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Anti-gay group may now intervene at ECHR as views sought on exemptions

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  1. This is good news, everyone deserves a fair go and appeal and if gays want to be equal they will let these people have their say and its there right. Hopefully they will succeed and people can judge who they want to serve and who they dont, I dont see what the problem is, people should be allowed to choose.

    1. “people should be allowed to choose.”

      Firslty, if I was working as a registrar at islington Council should I have the right to choose not to serve interracial couples?

      Secondly, what about the right of an employer to expect his or her employees to do their job? If someone wants a job I’m offering he or she should do what is expected of those who are to occupy that position.

      1. friday jones 22 Aug 2011, 8:47pm

        “its there right”

        Mike, were you homeschooled by an illiterate? People who don’t understand the historical reasons behind anti-discrimination and public accommodations laws, should listen instead of talking. You’ve made it plain that any opinion of your is uninformed and therefore meaningless noise.

    2. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 12:06pm

      If gays want to be equal? If?

      The fact you say “If” says it all and answers your question why this is wrong. We are human being too and deserve the same respect as everyone else not to be kept down as second class citizens.

      Alway this to go throw and suffer the consequences. Christians should act within the law Equally just like everyone else, not above it.

      1. Just because a few individuals tried to dress up a prejudice with their faith doesn’t mean they represent a faith. Gene Robinson the first openly gay bishop in the CoE is probably wondering who died and made these bigots gods supreme/sole voice on Earth.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 12:54pm

          Agreed, no where have I said all christians are the same. In fact if you read down a bit I do go on to say about christians who oppose this intervention.

      2. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 12:52pm

        I apologise about my last comment, it should have read “Allow this to go through and…”

    3. auntie babs 22 Aug 2011, 12:09pm

      so I can choose whether or not I want to serve non-white, non female, non religious people? Would certainly make my life a lot more cushty than it is at the moment.


    4. Bear in mind that the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is an American anti-gay group now intervening in matters of European equalities law.
      But it goes further, both the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) and Christian Concern for Our Nation (CCFON) are fronted by fundamentalist Christian activist Andrea Minichiello Williams and both organisation have strong connections with the ADF who actually train-up the CLC lawyers (and I believe provide funding for CLC through it’s mirror organisation CCFON).
      In effect the CLC and CCFON work alongside the ADF, share exactly the same goals and are run along the same lines, you could say the CCFON and the CLC are the face of the ADF in UK and are their puppet organisations here.
      Anti-abortion, anti gay equality, believers in a 4,000 year old Earth.
      The recent rash of vexatious litigation brought by the CLC looks very much like the ADF politicking in UK and the ADF now also gets to intervene at the ECHR level in what it helped initiate.

      1. ‘A Mighty Army’
        A dozen major groups help drive the religious right’s anti-gay crusade

        Inspired by the organizing successes of early anti-gay crusaders like Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, fundamentalist political activists have turned the anti-gay movement into a virtual industry over the last three decades.

        Below are profiles of a dozen of today’s most influential anti-gay groups. Groups designated as hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center are marked with an asterisk.

        Alliance Defense Fund
        American Family Association
        American Vision*
        Chalcedon Foundation*
        Christian Action Network
        Concerned Women for America
        Coral Ridge Ministries/Center for Reclaiming America
        Family Research Council
        Family Research Institute*
        Focus on the Family
        Summit Ministries
        Traditional Values Coalition


        1. Alliance Defense Fund
          SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.

          In 1993, with gay-rights issues increasingly being contested in the courts, a coalition of 35 Christian Right groups founded the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF). Key founders included D. James Kennedy of Coral Ridge Ministries, Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association, and James Dobson of Focus on the Family.
          ADF President Alan Sears was a culture-war veteran, having served as executive director of Attorney General Edwin Meese’s Commission on Pornography during the Reagan Administration.
          Sears believed the fundamentalist right needed to get serious after years of liberal court victories: “They hit and they hit and they hit, and finally we’re defending.” Sears claims that the ultimate goal of the gay-rights movement is to “silence” Christians.
          In 1994, ADF solicited funds on Christian radio with an ad claiming, “Pro-life demonstrations may soon be illegal. … Religious broadcasting may soon be censored(Cont’)

          1. (Cont’d)
            Hiring homosexuals in Christian schools, churches, and even as Sunday School teachers may soon become the law of the land. … Don’t let Christianity become a crime.”

