Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Equality commission defends ‘compromise’ plan for gay and religious rights clashes

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Clearly, the reaction to the worrying statement put out by the EHRC yesterday has had an impact. They are slighlty backtracking.

    It’s still not good enough. There is no conflict between anti-discrimination laws and freedom of conscience. You’re allowed to disagree with same-sex marriage, just as you’re allowed to disagree with interracial marriage. What you’re not allowed to do, however, is expect your employer to accomodate this view by allowing you to do is expect your employer to accomodate your views. If you’re going to be a registrar, do your bloody job.

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:25pm

      Here! Here! SamB, couldn’t have put it better myself.

      1. In other words continue to rub their noses in our civil partnerships which go against their teachings? The Equality Commission is quite rightly stating that other solutions should be sought in future without resort to the courts. Solutions which do not impinge on the rights of either gay people or those with religious principles, such as allowing registrars to swap shifts where such conflicts of belief arise. What is possibly wrong with that, and what hardship would that cause us? Absolutely zilch. No, what the minority, reactionary extreme fringe has yet again proved on this forum is their complete and utter intolerance for those with religious beliefs, and their determination to continue to trample them underfoot. There is no halfway street or reasonable compromise where this rabid lynch mob are concerned. Well, thank God those who have been pushing these well-intended causes too far are finally waking up and realising that the criminalisation of speech and thought is not the answer.

        1. One voddie to nirvana 13 Jul 2011, 10:56pm

          It’s not speech and thought… It’s deed. And do not seek to demonise those who abide by law…

        2. Surely if people are prepared to take gay people’s taxes to pay their salaries they should be obliged to deliver public services to those gay people too?

        3. friday jones 14 Jul 2011, 12:45am

          Where does this accommodation end? Will they respect the beliefs of men from religious cultures that inform them that they cannot speak to or look directly at an unrelated woman? What about splinter religions that espouse White Supremacy, will they be accommodated in their beliefs and be allowed to refuse to serve non-white people?

          If you accept a position that involves granting marriage licenses to legally-qualified couples, or counseling people, and then you demand the right to refuse to do your job when you have a strong opinion about the people you are hired to serve, you should be fired for cause immediately.

        4. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 8:04am

          How exactly do we “continue to rub their noses in our civil partnerships”?

          If these people cannot accept love, happiness and commitment then they are the ones in the wrong.

          Love should be encouraged not denied, no matter what their texts tell then what to say.

          Personally, I’d rather someone with their own mind.

          No-one stops them being bigots in private but in law and business it has no place.

          1. Precisely – our CIVIL partnerships have nothing to do with their beliefs – rather less so than our anti-slavery laws, come to think of it.

          2. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 4:16pm

            Exactly, Rehan.

            In all honesty how exactly does it effect anybody, any person getting CP’dth or Married unless it is them themselves getting hitched?

            Too much poking in noses in things that have nothing to do with them, maybe they should concentrate on their own lifes.

    2. Absolutely SamB

      I remember when the institutional racism label was applied to the police service that a strongly worded email was sent to all Northumbria Police officers by the then Chief Constable Crispian Strachan which stated that whilst employees and officers were free to hold whatever beliefs or views they wished on any issue and that the Police Service could not change those views – that if any personal preferences, perspectives or prejudices were seen to come into either the workplace or the service of the publlic that they would be subject to disciplinary action. Public service needed to be fair and impartial and to be seen to be fair and impartial.

      1. If Christians have some conflict between their religious views and the requirements of the State in their job, perhaps they should pay closer heed to the words of Christ “Render unto Caesar the things that are Caesars, and unto God the things that are Gods.” Interesting that Christ chose to mention Caesar’s concerns first and God’s second. Surely this is a very clear instruction that Christ’s followers are supposed to obey the law of the land without question!!

        1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 4:48pm

          Indeed but I guess it doesn’t suit there arguements esp when it comes to Equality of others.

      2. I would agree those Christians (or those of other faiths) who hold views which are divergent from the accepted rights of individuals should examine the words that AndyAS eloquently puts. Clearly, some already do and should encourage others to do likewise.
        Unlike Beberts, I do not think this stance is a matter of Conservative party policy or a Conservative approach. Its something we need to act on decisively and ensure those Conservatives who hold differing views to Chris Grayling are encouraged to raise their game and support the LGBT communities decisively.

    3. This is part and parcel of the ethos being pushed by the government. Chris Grayling’s own public declarations are strictly in line with this approach. The EHRC has been progressively developing its stance on gay rights, until the Tories seized power bringing the reek of homophobia with them.

      1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 5:11pm

        yeah, yeah, yeah that must be it… predictable as ever Beberts – yawn!

        1. Join the dots

          1. Yeah but you are supposed to follow the numbers not guess what shape is there

          2. Follow the numbers if you like, the shape will be the same. You and Jock have been skeptical about many predictions, then when they materialise you both seem all surprised this is really happening at all.

          3. So which things that have materialised have I been surprised about, Beberts … examples?

          4. Follow the numbers

          5. @Beberts

            What a surprise, you are able to throw accusations about me (and others) but when asked to provide examples or evidence to substantiate your claims – your accusations are shown to be as hollow as most of your opinions,

          6. It’s not an accusation darling, I’m just expressing my cynical amusement at your surprise about the latest developments at the EHRC. Many in here have been warning about the consequences of a Tory government. While these people boringly but simply join the dots and follow the numbers, others are free to believe in fairies or indeed in the magical powers of coincidences.

          7. Your exact words clearly stated that there were occasions when you had seen me be surprised – you can’t deliver with evidence – what a surprise …

            As for surprise at the EHRC – none at all …. I expected them not to endorse LGBT rights as fully as others, I am disappointed but not surprised that they did – we must fight to stop this …

            Is there a conspiracy between the EHRC and the Conservative party – I see no evidence to substantiate that

          8. Apart from the fact stu that following from May saying the EHRC needs its budget cut, now all of a sudden they start backing far right christians.
            There may well be a link between the tories and this decision.

          9. @Scott

            I presume you mean May as in Home Secretary as opposed to the month???

            If the budget is to be cut then the EHRC are actually going against Conservative led policy by taking on board more rights to protect….

          10. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 8:07am

            Cut the crap, Beberts.

          11. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 8:09am

            “then when they materialise you both seem all surprised this is really happening at all”

            Are you actually rubbing your hands in glee already Bebert even before anything has happened?

            Shame on you.

            You know the saying “Be careful what you wish for…”?

          12. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 8:15am

            Stu is correct – EHRC are going against this coalition – I don’t see the Lib Dems would support such inequality, quietly!

        2. I thought you didn’t like bullying and not debating Jock Strap? How exactly is “yeah yeah yeah, preditctable, cut the crap, yawn, shame on you,” etc, debating. What a bullying hypocrite you are.

          1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 10:18am

            Classic case of Pot calling the kettle black there eddy two, dontcha think?

        3. Paddyswurds 21 Jul 2011, 7:24pm

          @Stu…
          ….”Is there a conspiracy between the EHRC and the Conservative party – I see no evidence to substantiate that” A tiny bit naeve don’t you think Stu? Do you really think you would see evidence. I know the Tories and to large part the Lib Dems are stupid but they do have handlers who take care you don’t get the evidence.,

    4. Another Hannah 13 Jul 2011, 9:49pm

      has nobody remebered that the conservatives wanted rid of the EHRC a short time ago? it would help if they made themselves unpopular with the people they are supposed to help wouldn’t it? perhaps they are being given enough rope to hang themselves, or something even more sinister?

      1. de Villiers 14 Jul 2011, 12:19am

        Paranoia seems to be spreading. Such a cynical “fix” would have to be known by too many people for it not to be leaked to the newspapers.

    5. christians – still clinging to their idea that they have the right to discriminate against people because of their ‘beliefs” Beliefs based on prehistoric stories from a time of near total ignorance and superstition.

      whats next- the garbage collectors refuse to service gay housholds? the emergency room doctors let gay people die rather then going against their beliefs that all gay people will go to hell and they just want to speed up the process?

      Do the job or go on the unemployment line. Its that simple. time that the slippery slope argument worked for gay people, given how these christian boogers always use it re marriage etc etc.

      Time to drive them to He##. Hey – hell is their own BS creation, let them live with it.

    6. Andre Minichiello Williams from the Christian Legal Centre whose lawyers have been representing most of the vexatious litigants is a lay member of the Church of England’s synod and they have been lobbying and putting pressure on the EHRC,
      if you read this article abiout the Church of England fighting for special privileges for Christians at work, you will hear what sounds suspiciously like the voice of Andrea Minichiello Williams in it’s misrepresentation of the situation and the wholly bogus examples of discrimnination against Christuians refered to.
      http://www.christianpost.com/news/church-of-england-fighting-to-protect-christian-rights-at-work-52256/

      1. Jock S. Trap 16 Jul 2011, 9:11am

        Oh those poor hard done by little Christians…… yawn!

        This is what happens when they are stopped from discriminating.

        Talk about tantrums.

      2. Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of Christian Concern for our Nation and the Christian Legal Centre, has been elected to the General Synod of the Anglican Church for five years.
        Explains a whiole lot about their recent bogus lobbying tactics at the EHRC.

  2. The sleight of hand at work here is to confuse a chosen belief – a religion – in this case, with unchosen, natural & inherent characteristics – sexual orientation in this case but ‘race’ would do just as well. Ergo, we could replace ‘genuine religious belief’ with, say, ‘political conviction’. Both deeply held but chosen values. Doubtless, the Nazis were of the sincerest beliefs and conviction. Relgious belief cannot be considered as anything other than a personal choice.

    1. Rashid Karapiet 13 Jul 2011, 3:23pm

      As well, the waters have been considerably muddied – deliberately? – by lumping together the wearing of crucifixes etc with the provision of statutory services. The registrar and the counsellor are in effect saying that their religious beliefs supersede their statutory obligation. Is it entirely coincidental that the two individuals concerned are members of ethnic minorities? They clearly have no memory of the dark days of ‘No dogs, no wogs’ – if they had they might be less willing to be used in this way by unscrupulous forces whose only purpose is to undermine social progress. I refer, of course, to the Evangelical Alliance and its apoligists.

      1. Rashid Karapiet 13 Jul 2011, 3:26pm

        That should read ‘a p o l o g i s t s’.

