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TUC attacks equality commission’s opt-out proposals for anti-gay staff

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  1. Replace “gay” with “black” and see how many folks are outraged by this! It’s appalling how gays are still 2nd class citizens across the board.

    1. Precisely!

      1. Absolutely

    2. Yes, that is an excellent rule of thumb, used by far too few people alas.

    3. Don Harrison 21 Jul 2011, 8:34pm

      Certainly CB. The phase “Gay is the new Black” is so true.

      1. These new anti-gay Bible translations now popular with evangelicals should be banned for being hate material, the ones that insert the 19th Century word “homosexual” and that translate what is frankly unclear or even what is describing other practicers into an overt and clear condemnation of homosexuality that doesn’t exist in the earliest text.
        This is what is driving the anti-gay sentiment.

        1. Very true. I’d also add that some preachers are taking advantage of the gullible and nervous to spread their homophobic message. I wish some people would step back and examine this hate speech with a more critical eye rather than just swallow it up as fact.

    4. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 8:30am

      Quite right!

      It’s appalling that not only are we second class citizens but our lifes are up for debate so much just because people choose to be religious and bigots!

      1. It’s not religious people nor Christians I object to , I love everybody, I do object to and hate the discriminatory religious practice of some Christians, it’s not the person nor their beliefs but it’s their uncivil, prejudiced and discriminatory behaviour that is unacceptable.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 9:28am


        2. Great to hear balanced views on this issue on here.

          Some Christians (and those of other faiths) are our friends. Others have crazy and bizarre views that are not even substantiated by the texts they rely upon. Its those we need to condemn and ensure that they do not achieve a focus in law which gives them the right to discriminate due to bigoted prejudice that is wrong in fact. (Or discriminate in any way to be fair!)

          1. “to avoid having to deal with gay avoid having to deal with gay avoid having to deal with gay avoid having to deal with gay avoid having to deal with gay avoid having to deal with gay people.”

    5. Replace equality with inequality commission, more apt for this quasi homophobic group.

    6. Miguel Sanchez 22 Jul 2011, 3:04pm

      Right on CB!

      I thought the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s were supposed to prevent ALL kinds of discrimination. If this passes, people will be opting out of coming to work all together because they can’t serve a black person, a Jewish person, a Muslim person or a person of mixed race.

      I’ll say it again. If they can’t do the WHOLE job then quit and find work elsewhere.

    7. Rich (original) 24 Jul 2011, 12:56am

      Homosexuals are like rats – dirty, stinking, nasty, evil and disgusting creatures on the Earth. Normal people never will like them and never will love and respect them. No law can force normal man or woman to respect any homosexual in the world. Feeling of disgust for any homosexual pervert will be in mind of every normal human being forever in the world.

      1. Rich why the hell are you on this site if you think that? Oh, I see, you must be uncomfortable with your sexuality…

      2. Come over here and say that. Right here, right where I’m standing, right to my face.

    8. That is just what I was thinking, I agree!

  2. marjangles 21 Jul 2011, 4:45pm

    It’s interesting that Angela Mason hasn’t yet commented. Surely as our commissioner in the EHRC she should be up in arms about this or at least explaining to the community that she purports to represent why we should accept this if she thinks the move is acceptable. Her silence is deafening.

    1. If the EHRC does not reverse it’s gross position, then I would think she should quit the useless quango.

      1. marjangles 21 Jul 2011, 7:51pm

        My personal feeling is that she should have quit as soon as this u-turn was announced and I am very disappointed in her actions, or lack thereof, to date.

    2. Dan Filson 21 Jul 2011, 8:36pm

      Angela Mason is NOT “our commissioner in the EHRC” but one of several commissioners in the EHRC. There is no reason why she should comment on any or each LGBT issue coming before the EHRC and it is probably better the debates within the Commission result in collective decision-making than divisive “representation” remarks by different commisioners.

      1. marjangles 21 Jul 2011, 9:02pm

        As an openly gay commissioner selected to sit on the EHRC in no small part thanks to her previous work in promoting gay rights, I hardly think it is controversial to expect her to stand up for our rights on the commission. I also think that it is her duty to speak out on LGBT issues that come before the EHRC, especially in circumstances such as this when the gay community is clearly angered by the position of the EHRC.

        I do expect her to speak up and I am furious that she hasn’t.

