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Report calls for equality commission to be scrapped

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  1. Jock S. Trap 8 Aug 2011, 11:51am

    Hardly surprising considering how they act.

    Personally I think they need to rid of Trevor Phillip not the commission itself. His style of leadership has been put into question many times and I think it’s time for a fresh face to take Equality and Human Rights seriously, in the proper direction of Equality for all, not a priviledged few.

    1. Another Hannah 8 Aug 2011, 12:50pm

      Gosh I have the gift of second sight! They seem an impediment to me not a help, and I’m afraid I’ll be glad when they’re gone. On the two occassions I had problems they were no help and actually quite nasty. LGBT rights in this country are still atrocious on the ground, and I have to say that this is the body I blame for that. We may be a short time with poor cover but hopefully when Labour regain power they will put another more representative body in place.

      1. I’ve received correspondence from the EHRC bordering on the homophobic.

        1. Dan Filson 8 Aug 2011, 2:37pm

          Did you report it back to the CEO?

          1. No, but funnily enough I’m waiting to hear back from Mark Hammond on a completely different matter, and it doesn’t look like I’m going to get a reply.

    2. Dan Filson 8 Aug 2011, 2:36pm

      I think Trevor P has had a thankless task of trying to steer the multi-horse chariot of the EHRC and has been given a hospital pass of a staffing not without its obsessives. But if a change is needed it probably is at the top rather than abolition. We DO badly need an overarching equality and human rights body that is not directly run by ministers nor easily dismissed as a lobby group or earnest charity. There are some statutory functions I understand. A new CEO might be a breath of fresh air and get a grip of the budget, the staffing and the paperwork and present to the Commission a fresh strategy as to key priorities. However I think many people posting on Pink News are too willing to let their LGBT priorities overcome the need also to protect the rights of people to exercise their religious faiths. I write as an atheist but recognise that exercising a faith can be done without imposing restrictions on other people’s equality and human rights.

      1. Jock S. Trap 8 Aug 2011, 3:22pm

        Trevor Phillips has always been a devisive figure and it’s time for change for the better for the EHRC.

      2. Dan, do you perhaps mean a new Chairperson rather than CEO? The CEO hasn’t been in post very long.

        1. Dan Filson 8 Aug 2011, 9:31pm

          Correct, I do. Mark Hammond is the CEO

  2. At around 6% of the population LGBT people are not a “very small minority.”

    1. Personally I believe that percentage is at least 10%.

      1. and if you count all the closets, more likely 50%. or maybe kurt cobain was right, maybe everyone is gay.

    2. Another Hannah 8 Aug 2011, 12:51pm

      I said this a few weks ago. I have second sight you know.

      1. @Ty

        “I See Gay People”

        1. Sorry the spirits now tell me that message was meant for Another Hannah,

          1. Staircase2 11 Aug 2011, 5:41pm

            Shame they didnt say that upfront – would have saved you to the trouble of making an arse of yourself first….lol (spirit does have a sense of humour….;o)

    3. Mumbo Jumbo 8 Aug 2011, 12:59pm

      Quite so. If equality was a numbers game, then wheelchair users with less than half of 1% of the population would be totally screwed.

  3. Right-wing think tank doesn’t like the EHRC? Quelle surprise.

    The EHRC is flawed, particularly under Trevor Phillip’s leadership. But the Civitas report just sounds ridiculous, admittedly to judge from selected quotes.

    1. Dan Filson 8 Aug 2011, 2:39pm

      The right may suspect, not without cause, that political support for the EHRC is currently weak and have picked this as the time to pounce upon it. We will regret its loss after it has gone, mark my words.

      1. I agree Dan, Christian extremists (and I do mean extremists) will be very happy to see the EHRC shut down completely.

        1. Dan Filson 8 Aug 2011, 9:34pm

          First they will emasculate it by getting in a second-rater to replace Trevor P in order to discredit the EHRC. How about the late chair of the Press Complaints Commission?!

  4. Tim Hopkins 8 Aug 2011, 12:49pm

    Civitas are hardly unbiased. They have strong religious links, have always opposed the EHRC even before it started work. And they oppose anti-discrimination and hate crime legislation, which they describe as “political correctness”.

    1. That must explain why they tried to minimize the size of the LGBT minority. I’ve often come across Christians suggesting it’s about 1% of the population

      1. Ooer missus 8 Aug 2011, 1:01pm

        I think it was 1.5% that it was claimed were willing to say they were, to a stranger on the doorstep. Don’t know which town though! I expect most told them to sod off.

        1. bobbleobble 8 Aug 2011, 1:08pm

          It was the office for National Statistics and they did a nationwide survey. I know that because I was one of those questioned.