  3. I also don’t understand why these religious morons are obsessed with homosexuality. Even if homosexuality is a sin in Christianity and Islam, it’s certainly not the only sin. That dumb Muslim who put homophobic posters around Tower Hamlets – why did he do that? Why didn’t he stick posters that said ‘This is a Hindu free zone’? Or, ‘This is a Jew free zone’? After all. the greatest sin in Islam is not homosexuality but not believing in the Muslim god and Muhammad. Why are these people always taretting gays? I know why – it’s because we are weak and pathetic. Yes, that’s what we are. We allow these deluded (aka religious) morons to get away with this shit.

    There is an excellent scene in Angels in America where the character played by Al Pacino says: “Homosexuals are not men who have sex with men. Homosexuals are men who in fifteen years of trying cannot get a pissant antidiscrimination bill through the City Council.”

    So bloody true.

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:27pm

      Indeed.

      This is why religious people tend to pick and choose as well as make up what they want from religious texts to suit their own egos.

      1. In the mind of the person that believes in illusions any dulison, fairytale or insane idea can be created at will, believed in, enforced and lived. A nutter can rationalize insanity as being a sane choice.

    2. Cherry-picking is the religious way. Add in that being bigoted or hateful is cheap, even free, but living up to concepts like helping the needy and disadvantaged takes time, effort and commitment. Religions has been used to harm women and it has been used to harm people of colour. We are simply next in line for people to target on the pre-text of being “holy.”

  4. The EHRC clearly haven’t thought through the implications and potential effects of their action for both people in the UK and those in countries where homophobic religious people are in the majority, where gay people will be even more marginalised as a result.

  5. 2 champers sips to being a diva 13 Jul 2011, 2:56pm

    To whom should we campaign to?

  6. The message that gays are born that way is not getting through. All the leading psychologists agree that genetics and early uterine development influence a person’s sexual orientation. There is a big difference between that and someone’s conscious religious choices, which can easily be changed with a bit of imagination.

    Clearly, a gay and lesbian person’s rights should always “trump” the rights of someone’s conscious religious beliefs, in much the same way as the rights of a black person should trump a racist’s.

    Why is this so hard to understand and why so much sympathy towards homophobes. I’m sick of it
    The situation is going backwards!!!

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:29pm

      That message not getting through threatens them and their need to discriminate.

      It seems we’re born this way but they are proof that the worst of humanity is very much taught.

    2. “The message that gays are born that way is not getting through.” Although I am a firm believer in sexual orientation being an innate quality rather than a choice, that distinction really is irrelevant if you think about it. A person should be free to live their life however they choose, as long as they do not harm others. That right extends to a person living their life as an openly gay person, or one who lives theirs based on the superstitions of bronze age shepherds.

      1. de Villiers 14 Jul 2011, 12:20am

        I agree that the issue of orientation being a choice should be irrelevant as to its degree of protection.

  7. 2 champers sips to being a diva 13 Jul 2011, 3:00pm

    The EHRC is not responding to general enquiry from the public. It doesn’t show this campaign on Facebook. It seems like a very cynical move by those at the ‘faith’ level in that organisation. This organisation is trying to create dangerous ambiguity on simple provision of rights…

  8. Exactly the same kind of cowardly nonsense as over Lee Hall’s opera – homophobia disguised as respect for diversity. Sometimes it is an ‘either/or situation’, to use the Commssion’s words – such as where one group wants to use an aspect of their identity to justify bigotry and discrimination towards others. If the Eq. Com. can’t see that this is an either/or situation then they should be looking for different jobs.
    .
    The Equality Commission’s ‘interpretation of the law’ is unlikely to help the EHRC much, since the Commission clearly understands neither British law, nor European law, nor the profound implications of seeking religious exemptions from secular law. The right to manifestation of religion is a limited right, and everyone appears to understand this except theocrats and the idiots at the Equality Commission.
    .
    But SamB is right – the pressure is having an impact. Where are the Equality Commissioners? Where is Angela Mason? Time for Stonewall to earn all that money.

  9. Is not the Law clear on this matter throught the various acts, Equility, Sex Discrim, Race Relation etc. Also when employees are employed are they not signed up to an equall oppertunity policy and throught that contract with the employeer open these people to disaplinary action if this is not adhered to. Maybe this should be made clear at the interview, application stage and employee people who are prepared to meet the needs of all.

  10. Maybe the EHRC should look at it own website http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/legal-and-policy/ and take note of what it publishes. BTW is the EHRC parts of the expected closure through the Public Bodies BIll being passed through Parliament at the moment, if so this would end this contunied saga!

  11. The EHRC is validating, even supporting, homophobic bullying.

    Can they not see that it’s the same as allowing a racist not to serve a black person?

  12. He looks like he’s been slapped in the face with a frying pan

    1. Ooer missus 13 Jul 2011, 3:27pm

      Well he hasn’t been glittered, that’s for sure

  13. The EHRC is an utterly useless organisation when it comes to gay rights. It always has been.

    Remember a few years ago they appointed christo-fascist homophobic extremist Joel Edwards as a commissioner.

    This ‘explanation’ is meaningless. The fact that they are willing to defend people who wish to discriminate based on their freely chosen, voluntary belief systems, means that the EHRC has failed in its duties to protect human rights.

    The EHRC should close immediately.

  14. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:24pm

    Considering most religious people don’t believe in Equality expect for themselves I doubt they will accept any compromise.

    For the Equality Commision to draw straws on this is not good enough.

    We are all human beings and deserve to be treated as such.

    1. Most? Your evidence … sweeping statement …. might be justified but does seem kneejerk

  15. Pardon me, but equality is the LAW. Religion is a choice. Deal with it.

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:30pm

      Sadly religious people think they are above the law.

      1. And with the help of the EHRC they will be.

      2. All of them?

        1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:51pm

          Where in my comment do I say ‘All of them’?

          You know what Stu, you know perfectly well when I comment I don’t mean all, we have had this coversation before more than once.

          I will repeat for your benefit once more and once more once so you can stop with the sensationalising holier than thou crap.

          I use to put I don’t mean all but due to the fact that people know me, including yourself and know perfectly well I don’t mean all but in general I don’t see why I should have to keep explaining that fact.

          The fact you choose, yet again to highlight this for your own ends has no barring on me complying to satisfy your ego.

          I have religious friend who know exactly what I mean and as I say you and others know what I mean so why you choose to pinpoint this issue now is beyond me and hardly contructive to the debate.

          1. You say “religious people” in that comment whereas above in this thread you state “most religious people” (although demonstrating that with evidence I suspect would be problematic), that change in emphasis suggests that in this comment you relate it to all religious people. Now, I know we have had this debate on numerous occasions, and I know how you have presented your view point (which I have no reason to dispute as being your view – on most occasions I find your comments reasonable and even if I do not agree well thought out). However, as you know I believe passionately in fairness and balance and where there is room for another interpretation I will challenge it. You have responded to my challenge.

          2. There is no ego stroking happening here – merely exercising my right to make my viewpoint – to be fair, you pick up on what I perceive to be nuances hardly relevant to the thread subject elsewhere – thats your interpretation of my interaction here (I perceive) but to me I see dangers in bland overarching comments that are generalising in this area particularly given recent inflammatory comments connected to relgious violence (which I appreciate you did not make).

          3. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 4:32pm

            And no doubt I will have to say the same bloody thing time and time again to you just to power your ego Stu.

            At least my religious friends (no I don’t know All religious people) don’t need an explanation every two minutes to prove some holier than thou sh!t.

            Here’s the point though Stu, I ain’t gonna be pandering to your ego now or ever so if you need this explained again I’ll just refer you to “the last time comment about this same Very subject” coz bugger if I’m gonna keep explaining it to you.

            If you don’t get me after all this time well I ain’t gonna apologise for that, it’s kinda your problem not mine.

          4. @Jock S Trap

            Calm down, deary

            If your comments can be misinterpreted by me then they can be misinterpreted by others and could be seen to fan the fire of prejudice against those whom you state you have no prejudice towards. If you have a problem with me identifying that then be clearer in what you say in the future.

            This is not about my ego – its about ensuring in these difficult times that we don’t worsen our situation but what can be perceived as examples of intolerance.

          5. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 4:50pm

            If you don’t get me by now Stu… well tough…really innit!

            Now go take a cold shower and loose the ego.

          6. @Jock S Trap

            There is no ego on this issue – whether you choose to believe that or not is a matter for you.

          7. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 5:13pm

            Yes it is and no I don’t!

          8. @Jack S Trap

            Ah well, disappointing but hey shucks

          9. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 8:18am

            Stu

            I apologise for my stroppy outbursts yesterday, my last lot of treatment was a bit rough and I had a bad day but I should have in no way reflected that through my posts.

          10. @Jock S Trap

            Apology accepted – Thank You

            Hope the treatment works for you and that things are starting to get a bit better.

            I did think that (whilst we have had these discussions before) your response was a little out of character to what I would expect from you. Nonetheless – no harm done, we know where each other stands, we kind of agree on the major point – the emphasis we would put differently. We both would correct each other if we felt there were areas that could lead to misinterpretation …

            Take Care, Jock

    2. de Villiers 14 Jul 2011, 12:21am

      The difficulty is that protection for religion is also the law.

  16. I dontunderstand how the commission has come to this position. Clearly when it comes to service delivery you cannot allow views which are so mixed and largely down to interpretation to become the basis of choice as to who recieves those services.
    As a tax payer I do not have a choice as to how much the inland revenue choose to remove from my salary but I should have equal entitlement to the services my hard earned cash goes to finance.
    Christian doctrine such as the ten commandments is very clear on marriage and adultery yet I do not hear any of these registrars refusing to officiate over the marriage of a divorced person.

    1. Ooer missus 13 Jul 2011, 3:32pm

      Good point. The refusal to serve gay people in that situation is clearly based on a social prejudice in any event.

    2. The Commission has come to this position because the last government needed to court Muslim votes in marginal seats in order to get re-elected. Falsely believing the most conservative Muslim voices to be representative of the entire community, they therefore pushed for religion to be added as a protected characteristic in equality and hate crime legislation. Of course, what has now happened is that once again, pushy conservative religious voices are demanding the rights they have been given, including the right to discriminate according to their beliefs. This entire mess is completely the fault of the previous government.

