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Blair(s) at center of gay adoption battle in UK

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What is an Equality Act without heaping on a pile of bigotry for good measure?

The Equality Act, due to come into effect in England, Wales and Scotland in April, outlaws discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on the basis of sexual orientation.

Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, a committed Catholic, was accused of seeking to gain an opt-out for the Church. But Ms Kelly and the Education Secretary, Alan Johnson, have privately told MPs the pressure for an exemption has come from the Prime Minister.

"They said Tony is the one who has been asking for this exemption, not Ruth, who is pretty annoyed at the way she has been presented in the media," said a senior Labour MP. "Another cabinet minister told me it's all coming from Cherie."

Mrs Blair is also a committed Catholic and there has been speculation that Mr Blair will convert to Catholicism when he leaves office. He and his wife had a private audience with Pope John Paul II and Mr Blair met Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican last June. The Prime Minister went to Catholic Mass in Miami over the New Year break.

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