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Employment tribunal has “legitimised homophobia”

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  1. Sista'hood 10 Jul 2008, 4:48pm

    William – Dublin: your comments are disgraceful and offensive! Two wrongs do not make a right.. a teaching from the good Bible.

    Balancing peoples’ rights to freedom of religious expression as well as the rights to freedom of sexual orientation is an area of law that needs to be tested and clarified because clearly there is some tension between both those communities, but it is simply unacceptable to suggest you “shackle her in chains” and “kick the lard out of her”. It is racist and it is sexist. You’re as much a bigot as you accuse her of being, the sad thing is, you don’t even realise it.

  2. Tony Fenwick 10 Jul 2008, 5:23pm

    I think William has got mad. Don’t get mad; get angry. What people believe or have faith in is their own business but it does not give them a right to discriminate in their public office or job. No one would back an official’s right to refuse to ‘marry’ a black person to their white partner on the grounds that they disagreed with mixed marriages because that would be construed as racist. Nobody would back a person’s right to ‘marry’ a Christian to a Muslim because that would be construed as religious bigotry. Ergo nobody should deny ‘marriage’ to a same sex couple because that would be homophobia. It’s equality. End of.
    Well no; there’s more. A civil partnership is not a religious ceremony so the belief or faith of the official who has to carry it out doesn’t come into it. It is denying a good or a service available to the general public to a specific minority and that is illegal under the current equalities legislation. Now it’s end of.

  3. Bigotry in the application of laws, just to appease those who break the laws. Sad..

  4. I’m sorry, but I must come to William’s defence. He was highlighting the sheer hypocrisy of this woman. The law does not need to be clarified or tested at all. Equality is a given. Ladele is a public servant, whose wages are paid for out of the public purse. That public purse is funded by taxpayers: black, white, gay, straight. That is the principle that is being forgotten here.

  5. so it’s not homophobic to refuse to provide a public service to lesbian and gay tax payers, but it is religiophobic to say that such a person is derelict in her duty as a public servant in not providing such a service

  6. The ruling in favour of Lillian Ladele misses one major point She is a marriage registrar. It is quite clear that marriages/civil partnerships held at a Registry Office are CIVIL ceremonies and NOT religious ceremonies. NO religious content is allowed into the proceedings whether through songs/hymns/readings or prayers. If you want a religious ceremony – go to the place of worship of your faith. Religion should not enter a Registry Office.

    It would be interesting if a gay or lesbian Registrar refused to marry two Christians who for example were both divorcees and not allowed to marry in the church of their faith, what the outcome of the tribunal would be then. Especially if the Registrar had the belief that marriage is till death.

    Islington Council MUST appeal.

  7. I am now going to refuse to pay tax (another law) on the basis of my conscience, according to my religion. This religion happens to be my own, and is based on myth, hearsay, dogmatic prejudice and ritual……so, fits right in then??

  8. William - Dublin 10 Jul 2008, 10:12pm

    It was not my intention to insult, but simply point out that a black person, where not too long ago were asked to sit on separate seats on a bus, would have the lack of foresight and hypocrisy to insist others do not have equality her ancestors earned for her. My point was that Ms. Ladele’s grasp on history needs a kick up the back side to remind her that only recently people were held in servitude for their skin colour. Clearly this lesson in history is lost on her. I was not being racist, simply pointing out the blatant irony of a black person denying the rights of another group under persecution, and if I offended you sista’hood, I do apologise.

    Ms. Ladele is living proof that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it.

    Thanks to Davis S also for helping me clarify this.

  9. Just a question for the christian evangelical type homophobes out there… Have you ever worn poly-cotton mix clothing? If so you’ve defied the same Bible chapter you hold in such authority over Homosexuality as a mortal sin. Leviticus also tells you it’s a sin to wear clothes of mixed fibres and advocates selling your daughter into slavery. If you think those are outdated ideas that no sane person would advocate on penalty of eternal damnation, then you are already cherry picking your morals from the Bible and only have your own bigotry to back you up on the gay thing.

  10. To follow the logic of the god freaks to conclusion , a fireman could refuse to put out your burning house because it was against his human rights as a pyromaniac who utterly believed was his right to start fires not put them out. If you want a job which is paid for by all tax payers, gay and hetro then you must do the job entirely, not pick what you will or not do because it offends your bigoted beliefs. If you cant then go work for the god freaks you so hold so dear and leave the rest of the sensible world to get on with their lives.

  11. This is a fight religion and the god freaks WILL lose. That is the real truth in this argument and truth always wins eventually, because mans condition is to seek the truth , no matter the obstacles.

  12. So this follows that Muslim workers should be forced to drink alcohol at the Christmas party? There are a million exceptions on how people work and behave at work, why cannot someone who has fundamental beliefs be accomodated? It is not like she is the only registrar in Islington, is it? By all accounts she wasn’t going around condemming civil partnerships, she just didn’t want anything to do with it.