          The interview was arranged prior to them attending my house but that said, the question about sexuality did in fact come out of the blue and even though I’m open about my sexuality I did think twice about answering the question although eventually did give the honest response.

      2. Who cares what percentage we are! There’s no excuse for discriminating against any minority people group.

    2. Another Hannah 8 Aug 2011, 12:53pm

      I think there’s no doubt about civitas being awful, but so are LGBT rights on the ground in this country, and the EHRC. sooner gone the better, perhaps then we can get an organisation that will make sure we get a few of our basic needs met.

    3. Ooer missus 8 Aug 2011, 12:58pm

      What exactly is Civitas, and how is it funded? If it’s politically aligned, and receiving public funds (?) , how is that right?

      1. Ooer missus 8 Aug 2011, 1:09pm

        Oh I see on Wiki it is unaligned and financed by private donations. So not a quango costing millions then.

        But we probably do need the EHRC to help enforce the equality laws. In America this job is done actively by the Justice Department, regardless of who is the President, though probably not regarding the lgbt minorities I expect. I can’t imagine our Jusice Department being so proactive.

  5. Mumbo Jumbo 8 Aug 2011, 1:06pm

    An equalities commission of some sort is needed. However, this one has been totally corrupted by the inclusion of religion in it’s remit. Human rights are for human beings. How can a belief have a human right? How can mere belief be put on a par and in conflict with intrinsic human qualities such as sex, sexuality, age, disability and colour? Add to that supremely poor leadership and you have a hopeless mess in need of a complete rethink.

    1. bobbleobble 8 Aug 2011, 1:14pm

      To be fair it’s an Equalities and Human Rights Commission and one of the human rights mentioned by the European Convention and the UN Convention is the right to freedom of religion and conscience. Also equality legislation deals with the right not to be treated unfairly when it comes to your religious beliefs.

      I don’t agree the religion should be removed from the remit of the EHRC since I believe that freedom of conscience and religion are funamental to a free society. However, someone needs to point out to the EHRC that those freedoms are qualified rights which end when the exercise of those freedoms could cause damage to another person. They also need a rethink about how the whole thing works and a replacement of the people at the very top or else they could find themselves on the scrapheap.

      1. Mumbo Jumbo 8 Aug 2011, 1:51pm

        I’m not sure we disagree on much and I appreciate what you are saying. Of course people should have freedom of religion (or any other belief for that matter) but religious beliefs should not have a privileged status or be elevated to have equality with intrinsic human qualities and therefore, of themselves, somehow acquire human rights. If we include religion, why not a sincere belief in the Conservative party? At least there is good evidence it actually exists. If this is the fault of equality legislation, then this has to change.

        1. Dan Filson 8 Aug 2011, 2:41pm

          Not least because a belief in the Conservative Party is not one which is protected by the European Declaration of Human Rights.

          1. Mumbo Jumbo 8 Aug 2011, 6:50pm

            This is precisely the point. Why, uniquely, does religion get this privileged position when faith is by definition based entirely on a lack of evidence?

          2. de Villiers 9 Aug 2011, 5:49pm

            I think that it is, however, protected by the Equalities Act 2010 as being a “belief”.

          3. de Villiers 9 Aug 2011, 5:50pm

            I think that belief in the Conservative Party or the Right is protected by the Equalities Act 2010 as being a “belief”.

    2. Ooer missus 8 Aug 2011, 1:19pm

      Because wars have often been fought in Europe over religious belief, and it is included in the Convention. But it’s not the content of the belief that is protected and given the force of law or exemption from the law, as Judge Laws pointed out, but the right to believe and not be thrown in jail for your beliefs.

      For example, being a Rastafarian does not exempt you from laws against smoking cannabis, just as being a fundamentalist does not exempt you from serving or doing your job for people who belong to a minority you dislike.

      1. Mumbo Jumbo 8 Aug 2011, 1:54pm

        “Because wars have often been fought in Europe over religious belief….”

        Quite so. And everywhere else also.

        1. Ooer missus 8 Aug 2011, 2:55pm

          But irrelevant, as we are talking about signatories to the European Convention on Human Rights, and the resultant European Court, and the Human Rights Act which incorporates it directly into UK law.

          1. Ooer missus 8 Aug 2011, 2:58pm

            Isn’t it interesting that the Fundamentalist/ evangelical lobby want to repeal the HRAct, yet they are appealing to Europe on the basis of the Convention. Kind of hypocritical.

          2. Hypocrisy is second nature to fundamentalist evangelicals, it’s no exaggeration to say they want to control the world (for Jesus of course) and they don’t care too much how they acheive their goal.