        1. It is her duty to speak out on LGBT issues that come before the EHRC – yes I would expect her to do so within the EHRC. Each commissioner voicing their separate views in public is not the way the EHRC operates generally and rightly so, as the tensions revelealed could pull it apart if so, not just on issues like this. It’s just not the way we do things in this country.

          1. I couldn’t disagree with you more.By remaining silent she suggests that she supports this U-turn, which is fine if she does. But as a respected member of our community who, as you acknowledge, is present to speak out on our issues, I think it is Ms Mason’s absolute duty to tell us what the hell is going on and to reassure us as to whether or not we can continue to trust the EHRC.

          2. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 12:02pm

            I agree marjangles.

            Ms Mason is their to represent our community for the best interest of our community.

            Therefore she see should be at the forefront in commenting about this issue.

            She should be showing herself to either be supportive of this ridiculous opt-out and explaining why or taking the high ground and defending our community.

            Either way he noticable absents doesn’t do her Or us any favours.

          3. Robert J Brown 22 Jul 2011, 2:15pm

            Please remember that this is the same Ms Mason who declared loudly that we had won when we were going for an equal age of consent and we ended up with 18 and not 16!

            Some equality.

          4. Whilst I agree that Mason is a commissioner on the EHRC and thus must form balanced views and consider all strands of diversity. That does not and must not mean that she can not send a message to say that dilution of LGBT rights is unacceptable.
            If this was saying that gay people could discriminate with people who skin colour they found offensive, or that black people could discriminate against disabled people they felt uncomfortable with or if old people could discriminate against those whose faith they absolutely disagreed with – then would she stay quiet – I would hope not – so why now ….

        2. I agree 100% with Dan and mar.

          Ms Mason should not be stereotypyped as *the* LGBT representative; I would hope that the commissioners including herself have enough skills to comment on all equality strands other than those they themselves belong to. For some their presence on the commission will be a learning opportunity :) . However I will be disappointed if she remains silent on such an important matter. My employer is one of a number currently seeking Stonewall accreditation (the value of which, I have always been sceptical of), and if Ms Mason, as the former spokesperson of Stonewall, doesn’t speak out on this issue then I will have to “make noises” at work. Something I’d rather not do.

      2. Yes there is. Seeing as she is a lesbian. This affects her too and if she, as a person is presumably into equal rights (otherise she wouldn’t have headed Stonewall or joined the EHRC) then she should make a stand.

      3. Tim Hopkins 22 Jul 2011, 2:57pm

        Dan, you’re mistaken on this. Angela has taken on the specific role, as an EHRC Commissioner, of liaising with LGB communities. Another of the Commissioners, Stephen Alambritis, has taken on the corresponding role for transgender communities.

        Of course, all Commissioners have a responsibility to oversee the EHRC’s performance of its duties, which include promoting equality on all the protected grounds, and good relations between different communities.

        1. As a very senior civil servant Angela Mason did campaign hard against various moves towards gay equality as being “too far too fast”. The TUC should be congratulated for their role today.

    3. Another Hannah 22 Jul 2011, 3:00pm

      I think in the circumstances though that the EHRC should be abolished, and smaller more accountable bodies (and more efficient?) should be set up to ensure the rights of the individual groups. I don’t really see why it is just one body, when it is very obviously not dealling with LGBT equality properly, but actually seems to be proping up, and encouraging discrimination and victimisation. GET RID OF THE EHRC, it isn’t working.

    4. Shes in stonewall with that other snake summerskill, what do you expect? , they do not represent our communities best interests.

  3. If the EHRC wants to find accommodation for christian nutters, then it too should find accommodation for us to discriminate against “christians” and others whose beliefs are not ours and in fact offend our beliefs, religious or otherwise. This is a very slippery slope the EHRC is going down. Religious beliefs are chosen, nobody comes into this world that way. It’s learned behaviour and a chosen lifestyle, ours isn’t.

    1. They will not need to find accommodation for others to discriminate using the ‘belief and conscience’ clause, it will be a given. If the bill is passed, then gay people and atheists alike will automatically have the equal right to not serve christians or other groups whom we believe to be oppressing us – we will base this decision on our belief and conscience. Simples!

      1. lol ohhh yeah!!!!! i like your way of thinking

      2. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 8:34am

        Indeed you are right, Ttraust but by no means will this be just a two way street.

