Friday, January 26, 2007

conscience, what conscience?

I find it hard to believe that anyone could be so tender of their conscience that they're prepared to deny children the opportunity to be adopted because their religion disapproves of the potential adopters' sexuality. People that bigoted don't have a right to claim that they have a conscience.

I'm delighted to see that John Davies has declared himself against the Church of England's and Catholic church's position on the issue of same-sex couples adopting children, and so has Joe Gordon.

You can't impose your religion on others. Over at the Cynical-C blog, Chris reports on Muslim cab drivers trying to ban alcohol in their cabs, a similar attempt to impose religion on others. The Board of Deputies of British Jews has distanced itself from Christian protests on the issue, and was advocating a more moderate position on the gay adoption issue:
"It must be possible for people to live their lives in the manner in which they choose as long as it does not impinge upon the rights of others," a spokesman for the Board of Deputies said Thursday.

"We hope that to this effect the regulations will be framed in such a way that allows for both the effective combating of discrimination in the provision of goods and services whilst respecting freedom of conscience and conviction." -- European Jewish Press
But I don't see how, in this case, such a compromise can be achieved - either none of the adoption services discriminate against same-sex couples, or there's hardly any point in adopting the law. Otherwise this leaves a loophole for religious groups to say that their conscience told them they had to harass gay people, burn down churches that aren't Christian enough, attack Pagan shops, or otherwise enact their bigoted opinions.


Yvonne said...

The other thing that was annoying was that a bloke from the Church of England was talking about this on PM on Radio 4, and saying that there was "evidence" that children flourished less well with same-sex couples than with heterosexual couples. When pressed, he admitted that his so-called evidence was mostly anecdotal. The only "evidence" that was from an actual study was from a survey in the 1970s, which was hardly relevant as people were much more homophobic in the seventies (male homosexuality was only decriminalised in 1969) and any detrimental effect on the children in the study was probably due to homophobia, not having same-sex parents. It was probably a good thing I was alone in the car and in stationary traffic, as I hurt my throat shouting at the radio and my arm from banging on the passenger seat.

There was also an item on the programme discussing what was the most annoying sound in the world. The best bit of the programme was when someone contacted them to say that the most annoying sound in the world was a mealy-mouthed clergyman spouting homophobic nonsense. At this point I cheered loudly.

The Silver Eel said...

I enjoy PM most of the time, but have to switch off or over when the listener comments are broadcast. I have exactly the same reaction, every time, and I don't heal as quickly as I used to.

Yvonne said...

It wasn't the listener comment that I objected to, it was what the interviewee said. (The interviewee was the mealy-mouthed clergyman.)