There are a number of important issues at stake here. First, there is a clearly a clash between two principles: the principle of equality as defined by human rights legislation, which includes sexual orientation, and the principle of freedom of religion and conscience in a pluralistic society. In this case, the principle of equality has trumped the right of freedom of religion and conscience.
Second, what is striking is the influence that the homosexual lobby has gained through using human rights legislation to achieve their political and ideological ends. We have passed from decriminalizing homosexual behaviour to the active promotion of homosexuality as a lifestyle the equivalent of heterosexual marriage. The next stage in this process is the silencing of any opposition—particularly opposition from the Catholic Church.
The Anglican churches in England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland, like their North American counterparts, are broadly sympathetic to the homosexual cause, as are several other Protestant denominations, thus leaving it mostly to the Catholic Church to defend traditional Christian sexual morality. The success of the homosexual campaign in silencing those who dissent from the new liberal secularist orthodoxy can be seen from the behaviour of the police in recent years. When an Anglican bishop mentioned the possibility of changing sexual orientation in a parish newsletter, he received a visit and a stern warning from the local police. The police have also threatened such Christians as an elderly couple and a Catholic radio broadcaster who objected to the homosexual lifestyle.
Even more ominously, these conflicts over faith schools and Catholic adoption agencies reveal the existence of powerful secularist lobby groups that are not only anti-Christian but especially anti-Catholic. They are found in the main political parties and among public figures and seem determined to remove the Catholic Church from public life and to undermine its institutions.
North American readers are well familiar with this syndrome of the illiberal liberal left. What is lacking in Britain is a robust group of Catholic intellectuals such as exists in the United States to answer these assaults on the Church. Instead, we have The Tablet, which, under the editorship of John Wilkins, gradually abandoned orthodox Catholicism and seems to have become little more than a vehicle for something resembling liberal Anglicanism, which, as has been demonstrated, is no answer at all.
John Loughlin Secularist Attacks on the Catholic Church in Britain