            In 2003, Sears and ADF Vice President Craig Osten expanded on that theme in The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom, which ties homosexuality to pedophilia and other “disordered sexual behavior.”

            In 2000, the ADF helped defend the Boy Scouts of America’s ban on openly gay scoutmasters, which was upheld by a narrow 5-4 majority of the U.S. Supreme Court. The ADF has also mounted legal challenges to gay military service, marriage, adoption and foster-parenting, as well as to domestic partner benefits around the nation.

            It trains other attorneys “to battle the radical homosexual legal agenda” in free, week-long National Litigation Academies, whose participants commit to “provide 450 hours of pro bono legal work on behalf of the Body of Christ.”

          2. Thanks for this… Pavlos

          3. Thanks Pavlos for all of this information, As you highlight so well, I agree it does look like the US Fundamentalists are trying to grow thier Anit-gay industry in the UK as well.

          4. ILGA could just as easily intervene on our behalf at the ECHR.

    5. Mike, so you think an atheist should be able to choose not serve a christian? And a black guy shouldn’t have to serve a white guy? And a muslim shoulnd’t have to serve a Jew? MIKE, if you think people should be able to choose who they do and who they don’t serve, U R FILTH.

    6. Miguel Sanchez 23 Aug 2011, 3:45pm

      HAVE YOU NOT HEARD OF SEPERATION OF CHURCH AND STATE? In the public sector you CAN NOT pick and choose what job you’re going to perform.. I was a firefighter. If I rolled up on a fire and the house was, let’s say purple, could I tell my Captain I don’t like the color of that house so I’m going to let it burn down. The answer is not only NO but HELL NO, I’d be fired on the spot. My job was to serve the public and so are these people. If they don’t like serving gays then QUIT.

      It’s nice to see that you are so educated. NOT. You need to go back to scool and learn the meaning of discrimanation.

  2. Mike, Liverpool 22 Aug 2011, 11:41am

    This is disgraceful, can someone tell The Alliance Defense Fund we live in Europe!!

    1. How is it disgraceful ?

      1. Bigotry is not a human right Mike, it’s a human wrong.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 12:07pm

          Correct. No human is superior just because they choose a religious lifestyle.

      2. It’s disgraceful because a bunch of rustic American fundies should have nothing to do with the EUROPEAN Court of Human Rights.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 12:55pm


          Imagine this in reverse and I think we know how the response would go.

      3. It is disgraceful that an American extremist, religious organisation is trying to undermine European democracy by interfering in our courts.

        I hope they are told to f-@-ck off.

      4. Spanner1960 22 Aug 2011, 1:48pm

        Frankly, what the hell have Americans got to do with interfering in European legislation. They can’t even keep their own house in order, yet they continue to interfere in other people’s business. These Evangelicals are already known to fund and support a lot of African churches and politicians, and now they are trying the same here.

        No wonder anti-Americanism is so much more rife these days with these continual meddlesome practices.

        1. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 2:32pm

          Wow, agreed!

        2. What indeed!!!

  3. “The group was founded in 1994 by Christian leaders in Arizona, and it now opposes abortion, same-sex marriage and adoption by gay couples.”

    How sad that Chhristians are just obsessed with homosexuality. It’s all they can talk about.Not corruption, poverty, violent crime, theft, discrimination against women, racismglobal warmin and et cetera BUT GAY PEOPLE! They are obsessed with us.

    1. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 12:08pm

      Indeed and the fact this group has com ein shows how desperate these Christian Extremists are to be allowed to discriminate.

  4. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 12:01pm

    This is absolutely disgusting. These groups hold no barring on UK society or law and should not have anything to do with it. It seems the ECHR are back tracking by allowing someone irrelevent to take over.

    This is not Equality nor Human Rights.