  17. marjangles 13 Jul 2011, 3:28pm

    This ‘compromise’ they keep talking about seems to be letting religious people say what they want and everyone else has to bend over backwards to support them. Why are religious beliefs so special that they should be able to dictate what duties and obligations someone can do at work?
    They say that this will not affect our rights, how about our right to equal treatment and dignity, perhaps the EHRC can point out another group in society against whom discrimination of this kind is permitted. By allowing religious people to discriminate against us but no other group in society, we are immediately degraded and made lesser simply because of an innate characteristic. The EHRC is not fit for purpose and the longer Angela Mason remains a commissioner, the less credible she will remain in the gay community.

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:31pm

      Indeed.

      Religious people don’t believe in Equality, they believe they are above all else and therefore all should bow to them and their chosen way of life.

      1. Some of them do. Not all. We need the ones that do support us, such as Ekklesia, to expose the extremists at the Evangelical Alliance who have been having regular meetings with EHRC. EA are now crowing and overjoyed on their website that “the gays are scared!”. Not very Christian behaviour, but then neither is refusing to serve gay people.

        We need the moderate Christians to make their views known to the EHRC too.

        1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:55pm

          Indeed we do, Alf, indeed we do!

        2. Absolutely some do and we need to be careful not to alienate them

      2. @ Jock S.Trap

        Iris Robinson is a great example of what we are dealing with, she who is an adulterer shagging the local butcher and his son has the neck to condemn and defame gay people whuile using her religion as an excuse.
        I think many Christians are probably just plain mentally disabled, not all of them Stu… but certainly most of them, it goes without saying really., I mean the stuff they are so willing to believe is beyond belief.
        And “Christian beliefs” are all so arbitrary, they all hold different beliefs but still call themselves Christians.

        1. @Pavlos

          I can agree with a lot of your comments and I certainly wholeheartedly endorse your views on Iris Robinson.
          People like her will attempt (and possibly on occasion succeed) to use manipulative and underhand methods to undermine our basic fundamental rights – and we should do every reasonable act to ensure that we protect those rights we have already won and enhance them to full equality.
          Not sure I would agree with most purely because I dont see evidence that is available in either direction but I do agree with the generalism of your caution and the acknowledgement that it does not apply to all.

          1. Anyone who uses their religion as an excuse to attack, defame and undermine others is undoubtedly using religion as a front to hide something very devious they are up to and that they want to keep hidden. It may be some dubious activity ongoing or something from their pasts that they are attempting to hide, for them religion is used both as a shield for themselves and a weapon to strike at others.
            I have no issue with people who hold their personal beliefs close to their hearts and leave others alone, I am not interested in disproving the unproved and unprovable.

          2. @Pavlos

            I kind of go along with 99% of what you say – the slight (and it is very slight) reservations that I leave – are that the deviousness may not be there in every case (some may just be fervent and confused) and secondly I am reluctant to say something is unproveable (but only on the basis that scientific advances have allowed us to prove things that previously have been seen as unproveable – so I never say never)

        2. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 8:26am

          Indeed Pavlos – a great example of a religious hypocrite.

          Let’s not forget what their ‘beliefs’ are a taught and a choose at the end of the day.

          Saying most of them are mentally disabled is a bit strong, I wouldn’t put it quite like that however if it had been a nonbeliever who talks about the same stuff about people telling them what to do, think, act then it is fair to say they may very well be sectioned.

          Why do we make allowances for that when they call it religion?

          1. A Stu, when you have “proof” of God that is noit merely anecdotal let me know, there”ll be no need for “faith” then.
            Till then faith remains belief without evidence and a very tenuous excuse for discrimination.

          2. @Pavlos

            I don’t get it – I predominantly agree with you – I hold an open mind based on attitudes to other developments in the past and the fact I genuinely have an open mind, yet you slate me.

          3. @Pavlos

            Oh and some clarity because there is room for misinterpretation in your last comment to me – there is NEVER any justification for discrimination whether grounded in faith or otherwise, and I have never suggested there is such a justification

          4. @ Stu, my previous totally in response to your comment
            “I am reluctant to say something is unproveable (but only on the basis that scientific advances have allowed us to prove things that previously have been seen as unproveable – so I never say never)”
            Can’t imagine why you think I slate you, I just don’t rate belief without evidence, proof isn’t a personal thing.

          5. @Pavlos

            It may be a minor thing but you seemed to ignore the comment that I 99% agree with you and then you seem to overemphasize the 1% where I dont necessarily disagree with you, just remain open minded as to whether it is true or not. You also seem to personalize it to me, which seems odd given how I have explained things. It seems if someone leaves an opening to something being proved that we cant understand now, at some point in the future then they are totally wrong – even if they agree with you in the vast majority;

  18. So if they are allowing people to choose who they wish to marry – I guess they will now allow people to refuse to officiate at interracial marriage too. This is the slippery slope folks – where will it end.

  19. Art Pearson 13 Jul 2011, 3:36pm

    Religious freedom must never, never, never trump civil rights. This is a retrograde step and must be stopped!

    1. Jock S. Trap 13 Jul 2011, 3:56pm

      Excellent comment Art, so true!

  20. Beneath every injustice against us there is either

    a) a Christian
    b) a Muslim
    c) a black man

    This needs to be addressed. Especially as these are the three groups most likely to cry “I’m a victim.”

    1. I think you can leave your racism in the gutter. It’s just the same as homophobia.

    2. Twat cause white men are never homophobic you big ole jackass

      1. You mean, people like Stephen Green? Is it that exclamation mark after your name that makes you so ditzy?

    3. Please go and educate yourself, bigot.

      1. Educate myself on what, exactly? Which groups demonstrably want me dead? I’ve already listed them.

        1. People of colour, as a “group”, do not want you dead. You are making a category error here. And – separate point – your white privilege is showing.

          1. What white privilege? Or are you one of those idiots for whom white equals bad and black automatically equals saintly and cool?

          2. Bad/Saintly? Where did you get that idea from? It seems that you do not understand the concept of privilege as applied to social equality. There are numerous resources available to help you learn about this stuff – why not look up Peggy McIntosh’s work for starters?

        2. Sally, I’m sure black people everywhere appreciate you patronising them as a breed apart. Maybe that’s why they can never get on their feet.

          1. Do you lack basic reading comprehension abilities, Enoch, or are you deliberately resorting to straw-man arguments for lack of a more effective way of responding?

          2. Uh oh. When ‘straw man’ is brought up, I know I’m dealing with a sixth former. I have no time for people who blame others for their inability to get off their knees (actual and allegorical). I know of Peggy McIntosh’s work, and like your postings, it amounts to the sheerest sophistry.

          3. Use of formal argument is not tied to any particular age-group within academia; you are unable to engage with my arguments, so you attempt ridiculous ad hominem attacks. And perhaps you can clarify which aspects of McIntosh’s work “amounts to the sheerest sophistry”? I suspect that you cannot; nor do you even appear interested in doing so – you are a racist troll with whom I lost patience. As I said earlier – go and educate yourself. That is all.

          4. Correction: *have* lost patience

        3. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 8:29am

          Misguided comments Enoch.

          Think you’ll find just as many white people who wish you as much harm as anyone else.

          1. I included those, Jock. I have come up with three broad groups that generally cover all bases. Sally, I was right about you, because you then went on to use ‘ad hominem’ (number 3 in the Sixth Form Debating for Dummies list), before attacking me as a racist troll. Please come back when you’ve grown up.

          2. My point about Enoch’s faulty logic remains valid, regardless of his attempts to dismiss it as a Sixth Form argument. Perhaps his objection to this method of debating is founded in his lack of understanding of it. He appears to be accusing me of hypocricy in describing him as a racist troll immediately after having identified his use of ad hominem. However, he fails to understand that the ad hominem fallacy hinges on *relevance*. Enoch’s bizarre assumptions about my age are irrelevant to this debate. By contrast, Enoch’s racist attitudes are key to the problems he is having here; and his trollish attempts to derail this thread and inability to respond to the points I raise – this is why there is no potential for meaningful debate with him. I give up.

          3. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 12:14pm

            People are attacking you for being a racist troll because you ARE a racist troll.

            Prehaps you should add yourself to your little list, your clearly just as hateful and dangerous.

    4. @Enoch

      Thats a horrendous offensive comment to make (I only hope you are trying to prove a point which you will evidence to us later, where you demonstrate you are not racist)

      In terms of injustice on grounds of diversity – I usually have found the highest volume of complaints in work to be females or gay men …. to be fair (my experience).

      1. Stu. It’s not bigotry or racism. Please watch these pages for the next, say, four weeks. When you see a slight against the gay community that is not from one of the groups I mention, I want you to call me on it. And I’ll be happy to apologise. Sweeping generalities, like cliches, often have their basis in some nugget of truth. I have no doubt that your experience of complainants shows gays and women leading those ranks… but have you ever asked yourself why?

        1. There are plenty of examples of bigotry towards LGBT people from a wide variety of circles that include those you mention and other groups.

          1. I know, Stu. It’s the preponderance of these three that concerns me. (It’s hard to put feral youths, for example, into a category!)

  21. This has other implications for the private sector. Why should an employer give special consideration to religious employees. Religion has NO place in the work environment whatsoever,and in the case of registrars who are paid by the tax payers, they should NOT be exempt. Let them find alternate employment. If the EHRC persists, this will open a can of worms such as gay businesses being allowed to discriminate against religious people because they find their beliefs offencive.

  22. The people running the commission are out of their depth; very senior judges have been involved in the various judgements ─ they won’t be developing the law to suit the EHRC.

  23. This argument may have some validity for private businesses but it has no standing for public employees. If they are unable to follow the law for whatever reason, they do not belong in public service.

  24. @Enoch

    THat’s racism. By all means, bash Christians, Muslims, the BNP, the KKK and et cetera, but don’t bring black people into this.

    A person’s skin colour does not make them homophobic. Black people are more likely to be homophobic but that’s not because they are black. It’s because they are, for a number of reasons, more likely to be religious, poorly educated and et cetera.

    1. And stuck in the closet and acting out of fustration

      1. You’ve both just proved my point, and yet you want me to mention any group BUT blacks. Wow! Rich blacks like Al Sharpton and Barack Obama are just as bad as poor blacks. It’s black ‘culture’ to be tribal, and gays are just another ‘tribe’ to hate. It does save me some money, though, when withholding contributions in response to Africa’s perpetual, hapless, unforgivably extended ‘need’.

        1. But Enoch, being black isn’t a belief system. There is nothing in the ‘black handbook’ (if there were such a thing) that says being gay is a sin. Whereas, christians, muslims and jews have a ‘bible’ which says its followers should look at homosexuals as degenerate. That’s why it isn’t right to mention ‘blacks’ in the same breath as monotheists.

