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Equality commission wants more ‘compromise’ on gay rights vs religious beliefs

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  1. I disagree that Christians are being discriminated against. Yes, it is daft telling people they can’t wear a cross or other religious symbol in a work-place. But it is entirely proper that Lilian Ladele was sacked for not being prepared to carry out civil partnership ceremonies. Register offices are a secular place and religious expression is not allowed in the ceremonies, so why should it be allowed for registrars?

    Homophobia is not a core part of Christianity or any other religion. Liberal Christians have been pointing this out for some decades now, and have demonstrated that the Bible passages that are alleged to be anti-LGBT are not referring to loving and committed same-sex relationships. So there is no excuse for Christians (or people of any other faith) to be homophobic – and they should not be allowed to promote their homophobic views in public, or be allowed to impede the fair and equal provision of public services.

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 11:40am

      I totally agree.

      These people are completely forgetting that CPs are not (as yet) religious ceremonies nor taken place in a religious place so it was quite right that Lillian Ladele and the like was sacked as she/they broke the law.

    2. Another Hannah 12 Jul 2011, 6:15pm

      Yet another deceit really isn’t it. If a civil partnership isn’t the same as a marriage, then what defense can there be on the grounds of christianity? Christianity does not ANYWHERE forbid civil partnerships for Gays!!!!

    3. “Religious believers are protected from discrimination – even though their beliefs are not.

      “Human rights are for human beings not for beliefs or ideas,” (Terry Sanderson of NSS)


    4. ‘liberal christians’ is a contradiction in terms, christians are people who follow the bible, which despite what the said liberals may say, condems homosexuality. ‘you shall not lie with a man as with a women’, never does it say unless you are in a commited relationship or whatever. I don’t see why promoters of the gay agenda can force their views on schoochildren and people of other views not be able to do the same. I will bring up my own children to do what the bible says, love your neighbour BUT not support sin. So believe homsexuality is wrong and so disagree with gay marriage, adoption or IVF but not hate or mistreat gay people because that would be judging.

      I love how non-christians think they know our religion better than we do. If you want to know what the bible teaches on homosexuality read it yourself. otherwise don’t somehow claim to have knowledge of what it teaches.

      1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:26am

        I grow up in a strict Christian household and believe me I’ve heard it all before.

        Fact is people interpret the Bible in different ways.

        Some take what they see and life accordingly without discriminating but too many choose what they want to belief whilst actually living anything but the Bible.

        They use phrases to exempt them from their hateful, bigotted views. Why get the blame when you can just blame God.

        Truth is I was taught Christianity but I, to coin a phrase, saw the light and Choose to step away from it because it is nothing more than inflated ego’d men dictating their will on others, to stop others from thinking for themselves and being themselves.

        I’ve suffered abuse from both Christians and Muslims and you know what I think really gets them isn’t actually me being Gay, which they can display their vile homophobia to but what they fear most, Freedom to choose.

        1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:30am

          They resent seeing someone completely Free, happy in their own life without having to follow what the way of life.

          It’s pure fear of being Free to be happy and life their own forfilled lives.

          You bang on about people not knowing but the endless bible readings, Sunday schools beg to differ.

          I am a non Christian, non religious person through choice and you know what it was the best thing I ever did because I know I have peace and happiness in my heart.

          And you don’t need religion to feel that.

      2. @ James: if you’re focusing on the Old Testament, can you please tell us what the Bible says about marriage? If you’re arguing that marriage can only be between one man and one woman, I think you’ll find quite a lot of evidence to the contrary in the book you esteem so highly. why the double standard?

        1. Jock S. Trap 16 Jul 2011, 9:24am

          Here! Here! Rehan.

  2. So they’re choosing to put the rights of people who believe in a possibly non-existent being in the sky over the rights of people who ACTUALLY NEED PROTECTING? This is the biggest farce I have seen in these recent months. Let’s just hope we don’t go the way of America and start trying to put religion into government law.

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 11:41am

      Yep the rights of people’s lifestyle choice and bigotry over how people are born.

      1. Some people are born into the christian faith and have no choice until they get older.
        Christophobe bigot.

        1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 8:52am

          Thats right they are taught it and forced it but not born it.

          To be forced to be religion is nothing more than child abuse and should be viewed as such

          Religion should be a choice for all when they are able to decide for themselves.

          However I was born Gay, I had no choice, this is who I am and it doesn’t give people the right to debate if I should be worthy of being treated like a human being or not.

          The Religious agenda makes a mockery of humanity.

          1. I would say the gay agenda does. why should one LIFESTYLE CHOICE be more important than the other, gays choose to sleep with people of the same sex (as straight people choose to sleep with people of the opposite sex). yeah they can’t help the attractions but I certainly don’t believe that people are born into a certain way of thinking. Its just a convienent lie made up by the militant gays to justify their stance.

          2. here again jockstrap, you show your bigotry against religion and calling it child abuse. Yet you demand that little kids hear about sex and sexual positions, just to let you know here in the US it is against the law to approach a minor sexually. You will be arrested.

          3. Yeah, well, you slipped through their sex offenders net, didn’t you Pepa? Or are you writing your insane blog from a sexual offenders prison. If not yet, I’m sure soon.

          4. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:38am

            You can put lifestyle choose in capitals all you want it still doesn’t make it right.

            Why is it only religious nut jobs know about a ‘Gay agenda’?

            Or rather than an agenda it is more their assumptions? I think so.

            Your right on one thing though, I don’t believe for a minute people are born a certain way of thinking.
            Thats a ridiculous comment to be honest.

            How can you be born a ‘certain way of thinking’?

            We are born and this is who we are, we don’t ask for any of it because it’s the natural way to be.

            It’s just a shame you, herby, choose to spend so much time questioning life instead of enjoying it but then isn’t that the real problem?

          5. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:39am

            pepa – another libellous comment clearly because nobody is agreeing with you.

            How pathetic.

            Seek help you child sex obsessive person.

        2. No-one is born into a faith.

  3. Religious conscience is more often than not simply code for anti-gay prejudice.

    1. Not always.
      However, often it is used (and abused) in that way

      1. I did say “more often”, I didn’t say “always”.

        Apart from those demanding privilege to wear crosses against work place dress codes or ideologically opposed to women’s free reproduction choice most of the other recent litigants referred to in the article have been using the claim of religious conscience to freely manifest their anti-gay prejudice.

        1. Yeah Pavlos, I know you didn’t say always – I wasnt meaning to come across as confrontational – in fact I was agreeing with you.
          The cross with work place dress code is a bit of an odd one as I can definitely see the argument for three reasons i) other religions are often allowed signed of their religion eg turbans, skull caps etc – for some the meaning of the cross will be equal to the meaning of the symbols of other faiths ii) most uniform organisations allow charity badges, union badges, rainbow badges, red ribbons etc to be worn eg RCN badge on nurses uniform and iii) provided it does not cause a safety issue or is indiscrete then I see no problem.
          The most popular stories in the gay press have indeed been anti gay experiences which rightly the courts have upheld. There have been other cases though not reported in the gay press.
          I think we need to vehemently fight to ensure LGBT rights are progressed and not diluted but recognise that there are some rights that do not impact us.

          1. Look some professions don’t allow jewellary, some people don’t like a cross slopping in their coffee when it’s being served to you on a plane.You don’t wear rings etc as doctors or nurses, it’s a rule! It not necesariyl becuase you’re anti- religious you can’t wear the cross. its hygiene, uniform etfc. You wouldn’t expect a soldier to have his cross waving around as he’s charging to battle would you. It perfectly reasonably for an employer to say no jewellary which is what a cross around the neck is.