    Disgraceful and it needs to be stopped ASAP.

    It seems for these extremists to be above the law they care little about the consequences on society as well as ordinary Christians who oppose this inequality.

    This is why the US should keep it’s conks out of British laws, justice, Equality and human rights.

    1. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 12:03pm

      Lets hope the European Courts see fairness, sense and throw this ridiculous false out!

      1. If they threw it out it would be fair, as they have the right to take this to court. I doubt it’ll get thrown out.

        1. Correction to my typo, If they threw it out it would NOT be fair, as they have the right to take this to court. I doubt it’ll get thrown out.

      2. “Has any court interpreted “religious accommodation” law in a way that permits a public employee to complete a task for one group of legally-qualified, law-abiding citizens while refusing to do so for another such group?

        If so I’d love to see it. Until then, I have to ask once again, who’s asking for special rights here?” (Rob Tsinai)

  5. auntie babs 22 Aug 2011, 12:14pm

    I am not a legal expert, but as all the equality acts in the UK are tied into one act now wouldn’t this affect the legal rights of other minorities whoi are currently protected by the Equality Act?

    1. True, but Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights states that freedom to manifest religion and conscience should not in any way restrict the rights of others.

      Gay and lesbian people are legally entitled to equal treatment in the provision of goods and services, and this cancels out the “right” of a religious bigot to refuse to serve us.

      1. Unfortunately, Section 13 of our own Human Rights Act states:

        “If a court’s determination of any question arising under this Act might affect the exercise by a religious organisation (itself or its members collectively) of the Convention right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, it must have particular regard to the importance of that right.”

        One of the few genuine places the HRA could do with amending.

        1. It may have to be amended eventually depending on the ECHR rulings. European law has primacy.

    2. It depends on what exactly the ruling is and which bit of the Act it relates to. There are already specific exemptions from the law for sexual orientation and religious belief which don’t apply equally to (for example) race or disability.

  6. Another American founded hate group extending its evil arm into Europe.

    For the European Commission of Human Rights to have any credibility they must protect the GLBT from religious based hatred. If they don’t then the elected officials have failed their mandate.

  7. No surprise in a globalised world; public opinion, and even the courts, notice decisions from around the world.

    So-called ‘conscience exemptions’ – a licence to discriminate – are an important tool of anti-gay groups in the US. The point about these exemptions is that they are a non-starter for both gays and (usually) the courts. The ADF doesn’t usually expect to (or need to) win these cases. They do just as well from a loss, which allows them repeat their lie that gay marriage erodes religious liberty.

    Most of the public pays very little attention to the reasons why these cases are generally unsuccessful. They just get the misleading headline – gay marriage means that religious people can’t object. Anti-marriage groups then use these legal failures to argue that the only way to ‘protect religious liberty’ is to ban gay marriage completely. There is a direct link between ADF strategy and the anti-equality paranoia we heard from MSP John Mason last week.

  8. I blame the EHRC for this – if they hadn’t sought leave to interfere this other group wouldn’t have done so either.

  9. These people are obviously not Chrsitian by any stretch of the imagination. I think they are using the cover of Christianity as an excuse to get at us again from a different angle. It is just another tact of the haters. If they don’t want to work then sack them. Oh and it would be nice if the Americans did not interfere in the affairs of Europe. Thank you.

    1. Jock S. Trap 22 Aug 2011, 1:04pm

      Esp as Americans would happily tell anyone interfering with their Laws where to go.

    2. Yes they are christians.

      The idea that the christian cult should be tolerant and accepting is a very recent and very ludicrous notion.

      Christianity (like all cults) is opposed to democracy and wants to impose its dogma into our laws. It thrives on hatred and division.

      Until the ‘moderate’ christians (if such a label is not an oxymoron) neuter the more extremist christians, then both groups can be regarded as the same.

  10. Yes – what we definitely need to hear is the opinions of wingnut christofascists from the US…. Yet again – for the hard of thinking – immutable innate personal characteristic versus conscious decision to discriminate, based on bronze age dogma that even its own adherents do not agree on. Total no-brainer.