  25. Carl Rowlands 13 Jul 2011, 4:32pm

    You either believe in equality or you don’t – simple

    1. Christians en-bloc do not believe in equality for others at all, they are looking after their own interests only..

  26. Ooer missus 13 Jul 2011, 4:52pm

    Spokeswoman said:”She said: “We do not and will not licence discrimination against anyone” – but isn’t want they are arguing for a licence to discriminate granted to a person who claims to have a certain subjective belief?

  27. I say we should take the Equality and Human Rights Commission to the European Court of human rights.

  28. Let us suppose for a moment that every registrar in, say, a small office refuses to officiate at a civil partnership ceremony or signing, what then for the provision of services to gay people by the registrar’s office concerned? This would be a failure of the authority to provide a legally required service.
    In the case of a Jew wanting s Saturday free for religious purposes, what would be the effect, again in a small organisation, of resentment among other staff who did not wish to take part in a rota to free the Jew on a day that they may wish to be with their families. This merely illustrates the fact that religion should not play any part in the workplace.

    1. I am someone who is on standby to work when needed (in the NHS). What happens when I turn up in an emergency and someone (a Christian) doesn’t agree with me working there? Do I get told to go home? What if there’s a Christian in every ward, be it patient, doctor, or nurse, or even a domestic with strong religious beliefs? Am I the one who’s told to move? Can they refuse to work with me now? Do they even have to be religious? What if they claim they have an inherent belief that homosexuals shouldn’t be working with them? Have I now got to go back into the straight-jacket and blinkers way of life just to suit their prejudices? Who the hell gives them the right to be above the law when everyone else has to obey or else? Will every employer now be terrified of anyone who say they have religious beliefs and that they, the employer, must cave in to their every demand, no matter how detrimental they are? Why the hell should I be forced to work around them?

      1. John you make a very strong point and you come at this issue from a slightly different angle than many of the previous comments I have read.
        Will employees who do not morally approve of gays now refuse to work with or beside other gay employees using the claim of “religious conscience”?

  29. I’m sick of seeing the stupid, ignorant, bigoted faces of Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane.
    Why are these vexatious “Christians” involving themselves in non-Christian registry marriages at all and as for sexual counselling, surely a Christian could not give sexual counselling to any person or couple who was not married in church.
    These two are so clearly unsuited to the professions they have chosen to enter into.

    1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 10:22am

      I have to say Pavlos, I agree.

    2. They’re also unsuited to the religion of Christianity, whose core principle is to love one another. Also Jesus said “judge not that ye be not judged” – these two critters seem to have forgotten that.

      1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 1:18pm

        Yep, your right. Though not hard to see why it doesn’t suit some of them.

  30. As we all know the bible sanctions the stoning to death of adulterous women.

    Are we to expect the EHRC to defend a registrar who refuses to marry a divorced straight woman who wishes to remarry, simply because the registrar believes that she is an adulteress?

    If not then why the double standard?

  31. When I started work, I was told by my first ever boss, ‘At work you are asexual, amoral, have no beliefs and have no opinions. You follow the codes of conduct laid down by your employer and if you can’t do any part of that, you can’t have a job.’

    How does the EHRC propose to police this policy? Will it now permit anyone working with the public, in any capacity, to ask personal questions of the customer and then further permit them to refuse to serve the customer if they don’t like the answers? Can the policy be applied in reverse? Can I ask the person behind the counter personal questions and demand another member of staff serve me if I don’t like the answers? Such a nonsensical approach can only lead to more and more lawyers fees.

  32. So what exactly is the equalities commission saying, the British courts examined artilce 9 and whatever of the european human rights and explained their reasoning why these case didn’t meet those criteria. What part of this is the equalities commission disputing. As far as I can see it’s the British govt versus equalities commission and the relgious orgs, I don’t know what defence the British govt and the pro side is putting up (if there is a pro side defending us at Europe?)

    If we lose this case then I really hope the sleeping giant within Stonewall will finally wake up and theywill pursue marriage equality with gusto. CPs are not relgious, they ain’t key christian values, gives us marriage and then we can compromise . It’s sicking we still don’t have full equality and now this. I might tolerate compromise if we had full equaity .

    1. Stonewall must explain to us what can be done to defend our human rights in this case, pull their finger out and start getting human rights bodies and moderate Christians to intervene on our behalf, as the EHRC has lost the plot.

  33. Somerandombint 13 Jul 2011, 6:45pm

    There are instances of prejudice against Christians. Happens to me all the time. Trouble is, it’s because of fruitloops like the people seeking protection from the EHRC that it occurs.

    You cannot force others to abide by your own “moral” code – especially when that would curtain their rights to live their lives.

    Christians make compromises every day, but too often it seems that it’s only when it serves them. If these people actually tried to understand what the Bible says, and put it into context, rather than just blindly picking random passages as proof that they are entitled to discriminate, then we might stand a chance again these loonies.

  34. We are being too innocent if we believe that these are just the cases of a couple of misguided individuals and not part of a wider campaign by the very aggresive christian right. The news of yesterdays EHRC volt-face went round the world in moments on their innumerable websites being proclaimed as a great victory.

    These groups do not have a simple conflict about whether a “christian” can reconcile serving LGBT people at work with their religious belief; they do not accept that we are “born that way” but believe we are the worst sort of sinners, doing this horrible thing because we are wicked, doomed to go to hell in due course and, meanwhile, we should not have CP’s or any other rights and that, presumably we shpould be put in prison to protect society from us.

    That is the context in which these cases must be seen.

    Obviosuly the failure of the moderate christian church leaders to challenge these pernicious views more openly only encourages them.

    1. Somerandombint 13 Jul 2011, 7:29pm

      Completely agree.

      What the EHRC needs to understand is, that the scripture on which these “beliefs” are based, is a flawed translation. Anyone using it as a reason to justify viewing homosexuality as a sin, obviously hasn’t studied where that idea came from.
      And yes, the church leaders ought to be more vocal on this issue, but there is the fear that it will result in the right wingers leaving the Church. The Church of Scotland is making slow but sure progress, by discussing the issue of homosexuality in the context of the ministry, and there seems to be a consensus that it’s not the problem some would see it as. If a major UK Christian denomination can accept the existence of gay ministers, then how can the EHRC suggest that discrimination against gay people is an acceptable Christian belief?

      1. Absolutely agree. Its not a sustainable view that faith is an excuse for plurality of morals.

  35. EHRC states that judges have interpreted the law in too narrow a way and proposes superimposing a duty on employers to take all reasonable steps to accommodate the beliefs of religious staff. The EHRC ideas are very dangerous. They muddy the water when it comes to homophobia and anti-gay discrimination, appearing to sanction a ready-made excuse from equalities law.

  36. •To do what EHRC suggests requires gay & lesbian people to suffer inevitable discrimination. Services will be less available or take longer and there are bound to be situations where they suffer the humiliation of being initially refused services and then waiting while another staff member is found
    •In small organisations there will often be only one or two people doing a particular task. – For example a small council may only have one person dealing with adoption or a local sports club may only have one person on duty at any time. This is bound to lead to confrontations where a gay or lesbian person is inevitably humiliated.
    •The EHRC idea also depends on there only being a small minority of staff who refuse to perform any particular task. If any significant number of registrars, for example, refused to deal with civil partnerships, the whole system would become unworkable.
    •And what if a person refuses to work with colleagues who are openly gay? Must that be accommodated?

  37. I am very worried that the word is going out that it is now going to be OK to discriminate against gays & lesbians. It is already, after one day, all over the internet. Any homophobic person will simply have to claim “religious belief” and they have immunity from any consequences. And persons who may be religious but tolerant at present would come under pressure to refuse to serve lesbians and gays as being equal.
    Would the same tolerant and accommodating attitude be shown to Christians who felt it was their religious duty not to serve Jewish people? I fear there is still a considerable degree to which homophobic behaviour is acceptable in UK.

    At present the law is clear. The EHRC proposals would allow religious law, or even an individual, personal take on “Christianity” or “Islam” to trump civil law.

  38. If the principle is once established that it is the right people who claim a religious belief not have to deal equally with, or accept the equal rights of, lesbian and gay people in their work equally why would this not spread from Employment Law to other areas eg
    •Does a “Christian” employer have the right not to employ an openly gay person?
    •Christian fostering and adoption agencies who refuse to allow deal with adoption by same sex couples
    •hotels refusing same sex couples
    •sports clubs with religious associations.

    The registrar who would not register Civil Partnerships was denying our relationships, our rights and, perhaps, even our very humanity. Would she feel able to register a birth to a same sex couple or the death of one partner being reported by the other? If there were enough people like her then we would soon find we had no rights at all.

  39. Accommodating the “rights” of these people to discriminate in their work is not necessary for them to be able to practice their religion requires gay and lesbian people to be discriminated against. The EHRC has not sought to secure either equal treatment for same sex couples in marriage law or any opportunity for religious same sex couples to solemnize their unions in a religious ceremony. One suspects that they are more open to supporting the rights of one sort of religious person over another.

  40. The equalities commission now suddenly wishes to spare all parties more costs and aggro, why now, for heavens sake…the cases have been thru employment tribunals , legal courts in the UK and now suddenly out of the blue they want to get involved in Europe when the European parts of the cases have been convered at length by the British courts. I smell one great big stinking rat! They’ve taken their sweet time to intervene in all this, haven’t they, and without any prompts from anyone influentials, yeah right!!

  41. Although I am a person of faith, I have a fundamental belief that religion is the route of all evil. That being the case, I should have the right not to serve anyone of any religious persuasion. Especially given that belonging to a religious movement is a choice where being born gay certainly is not.

    Of course anyone belonging to any religious movement would be horrified if I was given the right not to provide a service on the basis that their religious choice is opposed to my own beliefs.

    Everyone has a right to their own beliefs, however they must remain personal and not impact on the human rights of others. That means that those with a particular religious belief must provide services to everyone including LGBT customers in the same way that I must provide services to everyone despite my fundamental belief that religion itself is wrong!

    Two wrongs do not make a right!!