          2. Contrary to the way it’s been presented in the media, Nadia Eweida wasn’t stopped from wearing a cross; it was simply that she insisted she have it on display that caused the fuss as it was a health and safety risk. BA tried to accommodate her by allowing her to wear a crucifix broach, but this wasn’t sufficient for her. Incidentally, she was also guilty of harassing her gay colleagues and telling them they would go to hell if they didn’t ‘repent’ from their ‘deviant lifestyles’; so it’s not nearly as cut and dried as the right wing press likes to make out.

          3. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 12:04pm

            Actually why do people have to wear symbols of religion at all?

            If they truely believed they surely should need to prove to others.

          4. Of course, Christians are not obliged to wear religious symbols. Unfortunately, other religions do require their adherents wear turbans/bangles/daggers/burkas and other articles of faith. So the Christians are wont to feel discriminated against for not being allowed to advertise their beliefs and proselytise themselves. The arrival of fundamentalist Muslims (and their accompanying bullying and threatening behaviour) has also had the same effect of making Christians believe they should behave the same way.

          5. I did say where there wasn’t a pressing reason why they shouldnt wear them – eg health and safety, and those arguments would need to be on their own merits.
            Working in the ambulance service people constantly wear wedding rings, badges (eg red ribbon, union badges, rainbow badges, charity badges, crosses etc) – Its not a health risk if dealt with properly.
            Jock asks why should they wear some that symbolises their faith – I ask provided it doesnt cause problems of a health and safety nature – why shouldnt they? In the same way why shouldnt someone wear a rainbow badge or red ribbon.
            I sometimes feel this is our knee jerk reaction to an attack on our rights to feel that someone elses need to be withdrawn. Fight for our rights, and support our rights being enhanced – but why make people not wear crosses or turbans unnecessarily.

          6. The nature and purpose of ‘uniform’ is entirely antithetical to individual expression. I don’t think wedding rings are a fair example, but if I’m being provided a service by a paramedic, or a counsellor, or anything, it’s important to me that they are representing their profession in a professional, non-partisan way, not a political or religious cause. I wouldn’t expect the right to wear a rainbow flag at work, nor should I.

          7. @Flamineo
            These cases are never as cut and dried as they appear in either side of the press. The bullying of gay staff is a separate issue to the desire (whether reasonable or not) to wear a cross and should have been dealt with by BA in terms of a bullying/harassment disciplinary. If BA were as reasonable as you suggest (which I suspect they probably were) then it is for BA to make that plain in their communications.
            You (and I) may not feel the need to wear a rainbow on uniform at work, although many in various health and other professions do. This does not mean they are about to try and chat up the client, patient, customer or whatever – nor does wearing a cross mean they are going to behave in a manner to try and proselytize. Its the actions of being intolerant that is wrong not the rainbow flag or the cross.

          8. Ok, let me turn the question around: why, as a public service provider, would you deem it necessary to show the world your personal political or religious affiliations? Once upon a time discussing these matters in public was a taboo. Now it’s seen as a god-given right.

          9. @Flamineo

            I can only answer that question for myself. The only time I have ever worn anything that could be contended to be “political” was a rainbow badge on my uniform when I was representing the ambulance service at pride (manning out stall).

            As for other times, I personally wouldnt feel the need.

            Others clearly do, and I have no problem with them doing that – having been treated by a doctor with a turban, had my battery replaced by an AA man with a crucifix and been shown to a table by a maitre’d wearing a Conservative lapel badge – none of these caused me any concerns and I had no discussion of them. What is the problem, I ask again?

          10. A maitre d’ wearing a Conservative badge on his lapel? I’m guessing this wasn’t a high profile restaurant because, to me, that is inappopriate. It is a person’s job to provide a service, not advertise their personal beliefs, and it is not unreasonable for an employer to minimise controversy between colleagues and their customers. Do you really want to work in an environment where people wear badges to show their support/contempt for Israel/gay rights/fascism? What kind of an atmosphere do you imagine that will create? not one of ‘tolerance’, I can assure you.

          11. @Flamineo

            It was a very reputable restaurant near St James Park.
            I see what you’re saying, but its not the wearing of the badge that would concern me, but if they provoked a conversation about it.
            Then how do we decide what is appropriate and what is not – charity bands? (ok not in some restaurants I accept), designer spectacles, labelled shorts to go with the uniform jacket and tie ….

          12. correction shirts

          13. Actually why do people have to wear symbols of religion at all?

            If they truely believed they surely should need to prove to others.

            Actually why do gay people have to wear the rainbow colors at all?
            If they truly believed in their sexuality they surely should need to prove it to others,

            You see how asinine and bigoted your comment sounds like when I throw it back at you?
            You are nothing but an anti-religious christophobe and a h8er (to YOUR same expressions)..

          14. I know rather a lot of gay people, and not one of them feels they have to wear ‘the rainbow colours’ to prove anything.

          15. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 8:57am

            I don’t know many from the LGBTQ community who wear rainbow colours, pepa.

            In fact I have never seen anyone wear rainbow colours.

            Is this your ‘friends’ again? they sounds weird guy!

            Unlike religious nut-jobs most Gay people, Lesbians don’t have to label themselves to be accepted, it’s you lot that do that for us.

            But by doing do puts into question your own motives.

          16. The only time I have worn rainbow colours was at pride

            Others may choose to and that is a matter for them

            Pepa you try and sound reasonable but you sound bizarre

          17. @ Smelly jockstrap,
            I don’t know many from the LGBTQ community who wear rainbow colours, pepa.
            Smelly jockstrap I would like for your to meet Stu:
            The only time I have worn rainbow colours was at pride
            Maybe jockstraps only come in white then.

          18. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:42am


            Yet again you prove you know nothing about the LGBTQ community and it’s clear you base your rantings purely on assumptions.

            Give up, you’ll never get it.

            btw pepa, you are aware that LGBTQI people are human beings too, yeah?

          19. @Pepa

            If your attempt to try and justify your bizarre and groundless arguments is to try and pit Jock and me against each other on the issue of whether we have seen people from the LGBTQI communities wearing rainbow colours or not is bizarre. It makes you even more of a laughing stock than I already considered you to be. I have not seen anyone wearing rainbow colours consistently (although there may be some I havent met!) and I presume Jock has seen rainbow colours at pride – but not in the office etc ….You clearly have no conceptualisation of reality

          20. Paddyswurds 26 Jul 2011, 1:33pm

            ..a cross cannot be compared with turbans or kippahs.The Kippah and Turban are a requirement of their respective religion and must be worn, however the cross is not and is entirely optional, even for priests.

        2. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 10:23am


          I’m guess that a subject too far for pepa to grasp.

    2. “Gay equality” is more often than not simply code for anti-christian prejudice.

      1. pepa your comments are always so slack, stupid, good for a chuckle.
        How do you manufacture all that faux anger?

        1. Anger?
          In this is coming from the peanut gallery that goes bonkers and starts to throw feces all over the walls when I speak my point of view…
          LOL… And I’m the one with faux anger?
          I thought gay activists were told that anger was good for you… lol…
          Hence why I don’t take them or you seriously.

          1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:43am

            pepa, do us all a favour, get an education coz your just looking like a laughing stock more and more.

          2. You thought …. really? really? Never seen any evidence of that …

          3. Np problem, pepa. Sadly we don’t take YOu seriously either. Not because of your point of view, but because you insist you know our own opinions and circumstances better than us ourselves; because you represent falsehoods as facts (eg that the Queen makes the UK laws, as just one example); and because you make vile insinuations about decent posters here.
            I feel sorry for you actually. I have no idea what disappointments you’ve suffered to make you behave in such a way.

