Politicians have spoken to PinkNews.co.uk of their delight at Tony Blair’s decision to not grant an exemption from anti-discrimination laws to Catholic adoption agencies.
Lorely Burt MP, the LibDem spokeswoman on equality, told PinkNews.co.uk:
“Tony Blair’s statement is welcome news.
“The wishes of Catholic adoption agencies should not be elevated above the rest of society.”
Ms Burt, the MP for Solihull, said she was happy that the Catholic agencies will be given time to make new arrangements.
“I am glad that there will be a period of transition, to allow everyone involved to adjust to the new rules.
“However, a delay of almost two years does seem unnecessary long.”
Mr Blair’s Labour colleague in the House of Commons, Angela Eagle, also spoke of her pleasure that the Prime Minister had sided with Labour backbenchers and some members of the Cabinet.
The MP for Wallasey, the only openly gay woman in Parliament, told PinkNews.co.uk: “I am very happy that there will not be any exemptions.”
Ms Eagle, who is deputy chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party, met Mr Blair last week with other MPs to express her concern that the Catholic agenices might be allowed to opt-out.
Dr Evan Harris, chair of the LibDem LGBT caucus DELGA and a leading Humanist, said he was pleased that Catholic church’s calls for an opt-out had been rejected.
“This is the first time that the Labour party has stood up to the united lobbying of religious organisations seeking special treatment in public policy matters and that is a welcome new development,” he said.