The British government has defeated an attempt to amend a gay-hate-crimes bill that the Catholic Church claims will prohibit Christians from expressing their beliefs about marriage and family life.
It [the amendment] was drafted with the help of the Department for Christian Responsibility and Citizenship of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and the Church of England’s Mission and Public Affairs Council.
But the government ensured its failure by instructing ruling Labor Party members of Parliament to vote against the amendment as the bill passed through its final stages in the House of Commons Jan. 9.
The proposed law against incitement to hatred of homosexuals carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail — a longer sentence than the five years typically handed down to a rapist. The bill must pass through the House of Lords, Britain’s second political chamber, before it becomes law.
Full story at Catholic Online.