      2. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 9:09am

        Actually ‘Gay equality’ only tends to be used by Christian nutjobs to prove some warped theory that we want more rights not Equal rights.

        It is a typical ploy by nutjobs to divert away from the issue that the LGBTQ community are human beings too who pay just as important part in society and pay taxes just like everyone else, therefore deserve to be treated Equally just like any straight person.

        1. And that’s problem jockey boy, you don’t learn from your mistakes, you simply repeat them. That is why is damn hard to even pass a piss ant anti-discrimination law… because you are not honest. The fact is that you use equality but don’t want it to apply to others like those who are now DEMANDING just like YOU that their views and way of life be accommodated. And most anti-gays see right through your hypocrisy hence making it harder to sympathize with gays.
          I DON’T believe in equality at all. There some things that are NOT equal and should be discriminated against. Under the ill logic of equality one is not allowed to discriminate against homophobes and that is what this stupid commission is telling you. They are using the SAME arguments against YOU and your equality brown shirts.

          1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:46am

            Wow, you really do know nothing about the LGBTQI community do you?

            Such ignorant ramblings and yet, actually nothng to say.

      3. Gay equality is about gay equality

        There are gay Christians and non Christian gay people who recognise the right of anyone to have beliefs different to themselves.

        Being pro LGBT does not mean being anti anything else

        There will be some gay people who are vehemently anti Christian, equally there are some Christians who are vehemently anti gay – there are many in the middle in both groups who are accepting of each other and some confused people who condemn both (and profess to be both)

        1. Being pro-gay is being anti-equality.
          Because that means that in order for gay people to be accepted some thing’s gotta give. People will have to let go of old fashioned ideas and beliefs, that is not something equality is about. Equality is treating everybody the same, REGARDLESS of anything they do or say or are. This is a dangerous path to take, as others would take this argument and apply it to their own sick and twisted causes (pedophilia polygamy).
          I am pro-gay and anti-equality. That simple.

        2. I’m playing your very own arguments against you to SHOW you how really flawed and interchangeable they are.

          1. Yeah, its all of us who are obsessed with “paedophilia polygamy)”.

            You are a risk to children, you’re obsession is disturbing and sickening.

          2. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:48am

            “I’m playing your very own arguments against you”

            Wow, I was wrong you know so much more than anybody in the LGBTQI community, pepa! (sneers)

            Childish much?

            What a creep.

          3. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:50am

            I take it you only get a short way down the page coz the drugs kick in…

          4. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:51am

            Well if sedation is the best way of keeping your obsession with children at bay.

            Personally I think you should be locked up never to be released….Pervert!

        3. @Pepa

          You are being infantile – I am not playing a game – you might be, but I am serious about equality.

          I don’t try and belittle gay people by comparing them to paedophiles or polygamists – thats your game ….

          I rest my case

          1. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 10:25am

            It’s ok I’m guessing his sedation has probably kicked in by now.

  4. Keith Lynwood 12 Jul 2011, 10:54am

    Be prepared to start seeing the signs in the windows of Bed and Breakfast venues soon. “NO HOMOS” It started with Chris Grayling and the likes of Phillipa Stroud, who both now work for deeply religious IDS. NO COINCIDENCE

    1. At least homophobes would be honest about that.
      Others who don’t want to do business with them could carry on to another venue that is pro-gay.
      Tit for tat.
      If they are allowed not to have gays in B&B’s then same can go for gay B&B’s who would have the freedom not to allow homophobes or people of certain faiths. This is okay unless some of you want to appear hypocritical being that most of you support this notion of “tolerance” and “equality.”
      You just need to accept that there are certain things we cannot tolerate, and certain things are not equal to each other. It’s that simple.

      1. No, Christian hoimoiphobes are not honest they claim “religious conscience” when they want to homophobically discriminate.

        1. Excuse typo “hoimoiphobes”
          I meant “homophobes”

        2. I mean they are honest about their disdain about homosexuality, especially when they refuse to provide service to gay people, just like your disdain against christianity, you want christians to do something for you (accommodate you), while refusing them the same in return (accommodate their religious beliefs).

          1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 9:13am

            No they are not.

            They hide behind their religious texts to justify and accuse all else of it.

            These people are far from geninue when the same people use those same religious texts to justify the killings, wars etc.

            Their interests are not about human beings, they about getting all they can for themselves and justifying it by saying their Bible, for example, told them they can.

  5. “The intervention follows a report for the commission which found that many people do not understand their rights around religion or belief. …”…intervention from who? and what report?…How are they going to define the term “interpret the law more broadly “? How religious do you have to be to refuse a service or disagree with company rules? And has the Govt reponded to this Europea court case yet or was it waiting for this announcement as any excuse to alter the equality act in a dramatic way? This whole thing stinks!

  6. I guess my first comment wasn’t added due to sweariness. This makes me so angry. And the irony of a black woman wanting to deprive people of a service based on some unchangeable characteristic of theirs is just too much to bear. What if someone were a member of the Aryan Church of Christ and wanted to withhold services from black people because of their faith – would the EHRC want to “accommodate” that?

    1. This has nothing to do with the colour of her skin this is about religion and nothing else

      1. And the irony is that 60 years ago, people wanted the right to refuse to rent to people like Ladele because of the colour of her skin. That she can’t see the continuum of prejudice from their racism to her homophobia is what I find highly ironic.

      2. Certain religions have been known to discriminate based on the colour of skin and I wonder if it’s only gay people that can be discriminated against or if this will move on to racial or even sexist matters??

        1. Exactly – the floodgates will be open to all sorts of vexatious action

  7. John Wadham legal director of the EHRC said,
    “The idea of making reasonable adjustments to accommodate a person’s needs has served disability discrimination law well for decades. It seems reasonable that a similar concept could be adopted to allow someone to manifest their religious beliefs.”

    Is John Wadham’s comment a vindication of the view that religious belief as a disability?

    1. Correction:
      Is John Wadham’s comment a vindication of the view that religious belief is a disability?

      1. Dr Robin Guthrie 12 Jul 2011, 11:13am

        In my mind it is.

        A severe mental disability.

    2. Actually this aspect of it is most worrying. What he’s saying is that every individual who claims to be religious should have their own specific religious needs met. It doesn’t matter what their church teaches, the individual can simply say that something is against their religion and therefore employers should accommodate them. Frightening.

      1. It is very worrying marjangles.

  8. This is an absolute disgrace. It would appear that they are not doing this out of any real principle but rather to address the fact that they are seen as anti-religion and to protect their budget which has come under threat. Perhaps they can address the hypocrasy of people like Ladele who has no trouble registering civil marriages contrary to her religion or MacFarlane who works with unmarried couples without any trouble. These people are not being discriminated against, they are being told to do their jobs.
    Perhaps the EHRC can explain what should happen when a doctor decides he won’t treat a gay patient or a fire crew won’t attend a gay couple’s residence. And then perhaps they can explain why anyone in the gay community should ever again trust the EHRC to look after our interests when they are so eager to throw us under the bus.

    1. Thanks- you hit the nail on the head!

  9. So a modicum of common sense does prevail at the Equality and Human Rights Commission? Hallelujah and Praise the Lord! Hopefully it will put an end to the ugly gloating of a near fascistic element of our community over the glaring injustices that equality law have inflicted upon those entitled in a still free society to exercise their religious beliefs and principles. Of course a fair balance needs to be struck to ensure equality for gay people, but the same yardstick must apply to the freedoms of all regardless of what they practice, Recent rulings have sought to demonise Christians every bit as vilely and loathesomely as we were ourselves demonised until quite recently. If we cannot empower ourselves to use intellectual debate and reasoning to win our arguments instead of running to the courts to moan about every perceived discriminatory action or remark against us, then we will forever play the eternal put upon victim that needs the state to act for us.

