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Government defends appointment of Evangelical to equality commission

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  1. Simon Murphy 24 Sep 2008, 2:04pm

    Let the Equality and Human Rights Commission know how you feel about Joel Edwards appointment. Their email address is:

    And why not write to Harriet Harman seeing as she is the one who made the appointment. Her address is

  2. Gene Touchet 24 Sep 2008, 2:22pm

    Since the LGBT community seems to have some good level of governmental support, this might be a good time to try out that old saw: “Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.” (Or something like that!)
    It’s far more likely LGBT will be able to weaken Mr Edwards’ attitudes than the reverse.

  3. It ia most unlikely that Ms. Harman is going to be in her job much longer … therefore Mr. Edwards position is tenuous at the best.WE, the LGBT community are here to stay. So we can afford to wait :-)

  4. “The director general of the Evangelical Alliance, he has spoken of the “huge challenge for Christians” living in a liberal democracy”.

    Quite so. When you persist against all evidence in having opinions derived from a Dark Ages theocracy, you will find modernity a bit tough.

    “As well as Joel Edwards, who is a senior figure in the faith and black communities, other EHRC Commissioners include Ben Summerskill, head of Stonewall, and Kay Carberry, assistant general secretary of the TUC.”

    Quite so. But neither Ben Summerskill nor the TUC are espousing discrimination based on the colour of someones skin or their religious belief.

  5. Terry Floyd Johnson 24 Sep 2008, 10:30pm

    This is ridiculous and to say you need all voices on this group, means reasonable and not prejudice panel members, so they can act rationally to provide equality for all.

    This appointment assures that will not be so.

  6. To say that the appointment of Joel Edwards – with his a priori opposition to LGBT human rights based upon Bronze-age bigotry – to the EHRC is appropriate, and not unjust to LGBT people, makes as much sense as saying that the appointment of a member of a white supremacist group is not unjust to Black British people.

  7. I really don’t see the problem here. Presumably there are also Muslim members of the group who may well harbour ambivalent views about LGBT people (but are perhaps sensible enough not to voice them quite as frankly as Rev’d Edwards). The point is, Edwards admits that evangelical Christians have to temper their own private convictions in the interests of living in a pluralistic liberal democracy. This is a mature view, and I’m sure it’s one shared by many on the council who personally regard homosexually as aberrant or immoral.

    If we ARE to be a liberal democracy, even the illiberal must have their rights respected. We in the LGBT community, who benefit most from a culture of pluralism and tolerance, must resist the temptation to slam the door of tolerance and pluralism after we have walked through.

  8. I notice there is no BNP member appointed to the equality commission. I expect that because of their great desire for diverse opinion the Equality Commission will rectify this immediately. The point is that the Evangelical alliance and Joel Edwards do not just hold views opposing equality for gay men and Lesbians they have lobbied politically against proposed equality legislation. It is not good enough. This appointment and the constant pathetic begrudging poor attempts at defending it leaves me with no confidence that the equality commission sees equality and reducing discrimination for gay men and lesbians as valid or a priority or even equal to the demands of religious organisations to be allowed to discriminate and treat gay men and lesbians poorly or differently.

  9. Simon Murphy 25 Sep 2008, 10:46am

    Regardless of whether JOel Edwards’ position is tenuousn or not his appointment is the equivalent of appointing a BNP member to the Equality Commission. Joel Edwards is a bigot and and such his appointment makes a huge joke of the Equality Commission. With a homophobe on their commission the Equalty & HUman Rights Commission has been massively delegitimised.

  10. Krister karttunen 25 Sep 2008, 10:49am

    Now, if I started lobbying that any christians and especially evangelicals should be banned from the army and goverment office, that they should be given some special threrapy to change, that marriages in a church should not be recognized,

    if I started a campaign that chirstians are a menace to the society, morally suspect and generally just bad persons who should be shunned by the society,

    now would I qualify for a defender of human rights?

  11. As Joel Edwards is a ‘person of colour’ to put it politically correct, I wonder what kind of reactions there would have been if, along with Mr. Edwards, a down-right racist had been elected, who’s idea of progress was the re-introduction of slavery.

  12. Merseymike 30 Sep 2008, 4:57pm

    Whilst I have no truck for the views of edwards, I tend to think that the role of the Commission, which is to deliver the law not work to change it, may actually make his role more difficult not less.

    However, I think it best that commissioners do not have such a high profile against one aspect of equality. Having said that, I do think that religious extremists and bigots should be challenged – and gene Touchet’s point is well made

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