    2. Paddyswurds 21 Jul 2011, 5:19pm

      ….Hear, Hear, Robert! This proposal is clearly unworkable, as, regardless of idiotic witterings from the ERHC, the Law cannot be circumvented without the passing of new legislation. The current Law is clear on what is required, and does not make provision for ambiguation, which is what the EHRC is proposing.. What is good for the Goose is clearly good for the Gander as you succinctly pointed out. This at least should provide some entertainment as the bigots get their bigoted mugs plastered all over the media as they spectacularly lose, and are shown up for what they demonstrably are, Homophobic Bigots. The EHRC is, for it’s own survival sake, going down a very dangerous road, where there CAN only be one outcome… . . . .

    3. In that case you are going to have to change the law regarding not discriminating against people on the grounds of religious faith.

    4. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 8:37am

      As usual Robert, you make a lot of sense.

      Isn’t it funny how much religion believes in projecting their own warped lifes and blame all else for what exactly they are doing?

      Especially toward innocent people like in our community who just wish to get on with our lifes.

    5. Another Hannah 22 Jul 2011, 3:03pm

      I can’t really see why discrimination should just be allowed for christians and nobody else. Surely the discrimination in all religions should then be allowed, or this in itself is discrimination.

  4. a small section of the article:
    Announcing the move earlier this month, EHRC legal director John Wadham said that ‘compromises’ could avoid lengthy and costly court cases and be similar to laws for disabled people.

    so does this mean that being gay is a disability? IM GAY NOT DISABLED!!!!

    1. “so does this mean that being gay is a disability?”

      Do you really want an honest answer?

      1. Maybe, but Christianity will have to be considered a mental disorder to qualify for concessions.

    2. No the compromises proposed are to suit anti-gay religous folk whose homophobia is so severe that is disabling for them in the workplace to the extent that they cannot fulfil their work requirements.

      1. It implies that religious people are like disabled people, which is arguable and plausible because religious people must have a mental and disabling illness to believe and persist in their bag of fairy tales.

        1. There is a condition which is basically a form of brain damage which turns people religious so by that I would call it a disability

    3. Dan Filson 21 Jul 2011, 8:43pm

      Is it reasonable that an employer, however small, has to comply with providing for any kind of disability that a potential employee presents? I think the reasonable adjustment test is fair.

      So looking at the situation of gay people, is it reasonable for an employer to accommodate the religious views of one employee by make suitable alternative arrangements like a substitute? Arguably it is, IF the change causes no problems or delays to the LGB person and they get a service no less good than that to which they were entitled.

      Personally I would prefer it if people regarded their religion as the guide to how they conduct their own lives for the better rather than how they should treat other people detrimentally. I would rather they left their prejudices at home when they go to work.

      1. marjangles 21 Jul 2011, 9:13pm

        No it isn’t ever reasonable for people to seek to discriminate against others, especially when their salaries are part funded by the people they are seeking to exclude.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 8:40am

          Here! Here!

          Why does these people Very convienently forget we Do pay taxes too?

    4. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 8:38am

      Indeed Tanya – they are treading a very dangerous path.

  5. Does it work both ways then? Can I refuse to serve religious people on the grounds that they are homophobic and I believe that is ‘sinful’? I suppose they would think it was wrong if it was that way round.

    I could go on. I could mention that freedom of conscience is not the same as freedom of action. I could say that you should leave your religious beliefs at home when you come to work. I could say that the world would be a much, much better place without religion. But frankly, I’m just absolutely sick and tired of trying to argue with people who cannot think rationally (ie religious people). I just cannot get my head round this decision.

  6. Religious people choose their religion, therefore choosing to discriminate. LGBT people have to choice or control over their sexuality/gender identity. This should be a non-issue. Sadly, it appears that the religious bigots will get their way yet again.

    1. Sorry, I meant LGBT people have no choice over their sexuality/gender. Spelling mistake.

  7. So you can go to work and someone can refuse to work with you because you happen to be gay. This is a total backward step which will allow for discrimination to take place and protection will be sacrificed for the sake of a belief in something supernatural. EHRC should be ashamed and the LGB community should make them aware of their disgust. I hope that the ECHR reject the legal appeals.

