By Gudrun Schultz
SCOTLAND, United Kingdom, April 6, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine, one of Scotland’s most senior Roman Catholic leaders, accused the Scottish government of devolving into a group of “politically correct zealots” by supporting legislation allowing same-sex couples to adopt, in a letter to the first minister last February.
The controversial Adoption (Scotland) Bill, published last week, would allow unmarried partners, either heterosexual or homosexual, to adopt children so long as they are in an “enduring family relationship.” Under current Scottish law, only one member of an unmarried partnership can legally adopt a child.
Bishop Devine described the proposed legislation as “yet another violation of family life,” in a letter to first minister Jack McConnell earlier this year. He stressed that the traditional family unit provided the best environment for the emotional and psychological health of a child.
McConnell responded to Bishop Devine’s accusation in a strongly worded letter, saying, “We do not give preferential treatment to gay couples over heterosexual couples or ‘promote the interests of alternative homosexual lifestyles over traditional family,’” the Herald reported Monday.
“I reject absolutely any suggestion our policies are designed to damage the institution of marriage or the important role of Christian churches in Scotland. Adoption would only be permitted where it is clearly in the best interests of the child.”
Bishop Devine said he was disappointed by the response. “The first minister was asked to be the children’s champion and drop this bill. He refused,” the bishop said.
“He has also rejected the proposal to put the issue to the test in a referendum. Now [Members of Scottish Parliament] will have the opportunity to vote the bill down. The vast majority of the electorate will stand and applaud those who do so.”
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
Scotland Bishop Blasts Parliament Decision to Allow Gay Adoption
Scot Cardinal: Gay Adoption Makes Children “Guinea Pigs in Some Distorted Social Experiment”