Tony Blair announced on Monday (29th January 2007) that faith-based adoption agencies will not have special exemptions from the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, but that they will have a "transition period" of 21 months before the SORs come fully into force at the end of 2008. He also paid tribute to the work of agencies motivated by religious faith, and stated that it wsa important to ensure that the expertise and services of these groups was not lost.
Read the full statement here.
Much of the mainstream media has potrayed this as a defeat for the Church. We strongly believe this is not the case. The next 21 months will bring the opportunity for all faith-based organisations delivering public services to think about our distinctives, and about our relationship with the state.
We believe that people have been having the wrong debate, using the wrong language, about the wrong issues. People are confused about the role of institutional Church, the role of religions and the contributions of faith-based providers. They are all different and we need this national debate and a new Framework for Faith as a way forward to help people come to terms with these, without discriminating against any population groups.
Faithworks will continue to engage in dialogue with government and churches to help broker a way forward. I would love to hear your views on this.