    1. Yes, the religious anti-gay person sitting at the next checkout at the supermarket you work in will object to being so close to a homosexual and will asked for you or themselves to be moved elsewhere, if you ask a work colleague for their assistance they may refuse to cooperate as they will say it’s assisting a homosexual in their sinful “practice” I guess.

  8. The EHRC has stooped to heretofore unseen levels of stupidity and irrelevance.

    Trevor Phillips – its chair – appointed extremist christian bigot Joel Edwards as an EHRC commissioner.

    The EHRC has a history of contempt towards our community.

    1. Mumbo Jumbo 21 Jul 2011, 7:44pm

      And Trevor Phillips is himself an evangelical Christian.

      1. Rudehamster 22 Jul 2011, 2:54pm

        That figures.

    2. Dan Filson 21 Jul 2011, 8:48pm

      I very much doubt Trevor Phillips appointed any as an EHRC commissioner. Are you seriously suggesting the appointment of EHRC commissioners is his responsibility rather than the government of the day?

      And I think your final statement that the “EHRC has a history of contempt towards our community” lacks substantiation but would be interested to see any evidence you can adduce.

      1. Joel Edwards.

      2. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 8:44am

        EHRC is separate from the government Dan. It acts separately and if you knew Trevor Phillips you’d know that what he does he does for himself and thinks very little of government ‘interference’!

      3. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 9:31am

        Just to add all commissioners are the responsibilty of Trevor Phillips which is why we has a few leave two or three years ago because they disagreed with his way of doing things. He hires and he fires, not the government.

  9. well, as a lefty im glad to see that while we cannot rely on labour or the conservatives, at least the trade unions have got our backs!

    1. Paddyswurds 21 Jul 2011, 6:55pm

      ………….As the EHRC has decided that GLBs aren’t equal to the rest of society and are not entitled to the same services as everyone else, because of how we were born, are we therefore entitled to an adjustment to our tax bill.
      I always was under the impression,(wrongly aparrantly ) that once a right had been afforded, it couldn not be recinded, except in the case of International Disaster or War. Even then the loss had to be equal??.

      1. Dan Filson 21 Jul 2011, 8:50pm

        It is silly to say the EHRC has decided that “GLBs aren’t equal to the rest of society and are not entitled to the same services as everyone else”. I also note you choose to reverse the customary LGB thus purposefully demoting Lesbians in your heirarchy.

        1. marjangles 21 Jul 2011, 9:05pm

          Perhaps you can point to another group that the EHRC wants to allow people to disciminate against.

        2. Paddyswurds 21 Jul 2011, 10:28pm

          @Dan Filson….
          …I’m a Gay man so I always put G as in GLB first.
          How is it silly to say the EHRC has decided that GLBs aren’t equal to the rest of society and are not entitled to the same services as everyone else? Who else have they said it about.?

          1. No doubt you open every speech with “Gentlemen and Ladies, ….” The acronym is LGB or LGBT, depending on whether you include transgender. The purpose of acronyms is to have a commonlyrecognised shorthand. It is not customaryfor people to adapt them in the manner you choose to do. Would you understand BLTG?

          2. To be honest glb is the norm for the USA and lgb is the norm for UK we shouldn’t get to hung up on it.

          3. Paddyswurds 23 Jul 2011, 8:27am

            @Dan Filson…
            ….as Dave G pointed out it is GLB in the US and that is where I spent most of my life so far so GLB it is and will be, so get over it.
            There are thijngs going on in the world you should be more concerned about, not what order someone puts some letters on a gay website!

        3. you missed the T from the LGBT

          1. Anyone fancy a BLT?
            (bacon lettuce & tomato sandwich)

          2. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 10:35am

            On G

        4. To be honest Dan, the EHRC is causing a lot of confusion wheras we all knew where we stood before they opened their big mouths……and no-one at the EHRC is really prepared to clarify things, there are 4 specific cases here, what way are they wrong and what do employers now need to do (it’s a bit vague saying compromise, since all employers and employees are different!)? What the hell is an employer or gay person supposed to do now while this is all up in the air? Forget all the previous precedants , it’s now anybody’s guess what is correct….

  10. I work in healthcare, the professions council which I register with states in their code of conduct: “You must not allow your views about a service user’s sex, age, colour, race, disability, sexuality, social or economic status, lifestyle, culture, religion or beliefs to affect the way you treat them or the professional advice you give. You must treat service users with respect and dignity.”. Why then is it acceptable for other public sector employees, or anyone else to do so, further to be permissive or sympathetic to the behaviour?

