You're Abusing Parliament over Gay Vote, Catholic Leader Tells Blair
Byline: SIMON CALDWELL;JANE MERRICK
BRITAIN'S most senior Roman Catholic accused Tony Blair of an 'abuse of Parliamentary democracy' last night by refusing MPs a debate on controversial gay rights laws.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor criticised the Prime Minister for forcing through regulations making it illegal for adoption agencies to reject gay couples.
Instead, MPs were allowed a single vote on the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which the Government won last night by 210, despite 100 Tories voting against.
Peers will try to block the regulations in the Lords tomorrow.
But the Cardinal said: 'It is, surely, an abuse of Parliamentary democracy that these regulations are being considered only through a hurriedly arranged and very brief meeting of 16 appointed MPs, and a short debate in the House of Lords.
'During the House of Commons committee meeting, opportunity for serious debate was denied. Profound public concern about aspects of these regulations has not been heard.' The Catholic church has threatened to close 13 adoption agencies because it cannot accept a law which contradicts its teachings on the central role of the traditional family.
Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders have also said they will 'discriminate heavily' against anyone who expresses the view that gay sexual acts are not equal to the conjugal love of heterosexual married couples. …