    1. Rights are not up for negotiation on the basis of someone’s personal beliefs, end of story. Christians are still free to practice their religion but when providing a public service – in Ladele’s case, paid for by the public which includes gay people – then they are not entitled to use their beliefs to deprive certain people of that service. That is perfectly reasonable and right, there is nothing “fascistic” about it.

    2. I’m sorry, perhaps you can explain at what point any of these people were prevented from exercising their religious beliefs. Can you point me to a religion which says that people are entitled to discriminate against gay people? They were simply being told that when they come to work they leave their personal lives, including their religion, at home and act in a professional manner, which apparently they were incapable of doing. Human Rights law actually places a restriction on freedom of religion which says that you are entitled to practice any religious belief up to the point that it would cause harm to another. And where exactly are these debates taking place that you seem to think we can win? Perhaps you can give me the time and place of the next one?

    3. “If we cannot empower ourselves to use intellectual debate and reasoning to win our arguments”

      And this coming from you, the bastion of castigating oneself to appease the “fire and brimstone” types. You clearly need to educate yourself (this is no surprise), there is a clear separation between the right to “exercise their religious beliefs and principles” to the right to impose them on, and above, the well-being and human rights of another. You statement is as perverse as your twisted view on gay people.

    4. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 12:11pm

      LGBT are human beings too you know and as such are equality entitled in a ‘still free society’ to be themselves without fear of discrimination.

      Christian’s Choose to be bigots, however I did not choose to be a Gay man and I do not choose to listen to their hatred, Yet I have to listen to rulings that keep telling me that who I am is up for constant debate.

      I am alive, I am a human being, I have the right to be treated equally Without prejudice.

      If by some chance this ruling results in yet again our community people treated unequal then I think we should protest to make sure our part of the taxes paid is reflected in that!

    5. The judgments of the recent court rulings that they are complaining about are still available to read. I suggest you cast an eye over them before you make such a ridiculous statement. “Sought to demonise Christians”? I think you’ll find that the rulings actually have a gentle, “sorry but you’re wrong” tone to them. Intellectual debate is what happens in courts, and then a reasoned answer comes out. That’s what’s happened, and the judgments all carry the same message – religious belief is not a justifiable reason to depart from equality legislation in this day and age. End of story. It’s a disgrace that an Equality Commission would attempt to curb the effects of equality legislation in order to pander to those who most keenly feel the edge of it – i.e. those who believe it is their right to discriminate against others in the provision of public services.

    6. Oh, look, another oh-so-clever Samuel B comment regarding how we should let everyone walk over us, because gays dare to show themselves in public. You are one fcuked up simian. And you you still keep coming back to a gay site. How informative that is.

    7. “Recent rulings have sought to demonise Christians every bit as vilely and loathesomely as we were ourselves demonised until quite recently.”
      An overstatement, I think. I haven’t heard of any practising Christians being given prison sentences recently, for example; nor have I heard of anyone refusing to perform a civil marriage ceremony for people who’re Christians.

  10. The law has spoken loud and clear. Only Parliament can make adjustments and/or amendment.

    1. But the British law has been taken to Europe and Parliament has been asked to respond to Europe and the intervention by the equalities commission now makes more difficult to respond in any other which is contrary to their advice. Has the govt responded?, has the rest of Europ? who has asked the commission to intervene , the govt? – 5th June

      “European judges have ordered ministers to make a formal statement on whether it believes Christians’ rights have been infringed by previous decisions in the British courts, which have repeatedly dismissed their right to dress and act according to their beliefs…”

      1. You see, this is the problem – the UK government actually thinks we have to take these judges seriously. In France and Germany, I believe their opinions are noted and then the govt does what the hell it wants anyway.

        1. de Villiers 12 Jul 2011, 4:37pm

          Not quite. France follows decisions just like the UK.

  11. In a small number of cases I think the EHRC may have a point that deserves consideration e.g. the BA Cabin crew member who was not allowed to wear a cross. I think small discrete personal items of jewellery should be permitted where there is no justifiable safety or other reason to prohibit them eg prison officer due to safety reasons eg risk of strangulation etc.
    I dont think this then gives those employees who do wear such jewellery a right to promote their belief (unless asked by a colleague out of work time in a genuine conversation).
    I do think that there is a very difficult issue for the EHRC to grapple with – as they need to address some competing rights, but nonetheless failing to ensure equality for LGBT people in favour of other equality (of whatever sort) is wrong. I think the word used by the EHRC today (compromise) is mistaken because is makes me perceive a dilution of LGBT rights.

    1. The issue with the BA staff member wearing a cross is that it is not required of christians to wear one. If she could have proven that the wearing of a cross is a key tenant of christianity, she would have won her case. It isn’t, it is personal choice/interpretation. Which is exactly the same issue as the right to refuse GLBTQ people goods and services – unless it is a key/core part of christian belief, they cannot successfully argue an entitlement to discriminate.

      1. But this is what the EHRC is saying, that individual choice and interpretation should be taken into account. Every person that claims to be religious should have their own interpretation of that religion accommodated. It’s chilling stuff.

      2. @Valksy

        I do agree with you that the “essential” faith based nature of wearing of the cross in terms of the BA member of staff meant that this was a personal interpretation. I also accept that in terms of providing services etc some disingenuous people could argue that eg not providing services to gay men at a hotel would be a personal interpretation too and thus be subject to personal choice on compliance with the equalities act. I personally think that what matters in areas where personal interpretation can vary is the impact of that variation. So, if I am on a BA flight, it has virtually no impact on me what the interpretation of an individual cabin crew member regarding their wearing of a piece of jewellry. However, if I go to a boutique B&B which refuses me to stay with my boyfriends – that impacts on me due to the planning I had made and the prejudice and inequity I experience.

  12. FIGHTFOROURRIGHTS 12 Jul 2011, 11:08am

    This is perhaps the wake up call the gay community needs. For so long I have read on here comments about harping on about the past, we have our rights now so move on . The tories are gay friendly. Well this will be a lesson that we all needed. The EHRC was looked into by this tories govenment , and hey presto this happens. You see a leopard never has and never will change its spots. And now the gay community will get the kick up the backside it needs and start to relook at our rights and how fragile they are. Having a semi and a volvo and a black lab , and the fact that your neighbours “except” you , does not mean we are now equal. This could lead back to times when you are looking for medical help and we are refused. Because this is the thin end of the wedge.

  13. And so it begins…….

  14. This is absurd. This is not about ‘balancing’ the rights of people of faith and LGBT people. Instead, the EHRC is arguing that religious doctrine should trump the civil law. That would unravel secular democracy and will never get past the courts.
    Employers can make reasonable adjustments to accommodate religious belief, such as on religiously mandated clothing, dietary requirements and religious observance.
    But the latest decision on the Ladele case went into great detail on the legal limits on the manifestation of religious belief. Employers cannot accommodate behaviour which harms others. Discrimination harms the person being discriminated against and harms society. That is why it is illegal, and will continue to be illegal.
    The EHRC is trying to invent a right here which does not exist – the right to behave as you see fit, regardless of the law, because you believe that is what your religious tradition asks you to do. This will happen over most lawyers’ dead bodies.

