The Environment Minister, Ben Bradshaw has told the Politics Show that he would oppose any watering down of new anti-discrimination laws.
Mr Bradshaw's comments came in response to reports that the Communities Secretary, Ruth Kelly - herself a Catholic - is fighting to allow Catholic adoption agencies to turn away gay couples.
The Equalities Act bans discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on the basis of sexual orientation in a similar way to rules on sex and race discrimination.
Mr Bradshaw told Jon Sopel: "I'd be very surprised if the government was thinking of bowing to pressure from conservative Catholics."
He continued, "I think this is an issue of equality, it's exactly the same as saying you can't have a child for adoption because you're black, or because you're a woman or because you're disabled."
A spokesman for the Department of Communities and Local Government said: "We are absolutely committed to bringing forward proposals that provide effective protection from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."
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The Politics Show Sunday 21 January 2007 at 12:00 GMT on BBC One.
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