Government accused of appeasing Muslims, discriminating against Catholics

“I’m wondering if we had Muslim adoption agencies in this country which had objected to having to consider gay couples as adoptive parents whether this Government would have stuck two fingers up at their beliefs in the way they have at Catholic adoption agencies.

“Last week those agencies – who on the grounds of conscience and belief had asked to be excluded from new gay rights laws forcing them to consider homosexuals as adoptive parents – were told: ‘You’re not going to be excluded so either get over it or close down.’

“Had a Muslim organisation been told that there’d have been rioting in the streets. There’d have been endless newspaper stories, and TV debates about the rights of a religion to flourish in a democracy. But because this was about Catholics, this Government knew there wouldn’t be any riots or the burning of effigies, so they decided the Catholic Church – its doctrines and its objections – just weren’t valid.

“In not wanting to deal with homosexual couples as adoptive parents, the Catholic Church wasn’t being discriminatory – it was simply following its teachings. Just as Muslims believe you can get divorced by saying three times: ‘I divorce you’, just as they can take four wives, just as they believe women should be covered up, Catholics believe a child should have a mother and father – not terribly radical in this day and age.

“And this Government should be ashamed for dumping on Catholic beliefs when we all know they’d bust a collective gut to allow Muslims in this country to practise their faith however they want.”

Carole Malone in the Sunday Mirror, 4 February 2007