Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ministers Threaten to Quit If Blair Refuses to Change Stance over Gay Adoptions

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ministers Threaten to Quit If Blair Refuses to Change Stance over Gay Adoptions

Article excerpt

Byline: JOE MURPHY;NICHOLAS CECIL

THE gay adoption row deepened today as ministers served notice they could resign if Tony Blair refuses to back down.

Sources said "more than one" minister had made clear privately that they would have to consider their position if the Catholic church was allowed to deny gay couples the same rights to adopt children.

Any resignation on such an explosive issue would be massively damaging for Mr Blair, who is accused by Labour MPs of imposing his personal views on an issue of conscience. Speculationwas growing that Mr Blair would give ground by proposing a temporary exemption for church adoption agencies, to give them time to merge with mainstream agencies and avoid disruption to adoption.

An insider said: "Feelings are very high and more than one minister would almost certainly resign from government if there is an exemption." Among Cabinet ministers, Alan Johnson and Peter Hain are the leading opponents.

Communities minister Ruth Kelly, a Catholic, wants an exemption but has has made no proposal yet because of the gravity of the row. …

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