  42. ” ‘reasonable accommodations’ should be made to allow religious people to ‘manifest their religion or belief’ – such as in the case of Christian registrars who refuse to conduct civil partnerships.” No – “reasonable accommodation” of religious belief is allowing Muslim women to wear a headscarf as part of a company uniform, allowing Jewish people to go home early on Friday to observe their holy day, not forcing a devout Christian to work on a Sunday. It is not “reasonable” to allow religiously disguised bigotry to manifest their hatred. The suggestion that we should allow homophobic christians to work shifts in which they avoid having to perform same sex civil ceremonies is appalling. This isn’t “reasonable accommodation” it is enabling bigotry and hatred. If you substitute gay people in this scenario with any racial group and then suggest that someone’s bigotry should be accommodated, people would be up in arms. It’s a pity we have to perform this substution to make the point.

    1. Completely agree.

  43. PaulDG, well said. Personally, I’d like to start a movement to disestablish state religion in our country. Disempower it altogether. It’s irrelevant and undemocratic allowing state religion to influence and have a say in political issues, especially in areas of civil matters such as equality and civil marriage upon which it has NO authority to pass judgement.

  44. Robert – It already exists!!

    The National Secular Society already work tirelessly on that front. Although I don’t agree with everything they stand for, they certainly are a very strong voice for the separation of state and religion!

  45. Another Hannah 13 Jul 2011, 9:52pm

    Has nobody remebered that the conservatives wanted rid of the EHRC a short time ago? it would help if they made themselves unpopular with the people they are supposed to help wouldn’t it? perhaps they are being given enough rope to hang themselves, or something even more sinister? What they are trying to do is utterly unacceptable, and ridiculous. As someone who is christian I also would like to see the machinary of state to be entirely secular. Aethiests should not have faith forced upon them, that for the salvation Army.

  46. “better respect for religious rights within the workplace … without diminishing the rights of others”.

    Contradiction as religion persecutes lgbt people so if you uphold the rights of people who live by a book and justify their actions in a voice in their head and a figure we can’t see then you will by that design have to be prejudice against gay people as their book in their mind tells them they must.

    If someone refused to serve me I would just take it.

    Want to know the secrets of the world ? Minorities are always te victim.

  47. listen to me, because i am of color, i hate too say because it make me feel bad, but when i men divisity, you put all equal rights human rights people in the system no racist no religious hate groups, colored middle age men and old men have a serious problem of being evoldved in false relighions of hate and abbuse of discrimination towards women, and lgbt people, they are close ties with muslims of hate , and afriecan nations of hate crimes, only use those who are gay or one hundred percent for equaliity, the same for the white klu klan these wicked south people and africans have imbedded set backs, and should be reprimanded sued, and arrested fosr hate crimes and discriminstion, if any religious organization, ass;ults are refuses to treat any one fairly, those people and there organization, immediatly must be reprimanded and the person, and su;ed, these hatemongers are no bite more christian thatn my dog, there is no hatae in real angels, they are love and peace, these people kill

  48. just lilke all the other comments, i dont care whether you are a bigot are not inside your on body , its not right , your carrying evil inside of your that leads you to harm and violate others, and that a crime. every employer, business, organiazation, had better get diversity programs, and ani bullying programs, or be sued and reprimanded for the mental and physical assaults and mistreatment of others, you do not allow workers on a public or private job dealling with other people to mistreat others, because of their on persanal hate warped thinking, you are hired to do your job in the store , in the busines, you treat people right are be fired for mistreating people and stay away from people if you cant treat them right and fair, they dont need you to go home an go to bed with them , they need you to politely check out their groceries with out hateful remarks and rude manurisms , it cannot be toloortated, i dont care what your title is. its a bigot and evil ,

    1. You are right carrie, so often problems arise because selfish religious people think it’s all about them, they aren’t willing to be civil to others and consider the needs of others, they are smug, arrogant deluded and they lack empathy, not good character traits.
      Basically these people have no manners they are incapable of treating others who are different to them decently, in a civilised fashion.

      1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 10:49am

        Well Said, Carrie and Pavlos.

  49. Fine – let Ladele and her like refuse to officiate at civil partnerships. But then they shouldn’t expect to draw a full salary for providing only a partial service. A cut of 10% to reflect the contribution made to her wages by gay people should suffice.

    1. Financial compromise is one possible solution Clive, if there must be compromise.

      1. It’s the only compromise that’s acceptable, IMO! You don’t marry gay people, gay people don’t pay you, end of story. I imagine Ladele would be whining again about discrimination within nanoseconds, of course

    2. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 10:55am

      Question is if they open up the right to refuse people on grounds of sexuality, something that can’t be help and is perfectly natural, will that also open up to those who wish to refuse on the grounds of race and colour?

      Just how would Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane react to that?

      Not favourable I would imagine and rightfully so, so why are we being treated differently? It’s all hatred after all.

      1. Of course, and I couldn’t agree more. However, if compromise there is going to be, let these hate-filled ignorant bigots feel the pinch in their pay packets as a result. I bet that pretty soon they would either stop trying to operationalise their bigotry or they would slither off and find another job, one more suited to their backward, tiny little minds

      2. Logically they’d have to, Jock. So the whole Equality Act would fall apart and people would be allowed to act on their own personal prejudices and disregard the law if they felt they wanted to. Racists could cite their ‘genuine beliefs’ about other races; misogynists could refuse to employ women, etc etc.
        It’s ridiculous – utterly, utterly stupid. Ther Equality Act is supposed to operate on the premise that we’re all equal NOT that some people are more equal than others.

  50. George Broadhead 14 Jul 2011, 8:30am

    Who else apart from Stonewall has complained about this? The BHA has:
    The British Humanist Association (BHA) has expressed its severe concerns over an application by the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to intervene in four cases of alleged discrimination against Christians in the workplace which are being taken to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The BHA has questioned the motivations behind the intervention but also the priority being given by the EHRC to such cases which the BHA has described as ‘wholly disproportionate’.

    The EHRC has applied to intervene in four cases taken to the ECtHR alleging religious discrimination, all four of which have been lost in the English tribunals and courts which have heard them. The cases are that of Lillian Ladele, the registrar who refused to fulfil her duties because of her ‘orthodox Christian beliefs’ against same-sex partnerships and Gary McFarlane, who refused to treat gay couples equally with straight ones in his job as a counsellor at Relate. The EHRC has also applied to intervene in the case of Nadia Eweida, who has repeatedly lost her claims of religious discrimination against her employer British Airways, and of Shirley Chaplin, who claimed that uniform codes violated her human rights as a Christian.

    BHA Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘All reasonable people will agree both that equality law in this area must be clear and also that there is scope in a secular democracy for reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs when that accommodation does not affect the rights and freedoms of others. But it is one thing to make the case for reasonable accommodation in matters such as religious holidays, and quite another if the accommodation sought is to allow the believer to discriminate against others in the provision of a service. In the case of Lillian Ladele, her religious objection to providing civil partnerships went against her obligation as a registrar to provide a service to which gay and lesbian couples have a fundamental right. Rather than using these cases to argue for accommodation, we look to the EHRC to argue that the judgments of the High Court be upheld and to protect the rights of service users not to be discriminated against on the arbitrary convictions of someone who does not wish to treat them equally.’

    Mr Copson also expressed the regret of the BHA that the EHRC had once again shown willingness to take action on religious matters while constantly neglecting the rights of others:

    ‘In spite of our own work on the government steering group that first established it, ever since the EHRC opened for business our attempts to work with it have run aground on the constant priority it gives to religion. The EHRC has covered itself with shame on “religion or belief” issues since its doors first opened and this latest action is wholly disproportionate.

    ‘When a third of our state schools have the capacity to discriminate against staff and pupils because they are of the wrong or no religion, when public services are being contracted to religious groups with huge opt outs from equality and human rights law, and when community cohesion in this country is being threatened by the misguided emphasis given to religion in public policy, the idea that the most pressing issue on which our equality commission should spend its public money is alleged discrimination against Christians wanting to wear religious symbols is ridiculous.’

    The BHA has an ongoing complaint lodged with the EHRC over recent comments by its chair Trevor Phillips in an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, that the EHRC’s ‘business is defending the believer’. The first response by the EHRC to the complaint and request for the remedy of an apology was that Mr Phillips ‘[stood] by’ his comments and no apology would be made. The BHA is appealing that decision

    1. How did you make such a long post?

      1. I was also curious how you created such as long post?

        1. Cut-and-paste from a Word document, perhaps?

  51. You just couldn’t make this story up. The Equality and Human Rights Commission says it’s okay for christians and muslims to not treat LGBT equally. LOL. What a joke. I wonder if they think it will be okay for atheists to not deal with monotheists? I doubt it. monotheism wins again, usurping the rights of LGBT. And some gay guys on here defend christians and muslims. Pathetic.

  52. The EHRC never said they would support Lilian Ladelle or Gary McFarlane. This whole debate is based on a mistaken report in the Daily Mail.

    She said: “We do not and will not licence discrimination against anyone and on any grounds and we will continue to take action to eliminate it. Under no circumstances does the commission condone or permit the refusal of public services to lesbian or gay people.”

    I think that is pretty clear.

    1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 10:57am

      Ah, the Daily Mail…. and the puzzle finally comes together.

      Wish PinkNews had mentioned that as it puts an entitly different aspect to the story.

      1. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 11:23am

        Actually it originates from the live blogging of the Guardian of the C of E Synod at the Guardian, and a report in the Telegraph. The story is true, I think ” Liberty ” is seeking to mislead.

        The press statement from the commission is clear that they are intervening on behalf of all 4 and supporting a right of public workers to opt out of providing service to gay people, on the assumption that there is someone else available and willing to provide the service, which of course ain’t necessarily so, particularly in some religious European countries.

        1. Jessica Geen 14 Jul 2011, 11:38am

          Our story came from the statement posted on the EHRC website.

          1. As Alf N. Split (below) comments, with all due respect, Jessie, you should be on the front line with your notebook and pen soliciting comments and interviews with the people involved in these decisions, not merely reprinting statements and PR puff pieces verbatim. You do a good job getting all these stories together, but Pink News needs to develop a backbone and be out there demanding answers to the questions that need to be asked.

          2. I would support what you are saying if it was true that the EHRC is supporting homophobic discrimination by the Ladelle and McFarlane, but they are not.

            The Daily Mail misreported what the EHRC are saying and now every newspaper reporting as if the DM article established the facts. It didn’t.

