The Board of Deputies of British Jews, which represents most of the Jewish community in the UK, has weighed into the controversy surrounding new regulations that grant gay people protection against discrimination.
The organisation has expressed concern about the controversial new rules, due to be introduced this month.
They have been delayed on the orders of Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly, after protests from the Christian churches.
Nadia Lipsey, spokesman for the Board of Deputies, said, “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,” according to The Daily Mail.
The Roman Catholic Church has threatened to withdraw from running adoption agencies over the proposals, which have been widely misinterpreted.
The new rules will outlaw discrimination in goods and services provision, a protection that already exists for ethnic minorities.
This is the first time the Jewish Board of Deputies has joined the debate over the regulations.
Ms Lipsey’s comments, which support toleration, are in marked contrast to the statements of Muslim and Christian leaders, who are implacably opposed to extending legal protection to LGBT people.
“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,” she said.