Catholic Church May Have to Allow Children to Be Adopted by Gays

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Byline: GRAHAM GRANT

THE Catholic Church was on a collision course with First Minister Jack McConnell last night over gay adoption plans.

The Scottish Daily Mail revealed yesterday that new equality laws will mean eightyearolds in Scotland must be taught about gay sex.

Now the Church says the same legislation could force Catholic adoption agencies to deal with would- be gay adopters - even though it believes homosexuality is sinful.

The news came as a senior Catholic bishop branded the prospect of gay sex lessons 'grotesque' - and launched a furious attack on the Scottish Executive for its attempted 'destruction of Christian family values'.

The Church said it had been assured by Executive officials that it would be granted an opt-out from the gay adoption legislation. But it emerged last night that the equality laws that will lead to gay sex lessons will mean the planned Catholic opt-out is illegal.

The Church said the U-turn had been raised in discussions with Executive officials, who said it would be forced to deal with gay couples seeking help to adopt through its agencies.

The row threatens to plunge the Church into open conflict with ministers at a time when critics believe the politically correct gay lobby is gaining influence within the Labour-led Executive.

Gay adoption is backed by ministers, despite an Executive consultation showing almost nine out of ten Scots are opposed to the plans.

The new equality laws - which are being drafted at Westminster, but will apply to the whole of the UK - will mean teachers must give equal prominence to lessons about heterosexual and gay issues.

The proposals to give homosexuals the same rights to adopt as married couples is opposed by the St Margaret's Children and Family Care Society in Glasgow and the Edinburgh-based St Andrew's Children's Society.

Both groups, which are run by the Catholic Church, help place children with families after assessing them to ensure they are suitable. …