Sunday, January 28, 2007

Trouble brewing for Cameron on gay adoption

Conservative Home reports that "Cameron's hesitation on Catholic adoption row imperils his faith-based social action agenda". It reminds us that David Davies has already stated that he will vote "against the attempts by the Government to force the Catholic Church to consider placing the very vulnerable children in its care with gay couples." (That is an interesting way of phrasing the point).

Conservative Home goes on to pinpoint David Cameron's dilemma:

At the heart of Mr Cameron's 'social responsibility agenda' is a belief that faith-based groups can do a better job at welfare than the state. But a big part of the reason for the efficacy of faith-based groups is the religious ethos that drives them. If Government insists that faith-based groups adopt an ethos that it less authentic to their traditions (and more like that of government departments) the faith-based projects will decide that they had better remain independent of government. There is a deep and unresolved tension between David Cameron saying that he wants public policy to encourage more faith-based social action but then hesitating to support the freedom of faith-based groups to behave authentically.

Of course, it is always possible that David Cameron simply votes for equality. He'll then have to do a rapid re-think of his "social responsibility agenda" and possibly also defect to the Liberal Democrats.


  1. I don't think the Lib Dems would have him, even if he tried ...

    Cameron's "social responsibility agenda" may not be a Lib Dem way of thinking, but it isn't completely nuts, and we should at least be able to debate it on a level, instead of writing it off.

    As a party of localism and decentralisation, we should be happy to see community-based, grassroots organisations, including religious groups, complementing the welfare state (nb complement, not in any way replace). The issue comes when groups start demanding opt-outs from the most fundamental laws of the land (which is what the new anti-discrimination laws must become) - then we start having a problem.

  2. Rmemarkably good point Jonny, thank you