  6. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Let’s hope that if it’s replaced, it will be replaced by something genuinely fair, and not staffed by freeloaders with their own agenda.

    1. You mean like the House of Lords?

  7. I wonder if any group or report has praised the work of the EHRC?

    1. Dan Filson 8 Aug 2011, 2:29pm

      Reports are rarely written to praise quangos however worthwhile their work

    2. Tim Hopkins 8 Aug 2011, 2:55pm

      I would like to praise the work of EHRC Scotland, which has worked in partnership with Scotland’s national LGBT organisations on issues like our new hate crime law (the only one in Europe to specifically cover transgender identity). They also worked with us on the symposium on equal marriage earlier this year and published a very useful report on how to achieve marriage and civil partnership equality in Scotland:

  8. Chester36 8 Aug 2011, 1:59pm

    the report that was commissioned makes it seem like LBGT people are too small to matter or even be equal

    1. Churchgoers are about 1%, not gays.

  9. We should ignore civitas, it is a tory front renowned for publishing misleading info.
    What a surprise a tory think tank complains that the EHRC spends too much money on “the gays”.

    The number of lgbt people does not matter, if there was only 1 gay person, it would still be wrong for them to be discriminated against.

    Ever noticed how right wingers on the one hand complain about social engineering when it involves universal healthcare or welfare for the disabled, but they blooming love it when it involves removing the rights of lgbt people and enforcing religion.

    1. de Villiers 9 Aug 2011, 5:51pm

      Is that what the report said – that the EHRC spends too much money on “the gays”?

  10. Paddyswurds 8 Aug 2011, 3:39pm

    This is exactly what I recommended last week when the news of the EDM broke. The EHRC rendered itself irrelevant when it supported the call by religious groups for them to be allowwed to discriminate against GLBs as they saw fit. Trevor Philips and Angela Mason have proven them selves unfit for the office they hold and should fall on their (paper) swords asap.

    1. Ooer missus 8 Aug 2011, 4:05pm

      Maybe that was a condition of their not being on the bonfire of the quangos.

  11. The autghor of this report is (a) past retirement age and (b) a communicant member of the Church of England. What do you expect :-)

  12. Equality starts at home 8 Aug 2011, 4:07pm

    I’m gay, I’m also not white, I’m also not male. So when all the bigots and racists and misogynists within the gay community learn how to behave themselves, I’ll back this move 100%. In the meantime, though there are several reasons why I and people like me still the Equalities Commission with all its flaws.

    1. Dan Filson 8 Aug 2011, 9:40pm

      There is nothing wrong with being past retirement age, I;ll have you know!

      Nor for that matter the other, though it’s not my thing.

      1. Indeed there are many people past retirement age who are pro equality. But opposition to gay equality does sadly increase with age. As for being communicant members of the Church of England though, that indicates that are a committed member of a fundamentally homophobic institution.

  13. Equality starts at home good post, homosexuals need to know how to behave.

    Have to love Trevor Philips though. Hopefully there will be an adjustment so that we can decide who we serve.

    1. Chester36 9 Aug 2011, 9:38am

      grow up Jonha

  14. The Tory headed ConDemned government is on track with its politics of erasing and dismantling equalitiy bodies and structures hard fought for during the last 30+ years.

    1. Jock S. Trap 10 Aug 2011, 12:52pm

      Didn’t get much of an education do you… yawn!

  15. I’m from the U.S., so I’m not familiar with either your EHRC or the Civitas group – but being the overly inquisitive, cynical, bitter old drag queen that I am I decided to do some digging.
    This “report” smells to me like thinly-veiled Right-Wing propaganda – something the U.S. is rife with, so I smell it coming from miles away and UP-wind. After reading the blurbs in Wikipedia I went to the Civitas Web site and started reading. Nowhere, and I mean NOWHERE, did I find a mention of anything LGBT. I found it particularly disturbing that the articles I read in their “family” social agenda could all have been written by the U.S.’s own FRC or NOM in their less rabid, anti-LGBT moments.

    1. Staircase2 11 Aug 2011, 5:40pm

      Well spotted, Scott

      Allegedly independent…

  16. Staircase2 11 Aug 2011, 5:36pm

    Hang on a minute Civitas is a quango too isn’t it?

  17. poeticlicense 12 Aug 2011, 2:01pm

    A campaign on e-petitions maybe, yes the EHRC are a disgrace, as is their leader Trevor Phillips, he didn’t exactly stand up for transsexual rights within the sex discrimination act and the gender recognition act to be fully enshrined into the awful Single Equality Act, I gues with LynnFeatherstone is losing the war on wequality with her tory pals

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