    We are constantly going on about acceptance and tolerance, but why not be a bit reasonable and understanding? Gay rights lobbies are starting to turn into the feminists of the 70s, and risk turning people off, including gay people. Remember the slogan “Some people are gay, get over it”, well we should get over it. Stop beiong so paranoid.

  13. I believe this is strictly a matter of local services. Islington tax payers pay taxes to enable the borough registrars to provide the service they are legally bound over provide, and it has now been determined that this service is available to same sex couples. Anyone who has taken paid employment to act as a registrar is paid by Islington tax payers to deliver the service in full as legally required.
    This is the situation. There is no flexability in that context. If someone holds personally formed ideas formed by themselves alone, because of the influence of their religious practices- ie. they have choosen to form a specifc perspective where they have been free to interpret any other AND they use that to avoid undertaking the duties they specifically have been paid to carry out , then they should remove themselves from that specific paid job.

    This woman and the judge who granted in her favour have made 2 fundamental errors.
    1. The woman sees the change in law which introduces registration to same sex couples as discriminatory against herself because she see’s the threat of being asked to leave her job for not carrying out her job as discriminatory on the grounds of her religious beliefs. Her position is untennable because legally both she and the Council must not discrimate against gay people.
    The council cannot legally uphold a policy of advertising for paid registrars who disciminate against gay people. Her beliefs would make her no longer suitable for the post and this is not descriminatory against Christianity or Islam, where the post is still open to people who may belong to these religions, but not open where people choose to interpret them and manifest them in a way which descriminates against others and breaks the law.
    2. The judge has simplified & distorted the findings by considering only the issue of the right of the woman to remain in employment in Islington council, in part due to her 16 year work history there, but has not explored in depth the legal principle which needs to be established by this case, which is that you are free to hold your religious beliefs but they must be compliant with the Law.

  14. So if my religion says that I should take on slaves, beat my wife and or wives and sleep with my children the government and law should let me because my religion says so?

  15. Kamasutra Jones 11 Jul 2008, 12:54pm

    Johnny, sounds like Islam to me…

    Personally, I have no problem with a church denying marriage to a gay couple. It’s becoming a big topic over here in the States, especially California. Many churches here receive tax money for charity work, which the gay left feels requires them to perform marriages. I disagree. If a church wants to deny marriage, that is their right, just as much as a church wants to perform marriage.

    That said, this woman was working for the government. Therefore, she has no right to claim that her religion prevents her from performing her job. If that’s the case, she should be fired. Using “conscientious objector” as a defense is simply wrong. It is not analogous to Quakers facing the draft, for example.

    But, I’m wondering if maybe the employment tribunal decided this way in order to bring the issue to the floor? They may have wanted to have someone higher decide on the issue, and therefore found in such a controversial way.

  16. she is receiving exceptional protection where he colleagues found her privileged position unacceptable: she was picking and choosing. Had she demonastrated any other form of discrimination sh’d have been up on a disciplinary hearing and for retraining as a minimum. Her actions are also harrassment against LGB staff under the terms of the Regulations, in that she demeans them and their real relationships.

    It is interested how little coverage this has got in the “qualities”. Only the Telegraph reported it. Had she discriminated on grounds of race, colour, or sex, there would have been a lot to say, including in the editorials. As it is it’s just against us queers.

  17. Just heard the editor of this site on Radio 2 going head to head with an evangelical representative. The latter did herself no favours by throwing around accusations of intolerance at everyone else (for the reasonable observation that black rights were resisted 40 years ago by people of a similar mindset) while simultaneusly claiming gay marriage was analgous with polygamy as a dodgy “thin end of the wedge” arguement. Paul O Grady gave it to her straight… she’s a bigot, pure and simple and a very bad advert for Christians everywhere.

  18. I 100 % support this womans’ right to believe that gays are condemed to eternal damnation , AND that if she participates in these unions that she would be offending God.

    I also 100 % support any religious groups’ right to refuse to perform ceremonies that contradict their beliefs. No church should be forced to operate against the tennents of their beliefs.

    But this lady is NOT a church , and is NOT working for a church.
    She is working for the PUBLIC , and that means EVERYONE ! AND it means EVERYONE by rule of law. The public service cannot allow employees to pick and choose which members of the public they’ll serve based on personally held beliefs, it is simply not right.
    So this woman has to ask herself which law is it more important for her to follow ? Gods or those that govern us here ? If she honestly cannot fulfill the duties of her public office because of her beliefs, then she really has no choice but to seek other employ, and take comfort in the fact that she has done what she believes God wants.
    What she needs to understand is that most of us support her right to her beliefs , but she does NOT have the right to impose them on the rest of us ! Period.

