money for their efforts - both directly, in the form of grants, and indirectly through the tax break that any charity receives. If they are exempted from the law, they should also be relieved of subsidies from the taxpayers whose representatives approved it.”
Thankfully, the Government has indeed taken the line emplored by The Economist. At the end of 2007 Jan, Downing Street announced that "Catholic adoption agencies must comply with non-discrimination laws by the end of 2008 or lose all access to public funds, Downing Street said yesterday".
Full references can be found on the original article: http://www.humantruth.info/homosexuality.html