Wednesday, March 07, 2007

SORs for England and Wales: final draft of law

Background briefing: we'll be calling for lobbying of MPs when this goes before Parliament.

From Christian Concern for our Nation: After spending 9 months drafting the proposed SEXUAL ORIENTATION REGULATIONS (SORs), the Government have today published the final version of the new law without making any significant concessions to protect the rights of Christians and others with deeply held religious beliefs.

The SORs can be found at

The Regulations, which make discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation
unlawful in relation to the provision of goods, services, premises, education
and public functions, are due to come into force on the 30th April 2007.

Under the Regulations it will be illegal for a Christian printer to refuse to
print material promoting homosexual sex, it will be illegal for a Muslim
website designer to refuse to build a website for homosexual dating, and it
will be illegal for a Jewish conference centre to refuse to accept a booking
from a Gay and Lesbian society who wish to hold a meeting promoting homosexual

Thomas Cordrey, Barrister and Public Policy Analyst at the Lawyers' Christian
Fellowship, commented:
"This legislation is unprecedented in its complete intolerance of those who have
religious beliefs. The Government did not put forward a single piece of
evidence to justify the need for the Regulations, they have ignored 72% of the
public[1] who opposed their approach to this law, and they have ignored the
majority of the 3000 responses to their consultation. Despite this weak basis
to the law, the Government is prepared to take the landmark step of making it
illegal for Christians to hold to the Bible's clear teaching that God loves
everyone and wants all people to know him, but also, that extra-marital sexual
conduct (whether homosexual or heterosexual) is wrong."

"To think that the Government would prefer to shut down the widespread and
compassionate voluntary services provided by Christian adoption agencies, drug
rehabilitation centres, homeless shelters and community centres, rather than
accept that Christians should not be forced to promote homosexual practices, is

Andrea Williams, Public Policy Officer at the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship
"Whilst Christian groups have been clear from the outset that they would not in
any way wish to deny the provision of basic goods and services to homosexuals,
the Government have refused all calls that the Regulations should contain a
simple clause that "no-one should be forced by this law to promote or actively
condone any sexual practices which are contrary to their deeply held religious

"Rather than balancing rights the Government have chosen to draft these
Regulations so that in almost every case the right to live a homosexual
lifestyle trumps the right to live a religious lifestyle."

"Every concern held by the Church of England and Catholic Church on the issue of
gay adoption is magnified by the publication of these Regulations. The new
morality being imposed by the Government on the British people has just taken a
giant leap forward."

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen