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Church ponders gay adoption legal battle

The Catholic Church in Scotland is threatening to take legal action to
block new anti-discrimination laws it claims will force faith-based
adoption agencies to close down. The UK government is bringing in new
legislation that would make it illegal to discriminate against homosexual
couples in the provision of any goods or services, including adoption.

Although
the new laws are a matter reserved to Whitehall, it was reported over the
weekend that Scottish ministers were lobbying for an opt-out for adoption
agencies north of the Border. However, the Scottish Executive yesterday
insisted the legislation will go ahead as planned in Scotland.

John
Deighan, parliamentary officer for the Catholic Church in Scotland, said
members of the Bishop’s Conference were so concerned they were seeking
legal advice on their rights. "We are getting legal advice on what are the
options available to us. Judicial review seems the most obvious one.

"A
judicial review is a process where anybody has a right to challenge a
decision made by a government or other authority because it is outside
their competence.

"What we are looking at is are the UK government
stepping over their competence by bringing into law regulations that do
away with rights under the European Convention of Human Rights? We are not
even being allowed to follow our consciences in saying we think married
couples provide a better home."

Full story at The Scotsman.

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