            The EHRC is not saying that religious people like Lilian Ladelle and Gary McFarlance should be allowed to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

            As one of their spokeswomen said to Pink News, “We do not and will not licence discrimination against anyone and on any grounds and we will continue to take action to eliminate it. Under no circumstances does the commission condone or permit the refusal of public services to lesbian or gay people. The accommodation of rights is not a zero sum equation whereby one right cancels out or trumps another.”

            That seems pretty clear to me.

    2. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 11:37am

      Liberty, how is intervening in the cases claiming that the judges’ decisions were “too narrow”, not supporting the claimed right by Ladele and Macfarlane to opt out of doing their job as regards one particular minority of the community?

      1. The EHRC press release is talking about cases where religious people were not allowed to wear or display crosses, for example:

        “The Commission is concerned that rulings already made by UK and European courts have created a body of confusing and contradictory case law. For example, some Christians wanting to display religious symbols in the workplace have lost their legal claim so are not allowed to wear a cross, while others have been allowed to after reaching a compromise with their employer.

        As a result, it is difficult for employers or service providers to know what they should be doing to protect people from religion or belief based discrimination. They may be being overly cautious in some cases and so are unnecessarily restricting people’s rights.

        The Commission thinks there is a need for clearer legal principles to help the courts consider what is and what is not justifiable in religion or belief cases, which will help to resolve differences without resorting to legal action.”

        1. No, the EHRC is going to intervene in the four cases currently at the ECHR, which includes Ladele’s and MacFarlane’s. This is not just about wearing crosses to work, this is about allowing bigots to act on their bigotry.

          1. The cases have already been referred to the European Court of Human Rights. The Equality and Human Rights Commission is intervening not to support Ladele and MacFarlane, but to establish principles, as I understand it.

      2. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 1:26pm

        That is not the implication of their press release, or how the Evangelical Alliance appear to believe is the case, in their “the gays are scared!” comment on their website.

        1. I imagine (correct me if i’m wrong) that the ‘gays are scared’ comment was made by someone posting their own opinion, and not the official policy of the Evangelical Alliance.

          1. Jock S. Trap 20 Jul 2011, 3:21pm

            probably meant ‘sacred’….

  53. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 11:15am

    Still no Pink News interview with Angela Mason or anyone else at the commission. Where is the urgency on this important matter?

  54. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 11:49am

    Yes, as publicised by the sources mentioned and then raised in the comments section on this site. Certainly not a Daily Mail misrep.

    The Commission need to explain precisely what part of the reasoning or judgements in the cases they consider too narrow and why, and the implications of a broader interpretation for gay people in countries where religious homophobia is a very prevalent attitude.

    1. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 11:49am

      That was in reply to Jessica.

      1. Tim Hopkins 14 Jul 2011, 12:24pm

        Sadly, Liberty, you are wrong about this. The EHRC press release talks about 4 cases. 2 of them are about issues like religious people being allowed to wear crosses at work. The other 2 are about people claiming the right to discriminate against LGBT people, if their religious beliefs tell them to.
        The Commission’s position on those two cases, Ladele and McFarlane, is entirely unclear, and they need urgently to clarify it. It is simply not enough for them to give some general comment about non-discrimination, when at the same time the Commission are implying that they may think that the two cases were wrongly decided. As Alf asked, in what way were the decisions wrong or too narrow?

        1. Hi Tim,
          Excellent point, which gets to the heart of why the media have reported this in the way they have.

          As I understand it, the Ladele and McFarlane cases are part of a group of cases that have been referred for appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) is intervening in this group of cases as an expert in order to establish some principles.

          No one except the EHRC knows exactly what they will say when they give evidence, but the media have made certain assumptions about it. In my opinion, the media has reached the wrong consclusions, based on what is actually said in the EHRC press release. The EHRC has said clearly that it will will propose the idea of ‘reasonable accommodations’ that will help employers and others manage how they allow people to manifest their religion or belief. It has also said, “Under no circumstances does the commission condone or permit the refusal of public services to lesbian or gay people.”

          1. “Under no circumstances does the commission condone or permit the refusal of public services to lesbian or gay people.”

            As a general principle, maybe, but there is nothing in their statement that indicates they wouldn’t allow individuals to refuse (or at best avoid supplying) those services to LGBT people on the grounds of “reasonable accommodation” of their religious beliefs.

          2. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 1:34pm

            Exactly, Clive, the implication of the press release is that they think Ladele and Mcfarlene were wrongly decided, that they should be able to opt out because of their personal beliefs, and a colleague do their job for them. They need to clarify what exactly is their “expert opinion” and where they believe the judges were wrong in their perfectly proper decisions. It doesn’t sound like they have thought through the broader implications of what they are saying, and the potential effect in more homophobic countries.

        2. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 1:43pm

          And as stakeholders in what the Commission does, we deserve proper clarification now, so that we can take other steps to intervene through other bodies. The secularists may want to consider intervening in any event so that their point of view may also be heard.

    2. And why would the Daily Mail misrepresent a story about the assumed “rights” of Christians to discriminate against gays – they’d more than likely be firmly on the side of Ladele and Macfarlane FFS. Also, I get a bit sick of the attitude that if something has been published in the Daily Mail, it’s automatically suspect.

      1. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 1:27pm

        Thats because when it comes to Stories involving both Christians and the LGBTQ community the Daily Mail does deliberately leave out parts of the story to change the how it looks.

        So why they claim the freedom of the press they deliberate alter stories to suit them and on top of that sanction the responses to them.

      2. How many times does anyone have to misrepresent the truth before you start to automatically mistrust what they say, period? The Daily Mail never reports the facts objectively; they’re virtually always distorted to feed right-wing prejudices and should always be approached with extreme caution.

        1. Yes, but this story is not feeding “right wing prejudices” in any way. Quite the opposite. Even if we automatically assume that the Daily Mail ALWAYS has a homophobic agenda, then why would the Daily Mail misrepresent the EHRC in this instance, as the EHRC is clearly doing something that would disadvantage gay people

      3. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 1:46pm

        This is a red herring in this case.

  55. Anti-Hagee 14 Jul 2011, 1:53pm

    Simple question. Would a public servant be allowed, personally, not to provide services to black people?

    They would not.

    Gay people aren’t second class citizens.

    1. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 2:24pm

      Though if these 2 employment cases are reversed or varied, and religious rights effectively trump non discrimination rights, we may find a situation evolving where we are not the only group that religious extremists refuse to engage with during the course of their employment. They could effectively become an elite group who are not subject to discrimination laws at all.

  56. Clive should realise that the ‘Daily Mail’ employs bigots to write for bigots. These include Jan Moir, Amanda Platel and Melanie Phillips who has variously been described in the press as ‘Mad Mel’, the ‘Fanatic Jewess’ and ‘The bigot writing for bigots’. Along with others writing for that newspaper, they encourage homophobic sentiments. The newspaper searches the world for gay news and invariably opens such reports to comments, many of which are homophobic in the extreme.

    1. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 4:11pm

      I doubt anyone here disputes that, however the concern arises from the statements that the Commission has issued, not from the Daily Mail, which I, for one, had not even seen. They appear to suggest an accommodation of homophobic and other discriminatory behaviour by employees if they claim it is due to their religion. As people on both sides of the arguement see their statement in the same way, urgent clarification is obviously needed.

    2. What makes you assume I don’t know the nature of the Daily Mail. However, as I say just because something is reported in the Daily Mail doesn’t automatically mean it didn’t happen.

  57. Religious belief is a private matter, and it should remain so. It should not in any way be allowed to impinge on the workplace. If individuals do not agree, because of their religious beliefs, with what is required by their jobs, then they should seek other jobs,. The wearing of religious symbols may have resulted in different solutions or different accommodations by employers, and this may require clarification. But the cases of the registrar and of the counsellor are of a very different order in that they involve direct discrimination. Therefore, It would be completely inappropriate for all four cases to dealt with together by the European Court. I do not understand why these two cases have been accepted for review by the ECHR. The English court made it clear that there was no point of law which justified an appeal to the Supreme Court. It was a simple matter: the two appellants had broken the law in that they failed to provide appropriate services to gay people

    1. Ooer missus 14 Jul 2011, 5:59pm

      Well, they are there, and I agree we need representation we can trust to put forward our case. The government has a habit of instructing a particular QC in these cases who appears to have a greater interest in religious rights than other aspects.

      1. Ooer missus 14 Jul 2011, 6:06pm

        I’m referring to the previous government.

        1. Ooer missus 14 Jul 2011, 6:26pm

          This was the bizarre intervention by the UK in the Austrian case last year. If the same QC is instructed we will know something is afoot.

          “All of the other 46 states of the Council of Europe could have chosen to intervene in this case. Only one did – the United Kingdom. The court’s judgment summarises the UK’s arguments as being strongly against any right to same-sex marriage or to recognition of same-sex partnerships. This intervention is very peculiar, to say the least, as it was done under the previous Labour government, which was very proud of introducing legal recognition of civil partnerships in Britain. In fact, after this intervention was publicised in the Guardian in 2008 and Anthony Lester raised the issue in the Lords, the government said it was amending its arguments, but it does not appear to have done so with any major change of approach.” Guardian.

          1. Ooer missus 14 Jul 2011, 7:28pm

            I wonder if the present government can shed some light on that devious play by the last lot?

  58. herewegoherewegoherewego 15 Jul 2011, 9:01am

    Perhaps the religious bodies having the Equality and Human rights commission on their side might in fact back fire. Perhaps if a case came court where a gay person has been refused a service, the defending QCs might dig deeper. If proven that the religious person had been practising for a time , and still served divorced, and single parents, or accommodated unmarried couples. Would they then be looked at as religious person or just plain bigot? At the moment as the laws stand to an extent they get a get out clause. I did not serve these people as they are gay, and I am religious. Full stop. This time they might have to prove there religion. Just saying it, might not be enough for the courts. Will the courts expect that you can take some aspects of religion as a defence , or will they expect to see you live your life in more keeping with its doctrine. Also religion is dying out fast in the western world , church attendance is down annually , and tends to be practiced more by the elder part of the community. Both of which over a period of time will fade away. The younger generations are becoming more tolerant of gay people . The images they see of us are more common now than they were. Soaps , internet. We are no longer a mystery. I think in this country if businesses start to put up signs “NO GAYS”, which they will have to do , some where, or they get a reputation that they are practising this , then it will not last long. As Gay rights go this is a backward step regarding our equality, but in any struggle you get, its always two steps forward , one back. More and more people find religion is not needed in their lives. They have more information , and the fear that old religion installed into people has lost its grip. “You will go to hell “, does not cut the mustard any more. Also will we as gay people be able to opt out of paying some of our taxes to organisations that encourages homophobia. If a council accommodates this sort of inequality , will we be able to opt out. Surely we will have a case of not having to contribute to an organisation that does not support us? When I first read the reports of the Equality commission , it really sadden me , but on reflection , and talking to my friends about this we came to two conclusions. Gay people don’t take your rights too much for granted and religious bodies, be careful what you wish for , as this golden egg, might not be all it appears to be.