    1. Dan Filson 21 Jul 2011, 8:52pm

      Personally I don’t find it acceptable but that is why the reasonable adjustment approach may be a possible way of accommodating those who profess strong religious views prevent them from performing what should be a normal part of their jobs.

      1. marjangles 21 Jul 2011, 9:09pm

        It is a normal part of their job and they should be required to fulfil it. And without a change in the law they are legally required to fulfil it. So unless you think discrimination law should be altered to allow discrimination against gay people then the accomodations are against the law.

        1. But you are overlooking another part of the law which is about not discriminating against people on the grounds of religion, and forcing somebody to do something against their faith could do that. Would you require a cook of the Jewish faith (or Muslim for that matter) to handle pork?

          1. Except we all know that Jews do certain things , how is an employer supposed to know that some Christians have an objection to eg CPs which after all are not marriages and not Christian. How is an emplyer to know whether an employer is swinging the lead , homophoibic or very religious. The UK is a Christian country mainly, not Jewsih or Muslim. The impact is much greater to an employer, anyone could object. The ill will within a company could be significant. If an employer has to make this provision then I think he should be able to ask at an interview whether that person would have any objections to doing the job and reject them if they can’t do the work. I wouldn’t want to employ people who couldn’t do the work. Some Dutch councils ask their registrars, for instance, at interview level whether they will perform gay marriages, if they can’t , then they are not employed. If they fail to do the job subsequently, they are sacked.

          2. I disagree that asking someone to comply with the legislation of the land is discrimination, especially when what they are seeking is leave to discriminate against someone else. And yes, if a jewish person became a chef then I would expect him to work with pork if it was on the menu as I would a muslim.

          3. Robert J Brown 22 Jul 2011, 2:25pm

            Dan, we are not discriminating, they are.

            Should I as a Nichiren Buddhist be allowed to not serve those of another faith because my faith believes in full equality and theirs does not?

            There are many of other faiths who also say that they should not have to serve pork or alcohol or the such, yet there are others who don’t mind selling it in shops.

            Mixed messages and double standards.

      2. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 12:11pm

        There are three things for sure:-

        1) All people are treated equality.
        2) Those that break the law and pay the price for it.
        3) Those that feel they should have opt-outs to be above the law and treat who they like how they like.

        I know it’s a long shot but how is a Christian committing murder, saying their religion told them to do it and then being let off because of it any different?

        Allow this discrimination to happen, you have to cancel all other discrimination laws for all.

        In effect make Break discrimination laws for the Christians is like saying the racism of the BNP is acceptable.
        Once this law allows how can people expect, respect.

  11. This is ridiculous! but fine ill play along-if it gets passed i will be advising my boss that because i am gay i refuse to serve homophobic people! do you think that would be accepted? or if you a racist you might not have to serve black people-or what about a relegious person say catholic-they dont have to serve muslims or christians! is that ok? NO! its a stupid idea- simple! these homophobic bigots need to learn IT IS NOT OK TO BE HOMOPHOBIC! just the same as its not to be racist!- ITS THE SAME THING PUT IN SIMPLE WORDS IT ALLOWING THESE ‘PEOPLE’ TO DISCRIMNATE LGBT PEOPLE EVEN MORE! MY VIEW…SACK THE IDEA!

  12. I was born gay, people choose to hold religious beliefs yet the latter could be allowed to not serve me like they would anyone else because I was born gay.


  13. If there are only 3 registrars for instance working in the council and 2 have objections on relgiious belief tin doing CPs and the other one is off sick for a few months, do I have to go to another council, wait until the sick person is better or just give up?. Answer please…any other possible variations? And by the way I’m a Quaker so I don’t want a Catholic registrar please!!!

    1. Dan Filson 21 Jul 2011, 8:55pm

      In the circumstances described the employing authority would not, without incurring disproportionate expense, be able to make reasonable adjustment and would therefore be entitled to order one or other of the two registrars to do their contracted duties; and would be entitled to dismiss that person if they refused. As to being a Quaker, a civil wedding or civil partnership is required to have no religious content, so you should not succeed in arguing for a non-catholic registrar.