    1. Certainly over mine. I absolutely agree.

    2. And over this lawyer’s dead body!

      1. Think I’ve had a little too much Chilean Cabernet tonight – just had to re-read your comment 4 times because I was convinced it said

        And over this dead lawyers body!

  15. Religion has no conscience period! from faith to faith there is prejudice hatred and barbarism. Between believers and non believers there is intolerance. Towards the LGBT communities there is vile hatred intolerance and extreme bigotry. Even within families “Prayers for Bobby” as one example. When people take oaths they don’t swear to exclusions, but “are” expected to follow codes of ethics regardless of race color or creed. If you are religious there is still Karma and what goes around comes around. If the job description is not to your liking don’t enter the profession.

  16. This was inevitable following the merger of certain ‘equality’ interests into one. The religious ‘right’ are now making their move (like they have done in the USA) and it bodes very badly for LGBT people. Let’s hope that the European dimension trumps this now discredited Equality and Human Rights Commission.

  17. I totally agree with Yewtree. I don’t care what people wear, be it a cross, a star of David, whatever, but when it comes to someone who works for and is paid by tax payers to perform a service, then I draw the line at protecting those with religious beliefs. Let them work for a religious organisation instead.

    Once the government starts chipping away at rights already won, it makes one wonder if we’re heading down that slippery slope that we’re seeing in America, religion interfering in politics and civil rights. The Tories had better pay very close attention or pay the price in 2015.

  18. Ooer missus 12 Jul 2011, 11:21am

    See this press release by the Evangelical Alliance, who are taking credit for the u turn.
    “Coming just days after the Evangelical Alliance met with senior executives at the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) it has been announced that the EHRC will now intervene on behalf of four cases involving discrimination against Christians in the workplace at the European Court of Human Rights. The meeting followed the Alliance’s public criticism of the Commission’s failure to support Christians in a statement on 20 June.”

    Link to follow.

    1. Rashid Karapiet 12 Jul 2011, 6:49pm

      The plain fact is that as secular society has developed a more rational approach to homosexuality, those unable or unwilling to accept this have been using religion to excuse their bigotry. That the EHRC should have allowed itself to be bullied into this so-called ‘compromise’ is very worrying. It’s not only the Evangelical Alliance which will be celebrating: think of all those dead-eyed Muslim fanatics waiting to express their frustrations against gay men and women. It’s surprising, though not unexpected, that the Ev. Al. cannot see that refusing to fulfil one’s employment obligations on religious grounds is a very dangerous slippery slope. As an ex-director of Liberty, John Wadham should hang his head in shame or, better still, resign.

  19. People who CHOOSE to interpret Christianity in such an intolerant fashion are simply bigots. For the equality commission to attempt any accommodation of such attitudes is a hypocritical disgrace.

  20. Mumbo Jumbo 12 Jul 2011, 11:27am

    It’s been said before but you can never state the bleedin’ obvious often enough:

    Human rights are for humans, not beliefs and ideas.

    1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2011, 7:42pm

      But one’s rights are based on current beliefs.Fifty years ago we would have been locked up for what we do. Nowadays the majority of people think otherwise, so rights have changed.

      1. There is an element of cultural change and acceptance of what is a right or responsibility and perceptions have changed.
        Rights are intrinsically linked to ones belief system in terms of the perception of them.
        There is some clear obvious common ground that every human being should be treated with equity and fairness regardless of difference.
        Rights carry responsibilities. So whilst there are rights in relation to belief – that carries a responsibility not to damage other humans rights.
        Arguably, belief based rights whilst clear in international law should not necessarily have the same level of parity with rights based on factors on which we have no control eg race, gender, orientation, age, disability etc.

  21. Since when is allowing discrimination, a “compromise”? You either tolerate and superstition based irrational prejudice, or you don’t. The notion of “compromise” here gives the impression that discrimination, “because god says so”, warrants equal merit to allowing citizens to live without undue persecution or discrimination.

    1. Mumbo Jumbo 12 Jul 2011, 11:35am

      Indeed. If we give mere belief the same or greater status than inimical human qualities then by the same “logic” there would have to be “compromise” in respect of the rights of racists v the rights of people of colour.

  22. Wonder how much they’re being paid…

  23. Ooer missus 12 Jul 2011, 11:33am

    As well as the points made in this column regarding the impact in the UK, you have to consider, as Alf pointed out, the impact in other, more religious countries in Europe, where denial of service to gay people could be widespread.

    While I’m not that worried about religious symbols, might this not be extended to political belief and symbols in the future? The logical extension would be extremist groups demanding the right to wear a swastika to the workplace.

  24. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 11:35am

    So in order for Christians to get what they want they have to discriminate but unlike the rest of us are given applause and permission for doing so.

    It’ll be religion that dismantles the Equality Bill, no-one else.

    A fairer society surely should be that, that treats all the same not some better than others.

    We pay taxes like all others so we should get treated like all others.

    Hey, here’s a compromise… Religious people should stop using their religious lifestyle to penalise how people are born.

    In return… erm, well we get a better society.

  25. Pink News: The commission, which has been accused of bias against faith, hopes to intervene in a number of cases in which Christian workers were sacked or disciplined for refusing to provide services to gay people.

    This reads more like a story in the Daily Mail.

  26. Human rights to protect an immutable characteristic versus the deliberate decision to believe in a sky daddy who may or may not be a hateful bigot, depending on whose interpretation we listen to this week. Who should get the protection of the law? Hmmm….. Anyone else feel a sudden urge to start a “religion”, include the most hokey and nonsensical gibberish imaginable and then demand the protection of the law? If the law protects ONE religion, it must protect them all with equal vigour or face a fresh charge of discrimination.

    1. You only need 500 people to be counted as an official religion I may actually start one.

      1. Be interesting to see what your creed and belief system would be

      2. Are you serious? Well, if I ever move to the UK I’ll be sure to start up the Church of Gaga lol

  27. Paddyswurds 12 Jul 2011, 11:38am

    ……..Well, Well. Anyone wants to go back to posts i made during the run up to the General Election, they will find i said that election of the Law and Justice Tories would be the beginning of the end of our rights and that the Xtians would eventually run rough shod over us once the homophobic Tories got power. It didn’t take long for my prophecy to come to pass. This is just the beginning and must be fought tooth and nail if the Xtian Taliban isn’t to take over the country as they are doing in the USA.

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 2:34pm

      Only the EHRC is separate from the government so to blame the Tories for this seems a tad premature and reckless to say the least but hey at least you can make your scaremonger point worse for people.

      Just pleased the reasonable of us don’t pander.

      There’s enough problems without your conspiracy theories.

  28. Exercise your religious beliefs as you like in your churches and temples, but in the public (secular) sphere, everyone has the right to be treated equally. What about that is so difficult for them to comprehend?

  29. Tell us again, Lillian: what exactly did Jesus say about gay people? Oh, that’s right — absolutely nothing.

  30. Maybe PN should have an interview with our Commissioner, Angela Mason, and quiz her about the recent meeting with the Evangelical Alliance.

    1. Excellent idea

      BTW I became aware that the Commission was not on the side of LGBT equality towards the end of 2010. I wrote to Pink News about it at the time, providing an email I’d received from the Equality Commission as evidence.

      Unfortunately Pink News chose not to cover the story.

    2. I am astounded that she can remain associated with the Commission following this decision. The idea that the so called Equalities and Human Rights Commission believes that discrimination against gay people should not only be allowed but be portected in law is an absolute disgrace and I expect to hear of her resignation from this body in due course.

