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Baroness Hale: Christians should have more legal protection for anti-gay beliefs

  • Sparkyu1

    Does she apply this to all marginalised groups? Would she be crying if the Hales decided that they didn’t want unaccompanied women? Or that some racial or religious groups be denied because of a business owner’s bigotry?

    Or does she only support homophobia?

    • allan

      only homophobia and in a Christian context – would she also wish to protect other religions – say Muslim. Another who wants to keep the religious clap trap because it gives her a feeling of superiority – well news the bible is a book of stories and please do not use selected parts of it to try and deny me my right of equality.

      • TomSatsuma

        “only homophobia and in a Christian context” whereas if you actually read what she says and know the first thing about her you would realise how monstrously wrong you are. She was talking very generally about anti-discrimination law as it applies to religion. She actually states the importance of applying the law to ‘all religions and none’

        • Bobbleobble

          So homophobia in any context then? She was talking generally although I think her main point is idiotic but she specifically mentioned the Bulls suggesting she thinks it should be ok for Christians to turn away gay people.

          She IS talking about giving special privilege to religious belief and its manifestation. Suggesting it should apply to those with no belief is nonsensical since there really isn’t such a thing as a manifestation of no belief.

      • robert

        see my post above – please do not attack her personally – she is “on our side” on gay matters…..really. Both personally and professionally she has long been a supporter of gay rights.

        • Bobbleobble

          But as I posted above she is advocating that religious homophobia be protected in law. With friends like that who needs enemies?

        • john

          When someone refers to being gay as a lifestyle choice then they are usually a homophobe. Being for gay rights is not the same as being for equal rights for gays.

    • TomSatsuma

      She doesn’t support homophobia – she ruled against the Bulls.

      She does however make the valid point that “If the law is going to protect freedom of religion and belief it has to accept that all religions and beliefs and none are equal.

      It cannot realistically inquire into the validity or importance of those beliefs, or any particular manifestation of them, as long as they are genuinely held.”

      Personally I’d say that’s a big problem with protecting religious beliefs – however I’ve no desire to see someone being fired for being a Jew, for example. I don’t have the answer but she raises a valid point.

      The headline on this piece is fairly shocking, in response to an intelligent observation from Hale.

      • Sparkyu1

        She’s a professional homophobe, but still a homophobe. As a professional she applied the law as is. As a homophobe, she wishes the law didn’t protect us.

        No she doesn’t – this point has already been addressed multiple times in the past. When your religious belief requires others to be affected you can expect reasonable accomodation – which does not extend to denial of goods and services. This is why we do not have religious misogyny or racism protected by law. This is why you can’t advertise a job saying “no Jews” or have a hotel deny reservations for Asian people – because we already have very well established limits for what “religious freedom” requires – and that isn’t a blanket protection for all forms of bigotry.

        The headline of the piece is accurate.

        • robert

          she is, quite definitvely, not a homophobe. Sorry to do it this way but I know her personally – she just isn’t and would be part furious and part astonished at being called one. I repeat, she is not homophobic. Leaving the bizzare and inflamatory headline aside, if you read what she says, properly, she does make a valid point. You may not agree with it – which is fair enough – I am not sure I do, but it is a fair point to make. Argue with the point, by all means (I shall for sure), but do not jump to incorrect personal assumptions please.

          • Sparkyu1

            Frankly, no matter how homophobic someone is, there’s always someone ready to pop up and say “I know them they’re totally not, honest!” including Baroness Warsi, so I don’t take this as particularly indicative. She is making a homophobic argument, speaking up in favour of homophobia and, from her position of authority, effectively calling for homophobia to be enshrined by law

            I don’t care how well you know her or how much this will upset her – she is making a homophobic argument and is, therefore, a homophobe

            No, she does not make a valid point – we have already covered religious accomodation in law repeatedly. If you replaced the victim of her suggestion from gay people to POC or another religion it becomes clear how ridiculous it is – we do not allow businesses to use their religion to turn away or refuse to employ women, we do not allow businesses to turn away or refuse to employ POC or believers of other religions, that has been cleared and settled repeatedly. But now it’s gay people apparently we need bigotry to be accomodated and consider “straights only” signs so long as a cross is attached?

          • Ciaran

            Completely agree with everything you have said Sparkyu1 You are spot on.
            She is advocating homophobia to be enshrined in law something which the LGBT community have only just recently got outlawed after a decades of campaigning and fighting for equal treatment.
            This woman is a disgrace regardless of her personal views on gay people she is still advocating religious based homophobia to be enshrined in law in a largely secular society and that is not acceptable.

          • Truth

            Well said and completely accurate on every point.

          • Bobbleobble

            I don’t doubt she doesn’t see herself as homophobic but what she has advocated is that homophobia on the basis of religion should be protected by law which I’m sure you can see would lead to some questioning of her views.

