Letter to M.P. Sexual Orientation Regulations

Letter to M.P. Sexual Orientation Regulations

Dear Mr Wallis,

I have no doubt that your postbag will contain a number of letters after the Government's intransigence regarding the Sexual Orientation Regulations in its refusal to allow Catholic Adoption Agencies to refer to other agencies homosexuals wanting to adopt.

In my pastoral practice over fifty years I have met a number of homosexuals. They have generally been artistic, generous in their service others and deeply deserving of respect as persons. This in no way lessens my conviction that the traditional family - man, woman and child - is the basic unit of society which larger groupings exist to serve and strengthen. Recent research - e.g. Raising Babies by Steve Biddulph - has revealed how a child's emotional and cognitive decvelopment depends on close interpersonal relationships and a child is likely to be handicapped in later relating to the opposite sex to form a family unit unless she(he) has experienced the balance of normal family life. As a Catholic I believe that the family is sacramental, a reflection of the Blessed Trinity, which gives it unique authenticity. We are getting into deeper water - the realm of conviction and conscience.

If twenty years ago I had been told that my freedom to express my belief in the nature of the family could be challenged in court, I would have dismissed the idea simply because I lived in England, where freedom of conscience and freedom of expression were guaranteed. It now appears to be potentialy illegal for teachers to promote the tradional family as the ideal for society and, presumably, since rthe church is a public place, the same would be true of me speaking from the pulpit.

Before the recent spat between the Church and the Government on adoption it had appeared to me that attitudes to the famly would be among the main criteria at the next election. The freedom to express publicly one's conviction about what it means to be human is crucial to our traditional values.

I believe there is to be a parliamentary debate on the SORS. I hope you will be able to speak on behalf of the freedom of expression of sincerely held views even when they conflict with those of others. That is the essence of democracy.

With good wishes,

Yours sincerely,