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The Reverend Vincent Nichols, the Roman Catholic archbishop of Birmingham, England, is warning the British government of a massive negative response from the Christian community if it will continue pushing laws promoting equality for gays. Nichols opposes the recent Sexual Orientation Regulations, legislation that would ensure that LGBT people in the United Kingdom are not denied goods and services on the basis of their sexuality, reports The Daily Telegraph.
The measure is schedule to go before Parliament this April; however, Nichols has warned that the proposed regulations could mean the end of the church's collaboration with the government in providing welfare services.
While giving a speech at St. Chad's Cathedral in Birmingham, Nichols proclaimed that what the government "must realize is that it is not possible to seek cooperation with us while at the same time trying to impose upon us conditions which contradict our moral values." The church fears that the future of its adoption and fostering agencies may hang in the balance due to the fact that Pope Benedict XVI has already stated that adoption by gays is immoral, and several Catholic-run U.S. agencies have closed down because of the introduction of similar laws. "We need a massive Christian fight-back...or these regulations will go through," said Ann Widdecombe, the former Conservative minister. "We need everybody to say this is wrong." (The Advocate)