  59. If Jane White is a writer, she is certainly a very vulgar one. Her style is appalling. No decent, free-lance writer would stoop to use the kind of language she uses. She needs to be educated out of her semi-literate way of writing.

    1. I particularly appreciated “blind to see”.
      .
      I imagine ‘freelance’ is a euphemism.

    2. Ooer missus 15 Jul 2011, 3:05pm

      Just the same old troll probably.

  60. Frankly, you seem a more than a little dim and perhaps there’s no point bothering; but I’ll try anyway, using an analogy as that might just help:
    .
    I don’t find the sight of chubby, tattooed, bleached and badly-dressed women drunk and out of control on the streets on a Friday night particularly prepossessing; that does not mean, however, that I advocate the removal of the civil rights of all women. I find stupidity on your level abnormal by comparison with the women I know; that does not mean I wish you (or any other women) harm – on the contrary I just wish you might gain a little wisdom one day, preferably sooner rather than later.
    .
    As you have so ably demostrated, there’s nothing to prevent people from looking stupid in the eyes of others. That is not an argument to restrict their human and/or civil rights.

    1. (This, along with others, was in reply to a post that has now been deleted.)

  61. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 4:10pm

    Does this site attract some trolls or what?

    Question is, is it many people or just 1 or 2 using different names?

  62. Early day motion supported by a lot of labour mps!

    “That this House welcomes the decision of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to intervene in supportof four cases involving discrimination against Christians that are presently with the European Court of Human Rights; notes that this is a long overdue recognition of the need to defend religious liberty and marks an important development in relation to a better understanding of the role of faith in public life; and further welcomes the Commission’s advocacy for reasonable accommodation in the workplace as an acknowledgement of the place of conscientious objection for those with religious belief.”

  63. Early day motion in parliament:

    That this House welcomes the decision of the Equality and Human Rights Commission to intervene in supportof four cases involving discrimination against Christians that are presently with the European Court of Human Rights; notes that this is a long overdue recognition of the need to defend religious liberty and marks an important development in relation to a better understanding of the role of faith in public life; and further welcomes the Commission’s advocacy for reasonable accommodation in the workplace as an acknowledgement of the place of conscientious objection for those with religious belief.

  64. It would appear that Pinknews.co.uk do not like my form of debate or statements.

    Why has this happened? Well it seems that some jealous baby complained that my comments were homophobia and threatened to chuck their dummy out of the pram if Pink News didn’t do something about it.

    I have seen more & more ‘rules’ being applied to the site… none of which are reasonable or enforceable in law!

    But all is not lost… they still believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression… which is why they will not be deleting this text from here… isn’t that right Pink News???

    Being homosexual is a choice, ( homosexual is the correct term, not gay) as is the way that homosexuals behave. Ii it impinges on other peoples lives then it should be taken in hand and dealt with, pref with another law saying that homosexuals can be, but they must not force their lifestyles and behaviour on others or in a public place. And in return no one else should force their religious views and other on to homosexuals.

    But homosexuals will not agree to this as they like to be the militant party and have ‘special’ laws that protect them and give them preferential treatment.

    Their life impinges on mine when they close towns and cities to have the outdated embarrassing pride march, their life impinges on mine with the constant whining about being refused things, no one owes you anything, and everyone has the choice of who to server regardless of a tiny piece of law, its a persons right to refused to serve anyone, and those that take action against them are very bad losers indeed.

    I find it cringe worthy to see grown men, dressed as woman, or half naked, prancing down the street trying to make out that they should be accepted when really they are just digging a bigger hole for themselves to be hated even more.

    What they should do is stop all the tacky nonsense of dressing up as soldiers squirting water pistols, and grow up and bit and just have a normal march to show their presence, no fancy dress no place cards nothing, just normally, after all that’s what they want to be viewed and accepted as, normal EQUAL human beings.

    While they continue this nonsense that they are blind to see that they are the cause of their homophobia, by their very doing and behaviour.

    While they continue this nonsense that they are blind to see that they are the cause of their homophobia, by their very doing and behaviour and quite rightly no straight person would ever wanted to be on the same level of equality as homosexuals.

    Also defining activities and events that focus on homosexuals only is frowned up on and quite contradictory as, homosexuals, bleat homophobia if they are now allowed to join of if something is focused and made just for straight people, so how do homosexuals get away with focusing on one sexuality where some things are created, as if the normal straight community did that, they would be an uproar and toys and not to mention fake tan and hair dye would be thrown with limp wrists, and girlie screams in protest.

    Jane

    1. Jock S. Trap 18 Jul 2011, 8:36am

      Get an education Dummy, stop making excuses for your homophobia.

      This is how I was born weither you like it or not.

      Still it suits you to separate Human Beings, thats religion for you and how nasty it gets, prefering wars to love.

      Who I love is none of your business and you talk about forcing but you’re the only ones that are interested in it and making an issue out of it.

      Get a life and stop interfering with others and most of all stop projecting your filthy mind on others.

      Pervert!

      1. Get a life yourself and stop interfering with others and most of all stop projecting your filthy homsexual behaviour and lifestyle choice on others.

        Then maybe you will be accepted and given equality.

        1. DOnt come on a gay website if you dont like gays – simples!

        2. Jock S. Trap 20 Jul 2011, 9:17am

          With that attitude Jane, life must be very challenging and lonely for you.

          It must be toughy seeing people like us so at peace and happy with ourselves going about our business, contributing to society paying taxes.

          What do you have? You question everything and everyone. You clearly can’t stop thinking about sex and esp Gay sex.

          It’s hardly us with the problem here is it Jane?

          Get your head out of the sewer, sadly the scum will probably remain about you but you might feel better with some fresh air…. and some sedation drugs.

        3. Jock S. Trap 20 Jul 2011, 9:26am

          FYI – I already have a life with a man of 18 years, a fantastic man, big in all the right places (if you know what I mean). Made a good living for ourselves. A son who is well balanced and doing very well at uni, who has a lovely girlfriend – what more could I ask for? Here’s hoping your life is as fullfilling, though I doubt it’s has as much and certainly your can’t be as happy, I mean look at your big bigotted self…. Hardly something to shout about is it.

          Difference between you and me Jane.

          This is how I was born.

          Your life is choice. Your bigotry is choice.

          Now, whose the better person?

          That’s right me.

          Now go, go open that bottle of JD you’ve been fighting to resist and surrender to the illness that you have.

          It won’t make you a better person but with any luck it’ll keep you away from other human beings.

    2. Jock S. Trap 18 Jul 2011, 8:38am

      Isn’t it funny how ignorant homophoes change their nickname each time to make their comments.
      =
      It’s as if they know what they say is unacceptable, so why say it?

      Hypocrites.

    3. Jock S. Trap 18 Jul 2011, 8:41am

      Luckily your becoming a minority. Deal with it and stop forcing your homophobia on others.

      1. Alf N. Spit 18 Jul 2011, 2:15pm

        This is our space to discuss things. It should be a homophobia free zone. But I do wish when PN deletes a troll’s posts it would either also delete the replies, or mark the post as deleted in some way so as to preserve the thread.

  65. It would appear that Pinknews.co.uk do not like my form of debate or statements.

    Why has this happened? Well it seems that some jealous baby complained that my comments were homophobia and threatened to chuck their dummy out of the pram if Pink News didn’t do something about it.

    I have seen more & more ‘rules’ being applied to the site… none of which are reasonable or enforceable in law!

    But all is not lost… they still believe in freedom of speech and freedom of expression… which is why they will not be deleting this text from here… isn’t that right Pink News???

    Being homosexual is a choice, ( homosexual is the correct term, not gay) as is the way that homosexuals behave. Ii it impinges on other peoples lives then it should be taken in hand and dealt with, pref with another law saying that homosexuals can be, but they must not force their lifestyles and behaviour on others or in a public place. And in return no one else should force their religious views and other on to homosexuals.

    But homosexuals will not agree to this as they like to be the militant party and have ‘special’ laws that protect them and give them preferential treatment.

    Their life impinges on mine when they close towns and cities to have the outdated embarrassing pride march, their life impinges on mine with the constant whining about being refused things, no one owes you anything, and everyone has the choice of who to server regardless of a tiny piece of law, its a persons right to refused to serve anyone, and those that take action against them are very bad losers indeed.

    I find it cringe worthy to see grown men, dressed as woman, or half naked, prancing down the street trying to make out that they should be accepted when really they are just digging a bigger hole for themselves to be hated even more.

    What they should do is stop all the tacky nonsense of dressing up as soldiers squirting water pistols, and grow up and bit and just have a normal march to show their presence, no fancy dress no place cards nothing, just normally, after all that’s what they want to be viewed and accepted as, normal EQUAL human beings.

    While they continue this nonsense that they are blind to see that they are the cause of their homophobia, by their very doing and behaviour.

    While they continue this nonsense that they are blind to see that they are the cause of their homophobia, by their very doing and behaviour and quite rightly no straight person would ever wanted to be on the same level of equality as homosexuals.

    Also defining activities and events that focus on homosexuals only is frowned up on and quite contradictory as, homosexuals, bleat homophobia if they are now allowed to join of if something is focused and made just for straight people, so how do homosexuals get away with focusing on one sexuality where some things are created, as if the normal straight community did that, they would be an uproar and toys and not to mention fake tan and hair dye would be thrown with limp wrists, and girlie screams in protest.

    Jane

    1. You are wrong and this is a gay site and spreading malicious, inaccurate, insensitve and bigoted material and comment is both immoral and illegal and you should be rejected by any well minded person

  66. According to Jane, closing off parts of cities for pride marches impinges on her life.

    In that case, does she agree that closing off aa large area of London to accomodate the Pope constitutes an impingement on my life by the Catholic church?

  67. “People should be able to provide services to whom they wish and not be dictated to, simple.”
    .
    Not if they’re on the public payroll they shouldn’t. Are you arguing that people who don’t want to serve black people or Jews should be similarly accommodated?

