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Stonewall launches guidance for employers on tension between gay and religious issues

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  1. There shouldn’t even be a conflict:

    Religion is a choice.

    Homosexuality is not.

  2. Robert, ex-pat Brit 16 Jun 2009, 6:02pm

    I could understand the reasoning behind this if a gay man or woman worked for a religious based organisation. Unless that’s the case, why would religion be allowed to play a role in any place of employment? Shouldn’t one’s religious views be confined to the home or in a place of worship where they belong? If a person’s religious beliefs interfere with their job performance then they should look elsewhere for more appropriate employment. Why should their beliefs trump everybody else’s and why should secular employers face prosecution for the sake of some religious nutjob’s beliefs?

  3. Brian Burton 16 Jun 2009, 6:53pm

    I think Stonewall is creating situations that do not exsist at all in the work place.

  4. In the ‘real’ world these situations certainly exist and they are a nightmare for employers.

    I work for an organization that provides services to a range of groups including some religious/ethnic communities with very homophobic views.

    If I was asked to deliver those services there would be a danger that the employer would be liable for any harassment I might suffer, but they also couldn’t refuse services to those communities on the basis of their religion.

    My employers know enough to avoid this conflict but there are many employers out there who clearly don’t.

  5. Monkeychops 16 Jun 2009, 9:50pm

    To be honest, it must be a nightmare for employers to have to deal with these situations. Stonewall have been quite pertinent in producing this as I doubt very much whether religious groups would knock-up such a positive, conflict-resolving tool. Although it’s not up to employers to sort out inter-minority skirmishes, unless it turns nasty. It would depend on each case what approach would be needed I guess.

    For most employment, especially office-based stuff, I doubt there are huge issues, but imagine if you had a gay man or woman working with children alongside Christians or Muslims. I smell a potential conflict there for sure. Entertainment industry and maybe even in the medical world also? Can think where there could be problems in those situations also.

  6. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 10:37am

    There does seem to be a conflict between religious fanatics and gay rights in certain workplaces. Although I fail to see how guidelines like these can help. Lilian Ladele’s religious extremism meant she refused to carry out her work duties (performing CP’s) and she was rightly fired.

    People are entitled to believe what they want but no matter what there job is they are required to perform their duties as laid out by their employer. A christian nurse presumably should not apply to work in a hospital which performa abortions. But if she does choose to work in such a hospital then her primary duty should be to carry out her job as laid out in her contract. If she refuses then it is a breach of contract and she should be fired.

  7. My partner’s firm were taking on a work placement, a headscarfed Muslim student; her college had to “vet” the office and upon discovering there was a possibility that she would be left alone with a man, withdrew the placement! (Heaven only knows what they would have done upon discovering he was “Spawn of the Devil Gay!!!)

  8. Simon Murphy 17 Jun 2009, 11:41am

    Mike – why would a muslim student’s college need to vet a workplace to see if the student would be required to work with men. Unless this was a specifically muslim college then surely the college has no requirement to pander to her religion’s sexist superstitions?

    #4: Stuart: “If I was asked to deliver those services there would be a danger that the employer would be liable for any harassment I might suffer, but they also couldn’t refuse services to those communities on the basis of their religion.”

    But surely if the services on offer are available but the people in question refuse to accept them based on your sexual orientation then your employer does not have to accommodate their bigotry?

  9. I’m quite impressed that Stonewall has taken the initiative over this issue. I note that none of the religious groups have tried anything similar. By being reasonable about this, Stonewall is forcing anti-gay religious organisations further to the extremes.

  10. Excellent work from Stonewall. Religion should never be used as an excuse for homophobia.

  11. Homosexuality is a “fact” of human life …

    Religion is a “fiction” of humans.

  12. Both doctors and nurses are legally allowed to decline from performing abortions for ethical reasons, and it is not oly religous people that opt out of abortion.

  13. Does anyone have any idea how I can get a copy of this report?? I am part of the collective in the Ontario (Canada) govt Diversity at Work group. This would be great to have for our Speakers Bureau. Im sure there will be religious questions.

  14. duh@me…the link to the report is at the very very very very bottom,,,

  15. The report is a guide for employers on dealing with the tension between gay and religious issues in the work place.
    Fortunately I have never came across any such tension,although I have worked with religious fundies and in-your-face gays respectively.
    I think that such a report would benefit from an outsiders perspective and should not really be produced by a gay activist (or a fundie either). The presentation has a lot of good points but leans toward the pink.

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