  11. I think this is a case of be careful what you wish for . As a gay man I think this is a win win situation either way . If the law rules that they cannot refuse to serve gay people we win , if the laws rules that they can , well we win again. It will finally expose what really religion is all about. I think it will do more damage to religion in Europe if not the world. Hotels and guest houses, putting up signs no gays will lose business. Companies will not employ religious people and many many will leave the church. . I think it the biggest shot in the foot, they can do. If we the gay community raised this issue , in the way that we wanted to refuse religious people services , I would be wholly against this. Discrimination is discrimination, who ever is doing it.

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 22 Aug 2011, 2:03pm

      If these swine win.

      If a bl@@dy christian comes near my medical practice they can go jump.

  12. Why aren’t any pro gay European groups intervening? Is there website that you can look at to see who is trying to intervene in these cases? I would think countries like France, Beligum, Holland etc would be equally affected by any rulings……

    1. The National Secular Society (NSS) has been granted permission to intervene.

      1. ILGA, which has recently recieved accreditation from the UN, ought to be represented too.

  13. Ok fine then as an athiest – I am here and now refusing to serve christians, muslims and any other superstitious sheep!

  14. The fact that the Equality and Human Rights Commission had intended to intervene on behalf of these bigotted employees, then decided not to, and now is having its position usurped by an official, exttremist hate group like the ADF, shows that the EHRC is irreparably damaged.

    The EHRC cannot continue – its position is far too compromised.

    It should be regarded as a homophobic organisation headed by an extremist bigot named Trevor Phillips.

  15. I’m not worried. Let the hateful, bigoted yanks come and spew their bile – I think they’ll find European justice and concern for equality rather less amenable to their petty concerns than the judges of their own benighted country.

    In many ways it might help the cause. Often the best policy when dealing with bigots is not to silence them but to let them froth and fulminate all they want, so the true vileness of their position is exposed and they condemn themselves with their own words. I’m sure that hearing the sort of noxious religious poision that passes for debate in US conservative circles will do wonders for bringing out our secular, sensible European judges against the hateful chancers who brought these suits.

  16. How dare Americans intefrere in our politics. No wonder there is so much anti-American sentiment fomenting around the world. They need to get their own disgustingly unequal society in order first, damned arrogance. This clearly debunks the myth that it’s the greatest country on earth, hardly a world leader on social issues.

  17. Gay Daily Mail Reader 22 Aug 2011, 2:28pm

    The Alliance Defense Fund should not be interfering in European affairs. Americans wouldn’t like it if an European religious organization started dictating to the US Supreme Court! Over here we have a different approach to Christianity than the Americans and we can live without branches of the Westboro Baptist Church being set up here thank you very much! I must point out that the European Court On Human Rights is not an EU body and as jurisdiction in non-EU countries unlike the Brussels based EuropeanCourt Of Justice which rules on EU matters.

    1. Dr Robin Guthrie 22 Aug 2011, 2:46pm

      I’m pretty sure the American christians were not too happy at Muslims interfering in their culture. ( 9/11 )

      How dare these people presume to impose their narrow restrictive biblical interpretations on other societies.

  18. Johnny33308 22 Aug 2011, 2:36pm

    So, someone’s right to practice religious bigotry supercedes everyone else’s human rights? Oh, sure, that sounds fair, NOT!

  19. I would highly recommend that everyone take a moment to download and respond to the EHRC’s request for your views – available from the link at the bottom of this article. Ranting about it here is like preaching to the choir – with the exception of Mike.
    Below is the text of my reply to their three questions:
    Section One:

    1: I am not familiar enough with the cases of Eweida or Chaplin in order to make a judgment on the decisions made by the courts. Nor would I base a decision on your synopsis of those decisions – anyone who did would be a fool. Without having the entire transcript of the hearing, and a full transcript of the Courts’ decisions in these two cases, making a reasonable judgment is impossible. This question is invalid.

    2: Again – invalid question. I don’t have access to the full, original transcripts of the hearings. Personally, it is my opinion that both Eweida and Chaplin got what they deserved from the Courts’ decisions. Religion is a conscious choice,

  20. Dave North 22 Aug 2011, 3:03pm

    You know.

