The Federation of Synagogues has called on Jews to fight the Sexual Orientation Regualtions due to come before Parliament this month.

A spokesman for the federation described the idea of gay couples adopting children as “terrifying.”

The Jewish adoption agency Norwood, the only one in England, told PinkNews.co.uk last week that they were not interested in seeking an exemption from the regulations, but prefer to concentrate on the best interests of the child.

On Monday the government announced that there would be no opt-out for Roman Catholic adoption agencies from the regulations, which will outlaw discrimination against gay, lesbian and bisexual people when accessing goods and services.

The Anglican church had backed the principle that religious organisations should be allowed to use their conscience to decide on whether or not gay or lesbian couples should be allowed to adopt.

The Federation of Synagogues is a conservative organisation, “pledged to promote the aims of the original founders by maintaining standards of undiluted Torah orthodoxy and encouraging the expansion of torah learning and practice.”

It said yesterday: “This legislation forces religious groups to operate against their religious convictions and is in essence an infringement of their right to practice religion freely and sets a dangerous precedent.

“Equally disturbing is the stance taken by Jewish adoption agencies not to support the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church’s attempt to uphold the value of the traditional family.

“We call upon fellow leaders of the community to voice their opposition to this legislation which diminishes the Torah image of the family.”

There is no consensus among the various denominations of Judaism in the UK about the proposed anti-discrimination legislation.