      1. Dave, can you post the email here?

  31. herewegoherewegoherewego 12 Jul 2011, 12:00pm

    Mr Cameron

    So the Tory homophobic bells starts to ring again!!!!!

    Today I read that the equality and human rights commission is to do a u turn on the rights of relgious people and in the case of the bed and breakfast couple and the lady who refused to give civil partnerships, look like they will now win their case.


    So in future we as gay people will have to drive around until we find bed and breakfast that will accommodate, or a doctor that will treat us, or a council worker that has no objections. What if all in a dept is relgious, will we have to drive from local authority to local authority until we find some one who will perform a civil partnership? And yet when is come to our council tax , income tax, V.A.T. we as gay people have to pay the same and yet are expect to receive less of a service.

    This u turn has to be stopped. Prove to us that the torys have changed and that gay people should have the equality they disserve and pay for.

    1. Spanner1960 12 Jul 2011, 12:06pm

      I think you are rather blowing this out of proportion.
      Ultimately public authorities have a duty to serve all people, and should some people opt out of certain roles, then it is up to them to also provide people willing to do the job. Ultimately, it is the religious people that will lose out as they will find certain jobs unavailable to them because of their beliefs.

      1. No they won’t find jobs unavailable to them as that really would be discrimination against them. Also consider the precedent it will set in the more religious countries where virtually everyone will claim the right to discriminate against LGBTs.

        1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2011, 7:47pm

          There are still many jobs that are gender based for various reasons.
          The woman should have known the role of the job she took, but it’s not so much discrimination as suitability; which is why you don’t many female hod carriers.

      2. herewegoherewegoherewego 12 Jul 2011, 1:51pm

        Stick you head in the sand, But dont stop me from protecting my rights and in the end yours

        1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 2:37pm

          You leave my ‘end’ out of it!

      3. Spanner1960 – let’s take this scenario. A white separatist who works as a registrar refuses to marry a mixed race couple because he/she believes that mixing of the races is wrong and actually gives that as the reason. Should they keep their job?

        1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2011, 7:49pm

          Well, one would be in breach of the terms of employment, so yes; but I see no reason why employers cannot accommodate certain factors. For example, women take a years paid leave to have a baby. I as a gay male find that discriminatory, but that’s nature for you.

    2. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 2:36pm

      I think you’ll find it’s Trevor Phillips who runs the EHRC not David Cameron.

      And I also think you’ll find the usual Trevor Phillips attitude to others ‘poking their noses in’ is dealt with very much the only way Trevor Phillips knows how…

      1. I am very concerned about Trevor Philips lack of udnerstanding of LGBT issues … he rarely speaks out in support of LGBT issues

    3. de Villiers 12 Jul 2011, 4:39pm

      There is no relevance to the Conservatives here. It may be more productive to identify todays’s targets rather than past favourites of yesteryear.

  32. Spanner1960 12 Jul 2011, 12:02pm

    I actually go with them on ths.
    In the case of Lillian Ladelle, they should have asked her had she any objections to carrying out civil partnerships when she applied for the job. Equally, I am sure there are enough registrars willing to do the job if a rota was properly organised..

    However people view this, faiths do sometimes clash with other human rights and I think they should both be considered, as long as one does not ultimately interfere with the other.

    1. That argument doest work, as they will claim employment discrimination on the grounds of religious belief.

      1. Paddyswurds 12 Jul 2011, 12:27pm

        @Alf N S…
        …so to carry your hypothesis through an orthodox Jew could apply for a job, say as an ambulance driver but then refuse to drive the ambulance on a Saturday as it was against his religious belief as a Jew. Where would nit all end This Uturn has got to be nipped in the bud.
        Has someone new joined the EHCR recently who has a vested interest….I wonder?

        1. It could all end in people of different religions refusing to provide services to each other. It’s a small step to a situation where a Christian fundamentalist refuses a room or a service to a Muslim, an Atheist, or a Hindu on the grounds that they disagree with their beliefs.

          1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2011, 7:52pm

            I’m not that old but I still remember seeing signs for no dogs, gypsies or blacks on B&B windows.

          2. @Spanner

            I only know of such signs from TV and literature, I fear we may be heading back down that damaging road if the EHRC do not get their house in order

        2. de Villiers 12 Jul 2011, 4:41pm

          I think that would not be permitted in relation to the Jewish person as that would be indirect discrimination relating to a religious requirement, as opposed to the Ladele case where the wearing of a cross was not a religious requirement.

        3. I doubt if an employer of a service eg a 999 service which must by its nature be 24/7 would be seen as discriminating by saying someone must work on their Sabbath or holy day. All faiths are treated equally. Plenty Jews, Christians, Muslims and others of faith and not work in essential 24/7 services such as health, police, social care etc – that argument is redundant

      2. Don’t the Dutch authorities do this, they get asked whether they are prepared to register gay marriages and if they have lied at the interview they are sacked. Their sitution is similar to the Ladele case, so they must be a little bit worried by this case..

        I don’t agree with Spanner though about the rota system, I suspect he lives in London where the offices/clubs/workplaces etc are little bit bigger than out in the smaller counties etc. In some cases there may be very few staff and in some case only one person in charge. I’m really not quite sure how you work out the rora in those cirucmstances..

        1. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2011, 7:54pm

          John: I do live in London, however, in rural areas they have Doctor’s locums and circuit magistrates and judges , so I cannot see why the same criteria couldn’t apply here too.

    2. Dr Robin Guthrie 12 Jul 2011, 12:09pm

      I am an atheist GP.

      Should I be allowed to refer all religious people to mental health care units as I BELIEVE them to be mentally wanting.

      My interpretation of my atheist belief says I should.


      1. Paddyswurds 12 Jul 2011, 12:30pm

        …..and should Atheists be allowed to discriminate againstt all people of Faith as we find their beliefs to be unreasonable and deluded.?? I think I would quite enjoy that.

        1. @Paddyswurds

          (meant in a spirit of humour)

          I *know* you would enjoy that ….

      2. Yes you should be allowed to refer them for special needs assessibility,according to the new u-turn from ehrc , they clearly need help to overcome their delusion/stupidity

      3. It’s called cult interventions. I’ve always found it amusing that Germany has such a hate-on toward scientology (an ironic name if there ever was one) but has Christian plastered all over its political parties, tax system, etc. Only atheists can tell which of these whackos are cults – ALL OF THEM!

      4. de Villiers 12 Jul 2011, 7:13pm

        That would not be a requirement of your atheist belief, so you would not be able to rely upon that.

        1. Paddyswurds 12 Jul 2011, 9:01pm

          …… Atheism infers no belief whatever, i can rely on whatever prejudice I please and no law could deprive me if the EHCR has it’s way.

          1. Paddyswurds 12 Jul 2011, 9:03pm

            ….cont. A point; Atheism is knowledge of how things are and came to be, not a belief in in a fictional theory.

          2. @Paddyswurds
            Atheism is no belief whatsoever
            Atheism is knowledge

            Seems a bit of a clash of descriptors there

            Atheism I perceive as not believing in a God – or believing there is no God (which ever slant you want to put on it). That may be informed by knowledge. In its purest sense though atheism is either not believing in God or believing in the absence of God

          3. Spanner1960 13 Jul 2011, 7:59pm

            Theism is the belief in a religious faith of doctrine, QED Athiesm is the absence of that belief. It does not infer you have any further knowledge, contrary or not. If you were brought up away from society and knew nothing of religion, and didn’t believe in any supernatural forces, then you would be an atheist.
            Unfortunate;y, the likes of Richard Dawkins are trying to make this otherwise and are as rabid and extreme in their opinions as the God-spotters.