      1. marjangles 21 Jul 2011, 9:08pm

        So why is it that the religious freedoms of those people can be curtailed? Isn’t that just as oppressive, after all it’s not the fault of the religious person that there aren’t many people working there. When is forcing religious people to do their jobs a good thing and not a bad thing?

        And why should religious people be allowed to pick and choose the aspects of the job they want to perform based on their beliefs, no one else can.

      2. That’s not fair then is it, because if you are an employee of a small employer then you don’t have no choice but employees of big city councils have the option to use the religious belief excuse simply becuase they work in a big council… what utter rubbish!

        Can a catholic register refuse to have anything to do with Quaker gays, we’ve got fairly dramatic differences in what we believe…

        The equalities office and govt do need to speak up at some stage..they can’t simply sit on the fence on this one if they really think that our rights need to be defended..

        1. Yes there will be differences in ability to make reasonable adjustments as between large and small employers, in the same way that installing disability access is something a large employer can reasonably be expected to do but a firm with 10 employees cannot reasonably be expected to do.

          The Quaker v Catholic thing I’ve already addressed – the registrar cannot on religious grounds refuse to marry someone of another faith or sect given the ceremony is required by law to be devoid of references to faith.

          1. But we’re about to have “religious” CP…in Quaker meeting houses!

          2. Tim Hopkins 22 Jul 2011, 3:07pm

            Yet Dan you’re arguing that all registrars should have the legal right to refuse to marry a same-sex couple. As the English court said in the Ladele case, civil partnership is (at present) entirely secular – all the registrar is being asked to do is certify that certain civil formalities have been complied with.

            Funnily enough the likes of Lillian Ladele are not refusing to marry people who had sex before marriage, despite that also being “sinful”. No, what we have here is straightforward homophobia, being excused on grounds of religion.

            People who really can’t conduct CPs need not become registrars. So what? Some vegetarians would not work at butchers, slaughterhouses or meat farms – that’s not discrimination, it’s personal choice.

  14. Har Davids 21 Jul 2011, 9:34pm

    The OT offers plenty of reasons to discriminate people: those who work on the Sabbath, wear mixed fibers, eat the wrong kind of foods, have bad eye-sight or are of the wrong ethnicity. Do they intend to accomodate every kind of bigotry? Might as well scrap the whole idea of Universal Human Rights and let the Fundies run the show. They have, in the past, and I don’t they should be given another opportunity.

  15. David Gervais 22 Jul 2011, 12:03am

    I appreciate the humour in allowing people to call homophobia a disability. If it were, then it is a mental health problem and an employer would be able to insist that the employee seek treatment. Think of Turing before you allow forced mental health intervention.

    On a serious note, Canadians have been through this. The result is that if your company or your job offers public services, then you must offer service equally to all.

    I have emailled to the TUC, if you want to contact them they are at:

    Telephone 020 7636 4030

  16. As someone that has followed the EHRC this is just ANOTHER reason why it is not fit for purpose. It’s not long ago many disability commissioners resigned en masse …. Time to kill this quango and reinvent with clear terms of reference

  17. Peter Tatchell 22 Jul 2011, 1:13am

    What is particularly outrageous is that the EHRC is refusing to answer legitimate questions from Pink News and other media about exactly what their compromises will entail ie. to what extent will the EHRC support special exemptions for religious people?
    See my critique in full here:

    1. Excellent piece of writing Peter.

    2. Tim Hopkins 22 Jul 2011, 3:13pm

      Peter is right of course, and the EHRC have also failed so far to reply to reasonable queries on this from national LGBT organisations. The Equality Network has a very good working relationship with colleagues at the EHRC in Glasgow, but I’m sorry to say that we are truly shocked and disappointed by the actions so far of the people responsible for this matter at the EHRC’s head office.

  18. Any government or legislative body which allows itself to be foolhardy enough to even consider compromising any laws against discrimination by adding subtext allowing compromise as a justifiable ground to exclude any individual or group exclusion from discrimination laws in any disguise is on a very slippery slope. Once the precedent is established other groups will jump in asking for compromises or exemptions. Laws against any kind of discrimination will then be challenged in every court in the land if this precedent setting “against a persons belief” is allowed to become a loop hole allowed by law

    Any one in a service industry is there to do just that “Provide service” whether by oath of office, or by job description. If you don’t like the job description don’t enter the profession.

