.- All Catholic adoption agencies in Britain, which find families for more than 200 children each year, could be forced to close if the government passes a bill that would place religiously based opposition to homosexual adoption under the umbrella term discrimination.
In an official brief, the Catholic Bishops of England and Wales said unless the Church was issued an exemption, its 12 agencies would be penalized under the proposed legislation if they refused to place children with same-sex couples, the Telegraph reported.
The bishops argued that the draft regulations are too limited and that they fail to distinguish between homophobia and religious conviction. The Church, which has repeatedly stated its opposition to discrimination and hatred, does not consider adoption a fundamental human right and does not believe a homosexual relationship the proper environment for raising children.
The Sexual Orientation (Provision of Goods and Services) Regulations, which are expected to be finalized in the fall, will make discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation illegal in the same way as race or sex discrimination is.
The regulations, which were designed under the auspices of protecting gays and lesbians from being denied goods, facilities, and services, âcould mean that, in the worst case scenario, Catholic adoption and fostering agencies would close," the statement said.