  19. james hadley brown 11 Jul 2008, 2:25pm

    All this PC crap is destroying what integrity we have as gay people. Every person is entitled to their religious views wether right or wrong. If this was a gay person who objected there would belittle or no controversy. Thank goodness no one cracked a gay joke in the process or this would have made headlines.

  20. I just can’t understand this ruling at all. Firstly, Ms Ladele states her belief in what constitutes marriage – but she was not being asked to MARRY gay people, only to perform civil partnerships (and it’s my opinion that that term was chosen diplomatically to allow the ‘sanctity’ of marriage as being between a man and a woman only to remain); secondly, she is not working in a church, she is working in a lay position for a local council, so I don’t see where her religious beliefs fit in at all in this context. This is the start of a slippery slope where some people are more equal than others. It will stir up resentment and lead to more discrimination against ALL kinds of people. Even if you don’t feel threatened by this ruling because you’re not gay, you should – who’s next for discrimination? It’s not about ‘gay rights’ but human rights.

  21. William Dublin, you sound like the one with the hate her. The spite and vitiol flying about. How do you know what is going on in this woman’s head? And this “this is the 21st Century” slogan which gets repeated every time someone so much as farts on a black/disabled/gay/muslim/woman etc is just plain horseshit.

    We have got to kill off this PC nonsense before we all become robots, doing only what has been expressly allowed by the State. Insults? Have you ever seen a UK drag show?

  22. Martin Davies 11 Jul 2008, 5:55pm

    I am somewhat confused by this court judgement. When I worked for a borough council some 20 years ago it was a specification of our employment contract that we might be serving members of the community with whom we may not pass judgement or impose personal values upon their lifestyles etc. So why is it all of a sudden so acceptable to express prejudice as an officer of the crown in a public appointment based on religion?

  23. Robert, ex-pat Brit 11 Jul 2008, 6:13pm

    If a person’s religious beliefs are in conflict with the job they do, then find another that will accommodate your needs, though I doubt there are any unless one is employed by a religious organisation or place of worship. This woman deserves no right to be exempt from performing civil partnerships, she is paid to do it. If I owned a hotel or restaurant, could I refuse to accommodate guests whose religious beliefs were made known and which are contrary to my sexual orientation? The answer is an unequivocal NO! I’d face a fine or jail or both. Why should anyone be exempt from the law? Religion is a choice and as such should be confined to the home where it belongs, not brought to the workplace where it doesn’t. This is nothing more than caving into bigotry and homophobia disguised in religion. The decision by the Islington Council is seriously flawed.

  24. Oh, surprise, surprise! William’s original post was deleted by Tony “you have no rights here” grew! For all the criticism about Ladele, we can’t even respect the right to free speech in our own community because somebody dares to speak the truth!

    Let’s be frank about this – Ladele is black! She knows about discrimination and the comments about the historical abuse of black people in the cotton fields of the US and aparteid in South Africa. So why, for heaven’s sake, why does she think it acceptable to practice the very discrimination she presumably despises? I think William is right: she’s both a hypocrite and a stupid cow!

  25. William, I absolutely agree. We have gone from being oppressed by straights to being oppressed by self-aggrandising, smug queens who look down their noses at the rest of us. This is why I would never attend Pride because what it represents is not freedom: it represents a new elitism of the oppressed turning into the oppressor. I sometimes wonder if we have achived much at all over the past fourty years or so.

  26. Rudy Vallee 11 Jul 2008, 10:20pm

    The bible also supports slavery. Throw this black woman into shackles because her precious God wants it that way.

    Have a nice day. :)

  27. So she won a case against being discriminated and bullied at work. The evidence suggests, she probably was…. She did not actually win a case to not carry out civil partnerships…. but it’s unlikely her employer will make her do them now. Lets not get carried away with the issue here. This is not a precedent for people to stop doing Civil Partnership ceremonies. It’s a reminder that bullying in the workplace should not be tolerated – and that militant activism from either gays or christians gets no one anywhere.

  28. So….if I am a jehovah Witness Doctor, working in a hospital…and my religion does not permit blood transfusions…can i refuse to participate in blood transfusions????

    I am a lesbian parent, and have been on the receiving end of the legal process versus religious beliefs….church of england believes in heterosexual marriage with one man and woman….my ex-partner sought via legal challenge to secure parental rights to my child….the law won…on the basis of “gay rights”….our religion was discounted!!!!

    I still think throwing gay rights in peoples faces as the “law” has done in past few years is WRONG……and I am a Lesbian….this sheer bloody mindedness is turning queer and non qeer folk into a WAR…..!!!!

  29. adele winston 12 Jul 2008, 12:38pm

    Laws are passed for a reason; we have had enough of discrimination. Religion is a personal matter – some religions believe that women should wear wigs or veils or immolate themselves on their late husbands’ funeral pyres, or that men should have numerous children by very young close relatives – but civil servants should be told firmly to leave their religions outside the door.

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