Agencies run by churches in the UK can no longer practice what they preach.

Roman Catholic adoptions agencies yesterday lost their battle to opt out of new laws banning discrimination against homosexual couples when Tony Blair announced that there would be “no exemptions” for faith-based groups.

The Prime Minister said in a statement that the new rules would not come into force until the end of 2008. Until then there would be a “statutory duty” for religious agencies to refer gay couples to other agencies.

Why can’t that “statutory duty” be good enough? Why is government coercion trumping religious freedom? Predictably, the results of an attempt at “fairness” will chase off the principled.

Last week the leader of Catholics in England and Wales, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, warned that the agencies would close rather than accept rules that required them to hand over babies to gay couples.

One wonders if, in some quarters, that’s the whole objective. I mean, given a situation where there are choices, and there usually are, why would a gay couple seek out the Catholic Church for an adoption agency when there are others that have no qualms about it. It’s kind of like the standard answer you hear when folks complain about the content of TV programming. “Just change the channel”, the Left dismissively says. But when it comes to their preferences, they won’t “change the channel” themselves–choose a different agency–and instead insist that government sanction their choices and force it upon everyone to accommodate it.

Doug Payton blogs at Considerettes.

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