        2. de Villiers 12 Jul 2011, 9:46pm

          Under the Equality Act, atheism is treated as a ‘religion or belief’. Is it not a required tenet of this, however, to refer god-believing people to mental health care units. For that reason, this would not be an act protected by atheism as a religion or belief.

          1. Some people are turning atheism into a faith

  33. Is there a right for someone to apply for judicial review in the UK of the decision to intervene? After all, it’s our money they’re using to destroy our human rights in Europe.

    1. John Wadham used to be the head of Liberty until a couple of years go.

      As I understand it the current Liberty supports our human rights in these cases. Maybe they could intervene on our behalf. We need to have someone arguing our corner, in these cases. There was no one there for us in the right to marriage case.

      No action, and we will sleepwalk back into medieval times.

      1. ooer missus 12 Jul 2011, 1:29pm

        So far it looks like there will be 5 parties arguing against equal gay rights, in favour of anti-gay discrimination. That’s probably at least 3 QC’s. Who will arguing for us? We need some big guns intervening on our behalf and defending the perfectly rational and fair judgements of the British Courts on these issues.

  34. So the EHRC believe that conservative christians have the right to refuse register CP’s etc or to have to work with LGBT in general because its against their religious belief. But they do not believe that liberal christians have the right to include LGBT, in marriage for instance, despite iit being their christian belief that they should do so.

  35. By the way, the Evangelical Alliance aggressively opposed the introduction of Civil partnerships, and likened our unions to someone wanting to marry their horse. And these are the people that now have the support of the Equalities Commission after their recent meeting.

    Something doesn’t seem right about this.

    1. Alf

      You will probably note from some of my comments on this and other threads that my approach is to fight vociferously for LGBT rights to be maintained and enhanced – until we get true and real equity and to ensure it is maintained when that occurs. I acknowledge in this that others (whether we accept their standpoints or views be they religious, political or otherwise) have rights too and that we should not prevent them from exercising their rights unless they prevent us from our rights to freedoms and equality.

      However, having seen the article below and considered the implications for this I am deeply concerned about the intransigence and attitude of some (not all) Christians.

      I am not sure what the entire answer is – I’m not quite wise enough for that – but we need to stand firm.

  36. Religious people believe that they answer to a higher authority and are not subject to any secular law that contradicts their beliefs. Circles can’t be squared.Laws must remain faith-neutral to be fair to all. Don’t like the law? Don’t do the job.

  37. Philippe Landman 12 Jul 2011, 12:39pm

    So if a father kills his child and says he did it because the lord told him to do it, should give we him praise for keeping his faith or just throw him in the slammer for good as we would everyone else?

    1. ooer missus 12 Jul 2011, 1:34pm

      A Jehova’s witness was jailed for failing to get her son proper medical attention, preferring prayer. He died.

      Now I suppose she would ask the Evangelical Alliance to pressure the Equalities Commission to take up her case.

  38. “It’ll be religion that dismantles the Equality Bill, no-one else.”

    Jock, really? if the equalities minister, a member of the Tory government, heeds the advice of the EHRC to allow any semblance of discrimination on the part of religious people, then it will be down to the government for allowing it. This has other implications if the rules are changed in favour of these religious addicts especially when it comes to marriage equality and could defer to the religious hypocrites by maintaining the ban on same-sex marriage. This is a slippery slope.

    1. Jock S. Trap 12 Jul 2011, 2:41pm

      It does I completely agree but it still has to be said that it will be by religion because of religion that scappers the whole Equality Bill.

      Only this is fool hardy because now we have a voice louder than ever.

      Proof that in the end as with most things, Religion is the Evils of the world that destroys society.

      1. @Jock S Trap

        The bottom line of this though is ultimately there are potentially four outcomes:
        1) There could be violent outbreaks from either side of the argument (and/or others) that worsens our ability to succeed in having full equal rights
        2) There could be an acceptance by the courts and EHRC that there needs to be individual interpretation of religious rights issues that impacts negatively (in the main) on LGBT issues
        3) There could be a legal interpretation which forces the EHRC to accept that where rights are clear (as in ethnicity or sexuality) as opposed to variable (as in religious viewpoints) that the clear rights take precedence
        4) There could be no change in the situation and frustration on both sides may continue.
        At some point, unless and until we get to point 3 then dialogue is required with courts, EHRC, media and some religious groups and using inflammatory language such as “religion is the evil of the world” hardly helps us achieve the solution we desire.

    2. de Villiers 12 Jul 2011, 4:43pm

      This is nothing to do with the government. It is Parliament that passed the Equality Act. Now that Parliament has passed it, the government has no say over how it is interpreted – that is now a matter for the courts. It is not for the government to allow or disallow anything. That is now for the judges.

      1. Unless the government bring in new legislation … but thats not something that is obviously in the pipeline

        1. de Villiers 12 Jul 2011, 6:04pm

          The words are based on the EU Directives. The words will not change. Also, at the moment there is nothing for which to legislate. A non-judicial body has made an announcement that it will make particular arguments in a court. That does not in itself affect the judicial interpretation of the Equality Act. If, however, the European Court of Human Rights or the European Court of Justice rule on this issue then any subsequent legislation would have to be compatible with that.
          For the moment, I cannot see what the government is supposed to do or the reason why people are asking it to act.

          1. I agree there is nothing to legislate for …

            There is the possibility that the government could legislate …. its a possibility, may create legal and political wranglings in itself to do so – but it constitutionally is an option open to the government if there was a perceived need

          2. Am I getting confused here but there are 2 parties to this case and one of them is the govt who have been asked to respond on whether they believe that the equality act is against articel 9 and/or artciel 13/14 of the human rights act…simply saying that the govt can sit back and wait for a decision on their law (,a law which I presume they believe in and I presume they would not like interfernce from outside on and they actually believe in their own legal system ,) woud try to defend. Otherwsie if they don’t defend the Briish courts decisions and don’t give any opinion on the decisions then it’s both lazy and shows that they simply don’t give a toss…The govt has intervened in cases before haven’t they and this one is about British law…very feeble to just sit back and wiat for a decision

          3. de Villiers 14 Jul 2011, 12:12am

            I would expect the British government to defend the decisions of the British courts.

          4. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 9:56am

            Lets hope de Villiers.

  39. Does this new found understanding of the government, the TORY government, apply ONLY to gay people or is the government now going to claim that a person can refuse a service to ANYONE based on their religious belief. For example, will Muslims be allowed to refuse to marry infidels (Christians and Jews). Will Catholics be allowed to refuse to marry non-Catholics? Will religious people who believe parts of the Bible that condemned race mixing going to be allowed to refuse to marry interracial couples?

    This are very real questions that we need to be DEMANDING very real answers to because there is NO answer that they could give that could possibly be good. The ridiculousness of this intervention would very quickly be shown to be unacceptable to the public. Either the government is saying that ONLY gay people should be allowed to be discriminated against by religious people, which no one (except extreme fundamentalist Christians) would consider fair or legal OR…

    1. de Villiers 12 Jul 2011, 4:44pm

      What is this constant bashing of the government. I cannot see how this has anything to do with the government. This is not a new found understanding of the government, it is the position taken by the independent Human Rights Commission.
      In any event, the view of the government is irrelevant. It is the judges that interpret and apply Acts of Parliament, not governments. The government’s view of the Act is irrelevant. What is relevant is the way the judiciary will interpret it.

      1. The government sets out the direction for the whole Country. Vote Tory, get anti-gay policies, interpretations and approaches.