    1. “Once the precedent is established other groups will jump in asking for compromises or exemptions”
      Absolutely right! It’ll make a mockery of equality legislation.

      1. I thought they (religious folk) had a ton of opt outs already, much more than other groups..

        They’ve got article 9 of the ECHR as well

        “Article 9 provides a right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This includes the freedom to change a religion or belief, and to manifest a religion or belief in worship, teaching, practice and observance, subject to certain restrictions that are “in accordance with law” and “necessary in a democratic society”

        The EHRC hasn’t told us why they think the British courts ,who have taken all this into account in their judgements , are now wrong ….Why interfer in the European courts and not in the British ones? Why interfer now? I just don’t get it, some powerful external influence perhaps?

  19. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 8:28am

    I’m glad the TUC is getting involved in this and I hope more companies do as this can’t be allowed to go ahead.

    What Christian groups are asking is an opt out of the law so they freely discriminate but where does that end?

    The repercussions will have serious consequences for all our discrimination laws and I don’t think anybody will thank these Christian groups for allowing discriminations into society so they can have their freedoms.


    1. “”

      Here, the ‘christians’ hope. They don’t want to abide by the same laws as everyone else.
      And, of course, that aggressive attitude is not only present in the US:

      In my opinion, (some) Christians are seeking to put themselves in a position above everyone else. Disgusting.

      1. I have just read the list of signatories on the deceleration and the far majority are not even citizens of the UK. They are from Jamaica, Africa and the US.

        Why are non UK citizens signing a deceleration affecting the rights of UK citizens.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 2:31pm


          1. Touche! Why are the UK getting involved in homosexual things happening around the world that are nothing to do with them?

          2. Jock S. Trap 23 Jul 2011, 12:35pm


            Human Rights no matter where they are Everything to do with every single one of us.

            If you think it’s right to turn a blind eye while men get murdered for being Gay, women get raped and murdered for being Lesbian, women getting publically flogged just because she wears underwear etc, etc, etc then shame on you.

            Your just as bad as the dictators.

            With your kind humanity will never progress but while more and more of us fight for humans to treat all humans Equally without prejudice, fear of attack we will aim for a better world for All humans.

            That, my dear, is progress.

  20. HEADINTHESAND 22 Jul 2011, 8:47am


    1. The EHRC must recognise that either civil law is defined by the needs and equal rights of citizens and overt discrimination (such as the refusal to deal with gay men and lesbian women in the provision of goods and services) will remain prohibited.
      Or, civil law will be placed under the dominion of religious law and overt discrimination against gays by prejudiced persons claiming religious conscience will be permitted,
      entitling them to legally discriminate/refuse to deal with gay men and lesbian women in the provision of goods and services.
      Is this what the EHRC intends as a result of their intervention in the cases due to come before the European Court of Human Rights, especially considering that human rights are for the protection of individuals not for the protection of ideologies and beliefs

  21. I don’t understand.
    What exactly does her religion have to do with CIVIL partnerships?
    She is not being asked to do ANYTHING that contradicts her religion. Her religion does not recognize gay MARRIAGE.
    Civil Partnerships are not marriage (as we ALL TOO WELL KNOW!).
    If she cannot do her job, she should be fired. Period.

    What this is doing is encouraging Christofascists to “interpret” non-religious duties/actions within the context of their supposed beliefs. And THAT is wrong. If you can’t touch pork, don’t become a chef where pork is served. If you don’t want to deal with gay people, then don’t work in the public sector.

    Nothing is stopping this idiotic woman from working in an environment that suits her religious beliefs. She can go work at her church, if her religious beliefs are that important to her.

    But if she wants to work in the public sector, it is her OBLIGATION to fulfill the duties of that employment.

    And Civil Partnerships are not a religious service.

    1. I concur.
      I’m female (1st) Christian (2nd) and gay (3rd)chronologically. My Christianity does not get in the way of my sexuality.
      The Old Testament is a history lesson of the Hebrew nation, it is not a guidebook for Christians. It also tells you to be vegetarian (before the Great Flood), and to eat meat afterwards, so it argues against itself pretty much from Genesis onwards. It says that women are ‘unclean’ when menstruating, and has peculiar notions on masturbation.
      The Gospels hardly mention sexual intercourse, and neither does Acts. Homophobia and misogyny start rearing their ugly heads in St Paul’s writings.
      People have misused the Bible for centuries to protect slavery, inter-racial marriages, divorce, keeping women subjugated to men, and homophobia.
      I don’t take any of that mumbo-jumbo seriously, what I take seriously is the idea that you should love your God completely, and that you should love your neighbour as yourself.