  68. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 1:08pm

    I take it that is the official position of the Evangelical Alliance?

    I would just point out that these 2 cases are ones where evangelical Christians are seeking special rights to discriminate in the course of their employment with a government body. It potentially affects everyone, not just gay people. Who they want to discriminate against is entirely subjective, though so far it seems to be only against gay people, which suggests it is homophobia rather than religion at play here.

  69. I don’t want more, I want the same as everybody else – the same respect, the same consideration, the same level of service.

  70. No, Matt. We don’t want “more”, we simply want the same. What part of that is so hard to understand? That’s what equality means. The SAME rights not special rights.
    I find some religious people’s attempts to gain special rights offensive. Moreover, the ‘right to discriminate’ isn’t something that anyone with any decency should even be pursuing. Hardly admirable, is it?

  71. Dr Robin Guthrie 14 Jul 2011, 2:47pm

    I reserve the right not to treat you in my GP surgery as you are an idiot.

  72. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 4:21pm

    A very immature and uneducated comment Matt.

    Prehaps you’d be fine not being treated Equally thats your look out but we deserve the same respect and treatment you have so frequently, taken for granted.

  73. Alf N. Spit 14 Jul 2011, 1:50pm

    That’s all any of us want. Sadly these cases are seeking special rights by religious extremists to discriminate against anyone they choose in the course of their public employment.

  74. Jock S. Trap 14 Jul 2011, 4:24pm

    Exactly, why do the fruitloops always think this is about more Rights when they have everything and take them for granted knowing others don’t.

    Why can’t they see this is about Equality and levelling the balance Not a tipping it.

  75. @Dr Robin Guthrie

    I wish I had your balls, that would preclude me treating about 85% of my patients at least!

  76. That says everything anyone would want to know about you. You don’t really get the concept of equality in law, do you? Poor dear.

  77. Ooer missus 14 Jul 2011, 6:03pm

    Presume you meant “not”. Getting married and seeking relationship counselling require the non-judgemental input of others doing the job they are paid to do.

  78. So lets say we agree (for one second), Matt …

    So we accept sexuality is a private matter (I would argue to an extent but not totally – but for the sake of argument, lets say I accept) …

    So we accept religious belief is a private matter (I suspect you would also have slightly different views, and I would generally agree not totally private – but for the sake of argument lets say we both accept its prviate …)

    How do we then deal with the “couple” who have not disclosed their relationship, as it is a private matter, who are two men, who are booked in to stay for two nights in a room with a double bed (and no other vacancies that night) in a bed and breakfast. The couple running it are evangelical Christians, but have not disclosed this in advertising as it is a private matter.

    Should the couple be thrown out on the street and be refused services in breach of the Equality Act, or should the couple who run a business be asked to accept the customers?

  79. I quite agree, Matt.
    .
    Whereas being religious is a private matter and should NOT be allowed to impinge on the lives of others.

  80. Unless you’re spying through my window, Matt, I fail to see how my life impinges on yours. It’s YOU who seem to have a prurient interest in our lives.

  81. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 10:13am

    “Being homosexual is a private matter and should be allowed to impinge on the lives of others.”

    Mmmm I’m thinking your an idiot and maybe you should replace ‘homosexual’ with Matt or idiot.

  82. @Matt

    I presume you are an evangelical Christian. Correct me if I am wrong. Your love really shines through, and you seem to want to change John 3:16. Its very dodgy when people say scripture must be obeyed then try and interpret it in various different ways – is it any wonder then that people see blind faith in religions as laughable?
    Where do you base your views on that people of different sexualities should be treated with disequity?
    As a paramedic, do I have the right to refuse to resuscitate you because I disagree with your philosophy?

  83. Matt: “homosexuals are not equal to hetrosexuals in any way, and should be treated differently.”

    Yep, and that’s exactly what some people said about black people too. Nice.
    You must have very low self-esteem to feel the need to label anyone else as somehow beneath you and to seek to deprive them of human rights. How sad.

  84. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 9:53am

    I made no choice to be who I am, Thank you.

    Did you choose to be straight? No you didn’t so by what logic do people other than straight people choose to be?

    Your clearly uneducated to make such a remark based purely on assumptions and nothing else but this is the way I was born just as the is the way you were born.

    Unfortunately you choose to be a bigot, something you have control over.

  85. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 9:55am

    Only ignorant people being some Human Beings are better than others.

    Truth is we are all born equal but it’s people like you who choose discrimination and bigotry.

    Equality will happen and people like you are gradually becoming the minority.

  86. No matter how many times you keep repeating your lies, Matt – it doesnt make them true

  87. “Yes they are made the choice to be how you are, act how you do, so live with it.”

    My dear boy, being an idiot is a choice. One you made. Being gay is not. Have I made it simple enough for your infantile mind, hmmm?

  88. @Matt, have you ever thought for your self, or have you always had to toe the line so to speak, and bow in deference to the rules of uncompromising and rigid sky pixie?

  89. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 10:10am

    Matt

    Please do explain how people make the ‘choice’ to be Gay, Straight, Lesbian…

  90. “I presume you are an evangelical Christian.”

    No, Stu, just another fool that wanders in here to make himself feel one bit the man he can’t be in the real world.

  91. @Will

    Indeed, you may be correct …

  92. Ooer missus 14 Jul 2011, 7:26pm

    Actually he’s probably one of ours just playing the fool.

  93. @Matt

    So should I be able to refuse to resuscitate you because I disagree with your belief system?

    You seem keen to ignore that question

  94. Ooer missus 14 Jul 2011, 7:01pm

    Matt is such a little monkey ;)

  95. Ooer missus 14 Jul 2011, 7:19pm

    Except there is a suggestion in the judgement of the case you are thinking of, that the hotel may not have been telling the truth when they told the couple there were no other rooms, at least there was some “ambiguity ” in the evidence about it. So just turned away, full stop.

  96. And clearly very interested in gay life ;)

  97. I suspect not. Poor Matt’s following a dogma and truth and fact seem to play little part in his argument. What he says MUST be true else his whole little constructed world will fall apart.
    It’s sad that some people try to make themselves feel better by hating others.

  98. Well, indeed … although I thought I would be generous and say there were no other rooms to avoid ambiguity
    Seems Matt doesnt want to play equality scruples …

  99. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 10:09am

    Quite Right, Iris.

  100. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 10:12am

    Indeed JohnK.

    Must really get to them to see people like us, completely at ease and happy with ourselves while they have to have the agenda set out for them in what to do, say, how to act…

  101. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 10:15am

    Indeed I missed that lol oh well guess we’re been told to impinge… not today thank though, I’m washing my hair…darn it forgot I don’t have any…

  102. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 1:05pm

    Notice how you ignore my question to you…Please do explain how people make the ‘choice’ to be Gay, Straight, Lesbian…

    I’m guessing it’s because like th erest of us you have no idea how people choose to be Gay or Straight.

    I’m guessing it’s all to do with assumption because you failed to get some kind of education and am now a very bitter lonely person coz no-one wants anything to do with you and your shallow bigotry.

    Thankfully you are a minority nowaday and all you look likle is a small child having a tantrum.

    Laughable but also worrying that they let people leave school so dim.

  103. “Being homosexual is a choice”
    .
    Do you know that from personal experience Matt – when you chose not to be, perhaps?

  104. Jock S. Trap 15 Jul 2011, 1:07pm

    Your just looking even more laughable, you do realise that don’t you?

    Never mind, I guess you can’t help it, it’s the price of failing at schools and in life.

    To any youngsters take note, this is what happenes when you fail to get an education.

    Do you want to be This bitter and lonely?

  105. @Matt

    Its quite simple – treat us equally and we won’t winge

    You impinge on my life when you have street preachers, when you hold open air pilgrimages, when your leaders deem it necessary to interfere in political situations and make theological comment. No one owes you anything. Unfortunately, I recognise that the law clearly states who I can and can not serve/treat/ be involved with. You seem to see that law as not applying to you. Sorry mister, you can not pick and choose which laws you are subject to. Even the Bible tells you that is wrong.

  106. Maybe there shouldn’t be equality for fvckwits either but, luckily for you, there is.
    .
    Now run along, little boy.

  107. In your career, Jane White freelance writer, have you come across the idea that equality in law isn’t and shouldn’t be restricted to the “normal”? It might just be worth thinking about (if you can).

  108. Your sense of inequality being equality pervades all you say in that diatribe – you wouldnt be able to spell tolerance or acceptance, let alone give a plausible explanation to a definition that had integrity

  109. Ooer missus 15 Jul 2011, 3:03pm

    I think it’s just the same old troll playing the fool.

  110. Matt

    It is happening in New York, Belgium, Holland, Vermont, South Africa and many other places

    Other places are moving closer eg UK, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Brazil, Chile etc

    Other countries are wakening up including India, Thailand, Nicaragua, Cuba etc etc

    Equality is coming – you Sir are in denial

  111. But if there is evidence that this is a lie (which is surely wrong?) then this could be countered by the equality act … Where would that evidence come from – there could be varied sources …

    Covering up your intolerance and bigotry with lies says a great deal for your humanity, standards of integrity and honesty

  112. Above comment to Jane White

  113. Heh – don’t worry Stu, I got it; but, come to think of it, our new friend Jane The Normal probably does need the layout clarified.

  114. Alf N Spit 15 Jul 2011, 4:00pm

    The trouble with removing troll posts is all the replies get relocated to the bottom of the column!

  115. It’s damned annoying, isn’t it? I wish they’d find a way of leaving the layout as it is but replacing a removed post with a notice like ‘this post has been removed’. Now the end of the thread makes no sense.

  116. @ Jane. Please explain the process by which a person chooses their sexual orientation? Also, given your line of arguement about having the right to refuse to serve anyone, I take it that you would support a return to such things as ‘Whites Only’ signs in shop windows? Tell me, would you identify yourself as a Christian Jane? And what is it that makes you think that you have the right to discriminate against me in the provision of a public service? Do you think that your religion places you above the law? Do you think it would be acceptable for a public service provider to treat you less fairly or favorably as a woman or on the grounds of your religion? Why do you think it is acceptable for a public service provider or employer to treat me less favorably or fairly because of the gender of my partner? Explain why you think that has any bearing on such matters please Jane.

  117. How many cats have you got Jane?

  118. As a pastafarian i demand the right to discriminate against other religions.

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews.co.uk. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all