Gay adoption “a matter for conscience”, says The Liberal Rite

The Liberal Rite supports the Roman Catholic Church in seeking an exemption for its adoption agencies from current Government proposals that would require it to accept gay adoption.

[ClickPress, Fri Feb 02 2007] The Liberal Rite has added its voice to recent critics of the Government’s proposals for gay adoption to be imposed on Roman Catholic and other Christian adoption agencies that do not support it.

Co-Presiding Bishop John Kersey said “While we at The Liberal Rite are in favour of gay adoption in principle, we support the position that adoption agencies owned by religious organisations that do not accept gay adoption should not be forced towards that acceptance by means of heavy-handed government diktat.”

The most prominent religious adoption agencies that do not support gay adoption are those controlled by the Roman Catholic Church. In a Cabinet decision reported last Thursday, these agencies are to be given a “reasonable time to comply” – apparently up to three years - before being forced to make the choice of accepting gay adoption or closing down.

According to Co-Presiding Bishop Andrew Linley, “The church and other organisations such as clubs and businesses, are private groups of individuals who assemble of their own volition, and the state therefore has no business interfering in their workings, unless, of course, they are actively harassing or physically harming people, or retaining members against their will. The idea that a church or minister should be prevented by law from refusing a request for a sacrament or for membership is utterly absurd. The Government must accept that, except where it is used physically to harm or harass others without their consent, religion is a private matter outside the control of the state, and must remain so in any free society.”

The Liberal Rite calls upon the Government to reconsider exempting adoption agencies controlled by the Roman Catholic Church and other religious organisations that do not support gay adoption from its proposed legislation.

The Liberal Rite is a small independent Christian sacramental community in the tradition of Liberal Catholicism, based in London, UK. Its official website is at

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