Friday, January 26, 2007

conscience, what conscience?

I find it hard to believe that anyone could be so tender of their conscience that they're prepared to deny children the opportunity to be adopted because their religion disapproves of the potential adopters' sexuality. People that bigoted don't have a right to claim that they have a conscience.

I'm delighted to see that John Davies has declared himself against the Church of England's and Catholic church's position on the issue of same-sex couples adopting children, and so has Joe Gordon.

You can't impose your religion on others. Over at the Cynical-C blog, Chris reports on Muslim cab drivers trying to ban alcohol in their cabs, a similar attempt to impose religion on others. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has distanced itself from Christian protests on the issue, and was advocating a more moderate position on the gay adoption issue:
"It must be possible for people to live their lives in the manner in which they choose as long as it does not impinge upon the rights of others," a spokesman for the Board of Deputies said Thursday.

"We hope that to this effect the regulations will be framed in such a way that allows for both the effective combating of discrimination in the provision of goods and services whilst respecting freedom of conscience and conviction." -- European Jewish Press
But I don't see how, in this case, such a compromise can be achieved - either none of the adoption services discriminate against same-sex couples, or there's hardly any point in adopting the law. Otherwise this leaves a loophole for religious groups to say that their conscience told them they had to harass gay people, burn down churches that aren't Christian enough, attack Pagan shops, or otherwise enact their bigoted opinions.

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