    Having to share the planet with these bl@@dy religionists is really beginning to make me feel sullied.

    Why don’t they all just F off and let us grown ups move on with our evolution.

  21. …it is not immutable. As a choice, religion does not trump immutable characteristics and/or disabilities in civil rights disputes. People are free and welcome to their religious beliefs, but they are not free and welcome to foist them upon the lives of others – that constitutes bigotry at best, and outright discrimination at worst. In the workplace, and more so in the offices of government, religious beliefs have no place at all. Nor do the views of any particular religion’s followers have a place in the sectarian, civil, or governmental workplace. You have the right to have religion, or to not have a religion – you do NOT have the right to force your religion’s dogma upon other people.
    Section Two:
    3: Finally – a valid question. I invite you to ponder the words of physicist Steven Weinberg:
    “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.”

  22. …Or perhaps Sir Richard Francis Burton:
    “The more I study religions the more I am convinced that man never worshiped anything but himself.”

    But most of all, I wish you to remember the fateful words of the author Sinclair Lewis – they are as valid for Europe as they are for the United States:
    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”

    1. Sorry for the breaking up of my comment – I wasn’t aware of how tightly the comments are limited for length here.

  23. There are some seriously bigoted and stupid interfering Americans. They should sort their own country out before they start intervening in the rest of the world. They’ll be sending the homophobic pastors they sent to Uganda to the UK next. Oh wait, they already do. The Mormons.

  24. A disgrace. Allowing ADF some standing to file a brief on this group of cases cannot be allowed to pass.

    Is there no way they can be stopped?

    The odds are on our side in terms of winning the case but who knows – the ECHR did not rule in favour of gay rights on Austrian marriage case brought.

    @Mike – “people can judge who they want to serve and who they don’t”.

    You won’t remember “No blacks, No Irish”. UK is not going back there!

    It is NOT their right to decide who to serve and who not to serve. One is a employee of an elected body. Another is an employee of an organisation that recieves public funding.

  25. That’s like allowing Ku Klux Klan advocates to intervene. This government gives credence to and attracts bigoted groups. Using the same logic and language of this government: Do they believe the KKK “have a stake”, and should be listened to, on matters of racial equality?

    1. Sadly and shamefully, this is the same approach of our own Ministry of Equality. Both Theresa May and Lynne Featherstone’s rhetoric allow for these sort of groups to push their ideologies through. The useless consultation exercise on gay marriage being promoted, propagandised and delayed by this Ministry is currently accepting views from anti-gay groups.

    2. The difference is that the KKK have already lost most of its political power and credence. On the contrary, today’s anti-gay industry is galloping on full throttle.

    3. And to top it all, CallMeDave appeases to his bigoted base and uses as many excuses as he possibly can, to demoralise human rights and political correctness concepts. That can only encourage all sorts of bigoted ideas and behaviours to wake from hibernation and come out of their caves.

  26. Chris Hewitson 22 Aug 2011, 4:48pm

    At more than one point in this article the European Court of Human Rights is muddled with the (British) Equalities and Human Rights Commission to the extent that the story is confusing. Is it too late to make the necessary changes?

  27. please make sure that you air your views directly with the Commission until the 5th September by visiting the Commission’s website. I sent a short email and it tokk just a few minutes. Let them know how you feel.

  28. There’s a mistake in the article. The UK Equalities and Human Rights Commission is what it should read in the 5th paragraph. There is no such thing as the ‘European Human Rights Commission’.

    Also the EU is not connected to the court in Strasbourg. The ECtHR established by the ECHR is NOTHING to do with the EU. It’s a convention of the Council of Europe.

  29. As if the gay people only have their sexual feelings and preferences in order to inconvenience religious individuals. The bible says it’s okay to keep slaves, so is it discrimination if the law says no to that?

  30. Dr Robin Guthrie 22 Aug 2011, 9:56pm

    Heres another of these bigots to add to the list.

    Now its a Police officer who sent religious cr@p through the internal police system.

