GP calls for opt-out over gay adopting

A Bedfordshire GP is campaigning for the right to opt out of providing references for gay patients who want to adopt.

GPs can opt out of referring patients for abortions or providing contraception on religious grounds. But under Equality Act legislation that takes effect in the UK excluding Northern Ireland from April, GPs could be struck off if they repeatedly refuse to provide adoption references for any specific group of patients.

Dr John Lockley said that under proposed sexual orientation regulations he would be committing an offence if he objected to a homosexual couple as potential adoptive parents on the basis of their sexuality alone.

‘I will also be subject to disciplinary action by the adoption agency,’ he added.

GPs could be struck off if the matter is referred to the GMC.

‘I don’t feel I should tell others how to live their lives, but in a free society it is not for other people to force their ideas on me,’ said Dr Lockley.

A BMA spokeswoman said: ‘We don’t believe there should be an opt-out. In the BMA’s view it would be discriminatory to refuse to provide adoption references to gay patients.’

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