  22. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 12:20pm

    Lets not also forget that while we have explain we know not all Christians think the same as these fruitloops, these fruitloops DO think ALL of our community is trash.

    No, ifs, no buts, no some, ALL!

    Yet I have to explain myself and mind I don’t include All Christians in my comments.

  23. ” … EHRC legal director John Wadham said that ‘compromises’ could avoid lengthy and costly court cases and be similar to laws for disabled people.

    He said: “The idea of making reasonable adjustments to accommodate a person’s needs has served disability discrimination law well for decades. It seems reasonable that a similar concept could be adopted to allow someone to manifest their religious beliefs.” … ”

    Does this mean Christians are ppl with a disability?

    1. Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Most definitely.

      1. Jock S. Trap 22 Jul 2011, 3:12pm

        Glad you stated the short answer, the long answer was a bit long winded.

    2. Rudehamster 22 Jul 2011, 2:58pm

      What is John Wadham on about?
      By the same token, any law is in danger from anyone that has enough cash to fight a long battle, and the laws on murder shold be changed to prevent siuch long battles.
      Ridiculous claptrap and it should be fought at all levels.
      The christians, with their odd mental health led belief in sky fairies, should not be able to bully us, just becuase they have the money to fight a long Court case.

  24. Another Hannah 22 Jul 2011, 2:59pm

    I have mentioned before that the EHRC making themselves unpopular would help the Conservatives desire to get rid of the EHRC, which has already been put forward by them.

    I think in the circumstances though that the EHRC should be abolished, and smaller more accountable bodies (and more efficient?) should be set up to ensure the rights of the individual groups. I don’t really see why it is just one body, when it is very obviously not dealling with LGBT equality properly, but actually seems to be proping up, and encouraging discrimination and victimisation.

  25. “All bigots should be able to deny services to gay people if they want”

    Okay this story is from New York but it is the same story and as some of us know the evangelicals are in an alliance globally and they all share information make similar demands and use similar tactics to lobby in their attempts to gain privileges for themselves, always at the expense of others.


  26. Andy O'Malley 22 Jul 2011, 3:18pm

    if the law is changed may i suggest we ban all straight people from gay bars and clubs and let them take us to court for the counter arguements to be heard.

  27. Is homophobia associated with homosexual arousal?

    This is a genuine independent study. Interesting, looks like those homophobic christians do have something to hide…

  28. It may be an unfair observation, and I know it doesnt apply to everyone (that is evident from some comments on here), but it seems odd that there is such vociferous support for the EHRC in this issue from LGBT people on this thread when they are not supported on other threads about similar strands of the same discussion area. Could it be that some people are so solid in their political views (not all) that they are in opposition to this thread on the basis that trade unions are involved?

  29. Rich (original) 24 Jul 2011, 12:52am

    If person is clean and religious, for him it is very hard to serve any homosexual degenerate in any sector of society….

    1. Jock S. Trap 24 Jul 2011, 8:56am

      If being religious means being like you then you can happily shove your religion up your arse, sideways.

    2. Well Rich, its easy to spot clean when you are around, because its the exact opposite to you

  30. Rich (original) 24 Jul 2011, 10:18pm

    Homosexuals become such pain in the butts….. Society needs soon to take strong medicine from homosexual evil in Mankind!

  31. What utter rubbish Jock T Strap comes out with.

    If homosexuals want equality then they have to give a little. No pride marches for a start, and the agreement that allows people’s choice to serve them or not.

    1. Jock S. Trap 25 Jul 2011, 11:18am

      Then that doesn’t mean Equal then does it, idiot!

      All human beings deserve Equality, no ifs, no buts, not some but not others… ALL!

      I know your tiny little mind can’t handle that but hey truth hurts doesn’t it dumbo?

      Do us all a favour, get educated, get real and mores to the point get a life.

      1. Yes it does mean equal, as straight people dont have pride marches, and you can refuse to serve a straight person without the fear of a lawsuit.

    2. Jock S. Trap 25 Jul 2011, 11:19am

      Oh and thank you, I should be flattered that out of all these comments you specifically pinpoint to me.

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