        1. Actually think this one is definitely not party political (at this stage – depends on how the politicians deal with it when it becomes more of a hot potato) but MPs and the EHRC need to be flooded with emails etc

        2. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 9:15am

          Predictable as ever Beberts.

  40. …they are saying that any one of the examples I listed above are acceptable, which would also cause public outrage.

    It’s our job to make sure that this is exposed and properly explained to the masses.

  41. Tim Hopkins 12 Jul 2011, 1:25pm

    Stonewall have issued a statement (not yet on their website), starting “Stonewall is deeply disturbed at the EHRC’s statement announcing applications to intervene in European Court cases of claimed discrimination against Christians in the workplace.”

    The British Humanist Association have issued a press release:

    1. ooer missus 12 Jul 2011, 1:45pm

      That’s a welcome statement from Stonewall and from BHA. I hope they will take immediate steps to ensure our human rights are protected and our case is put properly and effectively before the Court. We should have at least as many QC’s as the other side has, which means we need at least 3 human rights organisations like Liberty, Stonewall, BHA , Ekklesia (that would be a good one), etc., taking urgent action to join in the case. They were all caught napping in the marriage rights case.

      1. The whole thing looks like a concerted attack on our human rights by evangelicals/fundamentalists via the court system, into which the Evangelical Alliance have enrolled the Equalities Commission, a bit like the campaigns by the anti-gay “religious right” hate groups in the US.

        I believe we need to know more about this meeting between the Commission and this “Evangelical Alliance”. How could the Commission take seriously an organisation that opposed Civil Unions comparing them to bestiality and marrying a horse?

        1. Here’s the PN story about that remark and the Evangelical Alliance:

          Astonishing that the HREC is apparently working with these people so that they wont have to recognise civil partnerships..

  42. ooer missus 12 Jul 2011, 1:54pm

    Brief but strong statement from Stonewall, dealing with the public service aspect.

  43. The real worry here is that this will set a precedent throughout Europe, allowing states to enact homophobic legislation in order to appease conservative religious opinion. All this when Turkey – once a proud secular nation but now already having problems with Islamic fundamentalists – is on the brink of being accepted into the EU. It could spell a nightmare for LGBT people across the continent.

    1. Exactly.

    2. Yes, it is very worrying.

  44. The fact that so many ‘Christians’ seem to base the entire faith on their dislike for the way we have sex is weird. I do, however, know lots of Christians who, despite their religion, are tolerant and kind to others. (There are even some people who are not ‘good’ because they are Christians, but Christians because they are good!) But yes, it takes all sorts to make this world. We should still do our best not to refuse to serve Christians – even if, by some chance, the ECHR should permit us to do so.

    1. Such a disengaged and disempowered attitude to the Court proceedings in Europe could be fatal.

  45. So, where exactly is homophobia written into Christianity? I thought Christianity was about embracing all people, whatever they were, out of love and acceptance and understanding? At least that’s the Christianity that I was taught at my church school. (Before I became an adult and saw the hypocrisy and nastiness that hides behind the performace.)

    1. It’s not, but some people’s interpretation is. Compare the approach of Ekklesia, who support us, with the Evangelical Alliance, who have been reported to have used hate rhetoric against us.

      1. According to wikipaedia, the EA has also advocated the use of violence if necessary to prevent the encroachment on Christian rights (privileges).

        “In November 2006 the Evangelical Alliance released a report which stated that violent revolution should be regarded as a viable response if British legislation encroaches further on Christian rights: “If, as most Christians accept, they should be politically involved in democratic processes, many believe this may, where necessary, take the form of active resistance to the state. This may encompass disobedience to law, civil disobedience, involving selective, non-violent resistance or, ultimately, violent revolution.”[4] Very Rev. Colin Slee, the Dean of Southwark, said such actions would send out a confused message, as “the fundamental themes of the gospel are love and reconciliation, not violent revolution.”

  46. they believe that homosexuality is a sin and that they shouldn’t have to serve us in certain areas/roles/situations… if every homosexual, bisexual, transexual, transvestite, queer and asexual person refused service to christians on the basis that our belief is that they are bigoted, it would be deemed unlawful most likely.

    i dont believe in a higher power but sometimes i just wish gaydom could be a religion (akin to jedi, add it on the census!) and we could play their dirty card back at them

    1. Yes, Bruno. The problem is gaydom is not a religion – but Homophobia appears to have become one!

    2. Someone start the Church of Gaga and then gaydom can be a religion ;)

  47. This is where to email your outrage to:

  48. if your beliefs stop you doing the job you were hired to do, you should get another job

    1. If you were a reasonable person. But the aim appears to be to impose a religious belief through civil disobedience showing that you disapprove of gay people, and to change society and the law to allow discrimination against them and not recognise their relationships.

  49. Another Hannah 12 Jul 2011, 5:27pm

    I am a committed Christian myself so presumably the commission will be respecting my right to stone people to death who have sinned, for example adulterers. Presumable they will be respecting my right to persecute money lenders? THis is pure bigotry and stupidity. The Cons. are in, I will point this out when they campaign again. This decision is frankly plain thick and dim. Why are half wits allowed to prosper in this country they will drive the country into the dust.

  50. Lillian Ladele was in breech of her contract of employment! She was sacked! end of story! If she felt so strongly about performing Civil Partnerships,she ought to have done the decent thing and resigned! That is without even considering that what she did was in breech of discrimination laws! When a law is enacted! Non compliance is not an option! otherwize you get anarchy!

    1. Another Hannah 12 Jul 2011, 6:24pm

      Thinking about it a civil partnership isn’t a religeous act anyway is it! The bible says absolutely nothing about civil partnerships, so there is no tenable argument supports her position. Her religion very clearly does not tell her to do this, she is a liar and damned to hell like all the others.

  51. This accommodation of bigots is ridiculous. If I was working in a secular venue and discriminated against a Christian simply because of my dislike of them, I would be disciplined or sacked–and rightly so. All these Christians who feel constrained to discriminate against GLBT people should be given the choice: do your job without discriminating or find another job.

    Once an accommodation like this is granted, you will never hear the end of the whining and wanting special consideration from these people because they think their religion should trump everything and everyone else.

  52. Protest March&Rally

    Join the “Secular Europe Campaign” in this protest march in central London

    Saturday 17th September 2011

  53. I’m sorry but bigotry and nonsense based on ‘what God says’ is no match for people’s rights enshrined in law.
    We should respect religious people, but when their prejudices adversely affect others, they should always come second.

  54. I don’t see a scale between the rights of the LGBT community and the rights of the religious so there is NOTHING to compromise really. There are people in this world who discriminate and people in this world who don’t. In a perfect world everyone should have equal rights. And equally NO ONE should be allowed to discriminate (i.e. promoting inequality) regardless of whether they feel they can justify it through their belief system (religious or otherwise!). This is certainly something that needs to be implemented in the public services. If carrying out a civil ceremony is against one’s religion they should find another job! Does this take away people’s freedom of speech? Not really, hate speech doesn’t have the word freedom in it. There’s a big difference between hateful extremists and law abiding religious people. I wouldn’t go to an anti-religious protest or withhold my services to someone because I think a certain faith is against my human nature. Though some people on here might!!!

  55. herewegoherewegoherewego 15 Jul 2011, 12:41pm

    pink news is fast becoming a joke. Posted a comment .and hey presto its gone . None of it offensive. This used to be a good mouth piece for the gay community . I fear it is now not. Shame on you pink news

  56. I wonder how the EHRC would feel about making compromises to the beliefs racists and facists who’d rather not have to deal with non-white people.

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