Salmond seeks lifeline for RC adoption groups

Scotland’s First Minister says he wants to find a way to save the country’s Roman Catholic adoption agencies from being forced to close because of homosexual discrimination laws.

According to the Scottish Catholic Observer, Alex Salmond confirmed that a member of the Scottish Cabinet was “working to ensure that they are not forced out of the system.”

“I think that is working well, or will work well,” he is reported to have said.

Scotland has two Roman Catholic adoption agencies. Together they account for almost 20 per cent of all adoptions in the country.

The agencies follow the Roman Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage and only place children for joint adoption by married couples.

But homosexual discrimination laws, known commonly as the Sexual Orientation Regulations, make it unlawful to refuse to provide a service on grounds of sexual orientation.

When the controversial laws were passed faith-based adoption agencies warned that they could be forced to end their valuable work.

Several English Roman Catholic agencies have pulled out of adoption work because they felt they could not comply with the Regulations. One agency in London is battling against the laws.

However, Mr Salmond says he wants Scotland’s agencies to remain open in spite of the Regulations.

“We have to make sure every citizen regardless of gender, origin, sexuality or religion is treated properly and fairly,” he said.

“What we need to do with legislation, and I don’t think Westminster has ever cracked it, is find a way to say ‘Promoting an ideal shouldn’t be seen as a negative against other people.'”