  31. I find it quite amusing that you lot want ‘these Americans’ stopped from ‘interfearing’ but you lot are pro interfearing in other countries where laws state that homosexuality is unlawful and you insist on saying uk should get involved, well this is exactly whats happening here with ‘these Americans’ they want to get involved here, and they should be allowed to,
    If they are not, then there should be no involvement in any other country where that country states homosexuality is unlawful.

    Thats equal, and equal is what homosexuals want.

    Cant have one rule for one and one for another.

    1. Ok then.

      Does that mean we can beat them black and blue for being who they are.

      Can we hang them from cranes as they do in Iran.

      Can we force them off cliffs.

      Can we prevent them visitation rights to their loved ones in hospital.

      Seems fair to me.

      You are an obtuse hateful little cnut aren’t you.

    2. That’s a bit like getting the Ku Klux Klan over to intervene on the Metropolitan Polices behalf on the Stephen Lawrence killing.

      1. The US Alliance Defense Fund actually trained the CLC lawyers who defended the litigants through the courts in UK already (losing their cases).
        This whole fake show, all the way up to the appeals about to be heard in the European Court of Human Rights has been orchestrated & created by the Alliance Defence Fund via allied Christian Concern & the Christian Legal Centre in UK,
        Thiis fundamentalist anti-gay political activism wholly in the ADF style using litigation itself as propaganda to falsely present “Christians” as persecuted victims who require special protections.
        Establishing a special accommodation for religious conscience will allow activists for example to refuse to provide contraceptive medication or to assist at abortions and it will provide them with a legal opt-out from equality law to refuse to deal with gays or to provide services to LGBT people, in other words a special licence to discriminate.
        Exactly the same demands are being made in NY by ADF lawyers there.

    3. Staircase2 23 Aug 2011, 4:50pm

      There is no discrimination in ensuring people do not discriminate against others.

      Only a self-serving fool would think otherwise….

      It is entirely appropriate to intervene in cases where people’s Human Rights are being abused. This is the case in a country who’s citizens are being systematically abused because of their sexuality – it is NOT the case when the Law has stopped people from discriminating against others because of their own bigotry.

      The two are not comparable…..

  32. “The Alliance Defense Fund and Special Rights
    Rob Tisinai
    July 21st, 2011

    The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) is an anti-gay legal group disguised as protectors religious liberty. They believe government employees should be able to pick and choose which laws to follow based on their religious beliefs (as long as those beliefs are Christian).

    Naturally, they think it’s perfectly reasonable for Town Clerks in New York to hold on to their jobs while refusing marriage licenses to qualified, law-abiding citizens (as long as those citizens are gay).

    The ADF even offers up a legal rationale for this, based on New York state law.”
    Except…is that the law? Or a reasonable interpretation of it?

  33. I can understand the anger in many of these posts. But, please be careful about generalising too much. I am an American who has lived in Europe for over 10 years. I came here to get away from American insanity. It always amazes me that some people here hold me personally responsible for American policy and actions. These same people don’t take personal responsibility for Theresa May. Be angry at ADF. Stop them proliferating in Europe. But, please, don’t take your anger out on Americans who have chosen to become Europeans.

  34. This is actually good news — the ADF is famous for presenting inept arguments and losing cases. Here’s hoping they continue the tradition.

  35. Matthew Walken 23 Aug 2011, 3:26pm

    Peter and Hazelmarys Appeals has been granted and is set for 8 November 2011, at Appeal Courts London.

    Fantastic News.

    1. Yes Matthew, it will be great to see how clear cut anti-gay discrimination is defended in a court without all the mawkish emotional media hype and misrepresentation, a confection whipped up in an attempt to turn this vile a pair into martyrs hounded and persecuted by a couple of gay men in a civil partnership who had the sheer audacity to book a room in their bed and breakfast establishment…how dare this committed couple dream they could expect to have the room they booked for the night.

  36. Staircase2 23 Aug 2011, 4:45pm

    There is no discrimination in ensuring people do not discriminate against others.

    Only a self-serving fool would think otherwise…

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