          • robert

            That is offensive Sparky. If I say I know someone and that she is not homophobic, who are you to belittle that? On what basis do you do so? Not on the basis of this article in any event. She has not expressed a homophobic view – read the article not the silly headline. She has said that people need to have their religeous beliefs protected up to a point. She says it is a balance. She says that they have rights too. She says that perhaps the pendulum has swung too far in that the protection of our views has perhaps impinged too much on the religeous beliefs of others. That does not make her a homophobe. She does not have “an extreme or irrational aversion to homosexuality or homesexuals” [did you by the way actually check what it means?]. And yes, I do question her view on this.. As I said, I do not agree with her on the substantive point. I agree with you on that . I will argue with her about it. I think she is wrong. But…..I think I am talking to a brick wall now! You have made up your mind and why let analysis of the facts change it?

          • Mark Y

            So let me get this right Robert……

            Your friend Mss Hale has suggested that religious people should be able to discriminate against gay people, but you think that doesn’t make her homophobic?

            If someone says that white people should be able to discriminate against black people – would that not make them racist?

            Really?

            If I was you, I’d have a word with her and let her know that she needs to say she was wrong to suggest that religious people should be able to discriminate against people. And until she says that, I wouldn’t defend her.

            I look forward to her retraction in the press next week…….

          • TomSatsuma

            “Your friend Mss Hale has suggested that religious people should be able to discriminate against gay people”

            No, she hasn’t said that at all… and in fact she ruled the very opposite.

            This place always has me tearing out my hair.

          • Mark Y

            Satsuma, I think you need to read what she said and be honest with yourself about what that means.

            She may have ruled one way in the past, but it now looks like she doesn’t have faith in her ruling (it wasn’t just her ruling btw)

            She is suggesting that service providers who are religious people should a have a clause of conscience – which would therefore allow them to discriminate. So therefore what she is suggesting is that religious people should be able to discriminate – wy can’t you understand or accept that?

            She thinks the pendulum has swung too far against religious beliefs. This Woman’s speech is dangerous.

          • Steven Gregory

            Satsuma is routinely argumentative for argument’s sake.
            He seems to think that her ruling trumps her statements, instead of taking all of it into account.
            What has happened here is akin to a justice who ruled against slavery, but then said it should have been allowed for the financial stability of the empire.

          • TomSatsuma

            “Satsuma is routinely argumentative for argument’s sake.”
            Because I have disagreed with you twice on here?
            “He seems to think that her ruling trumps her statements, instead of taking all of it into account.”
            and everybody else seems to think this debate is about whether she’s a goodie or a baddie… I’m not trying to judge her, so why should I take it all into account? I’m merely discussing what she said. Just because I fundamentally disagree with her on a lot of what she said it doesn’t mean I have to dismiss it all when there are serious problems with UK religious discrimination law that at least she addresses.

          • Sparkyu1

            Yes, she IS saying that. A conscience clause allowing them to discriminate is EXACTLY that. She thinks the “pendulum swung too far” in not allowing the Bulls to discriminate. She thinks this would bring “more balance” to allow such bigotry.

          • Carl Smith

            So…what she said is that Christians should NOT be able to treat gays differently than straight people because of their religious beliefs. Oh okay, thanks for clarifying. No wonder you’re tearing at your hair: you’re apparently at odds with yourself.

          • de Villiers

            She didn’t say that at all. She spoke primarily about Sikhs being able to wear turbans instead of cycle helmets, being able to wear a cross at work or Jewish lawyers not having to work on religious holidays.

          • Steven Gregory

            That “pendulum” statement, as well as language that indicates she thinks homosexuality is a “lifestyle choice” are both homophobic declarations.

            Try telling Blacks, Asians, Women, Jews, Elderly, or other people from less populous religions that their protections have gone too far. That would be roundly denounced.

          • Sparkyu1

            Because it’s the same weak excuse that comes up every time a homophobe decides to spread hate. A stranger on the internet arrives to say that “honest, they’re not like that” every single time. What kind of defence is that? How much credence do you think I should give it?

            She defends a grossly offensive homophobic position, champions bigotry against us – but you think it’s offensive that I don’t trust a completely unknown person who claims to know her and claims she’ll be upset at being thought of as a homophobic?

            I’ve read the whole article – and I know the law. People’s religious beliefs are protected up to the point where they expect to use it to excuse their own bigotry – a point that is already clear in law and has been for some time.

            “The pendulum has swung too far” because we are getting the same accomodation and services as any other member of society? Because hotel owners can’t turn us away? because shop owners can’t kick us out? That’s too far? That is a grossly homophobic position and if she supports that then, yes, this woman is a homophobe.

            She wishes the law to change so gay people can be discriminated against in employment and provision of goods and services, one of the corner stones of protecting oppressed groups. She wants shops and hotels to be able to put up “straights only” signs. That is an extreme and irrational aversion to us. That is championing discrimination against us. That is a bigoted attempt to destroy our rights and place as full people in society

            But you are going on “she is such a nice person!” but I am the one who isn’t analysing the facts? I go by the position she espouses, your “facts” are shallow assurances that she’s not like that.

          • Rehan

            She will (I hope) be positively apoplectic at the way her words have been reported in the Mail then.

          • TampaZeke

            She DOESN’T make a valid point. She was very clever in making her bogus assertion sound like a valid point but she didn’t provide one shred of evidence that any Christian had been prosecuted for anti-gay BELIEFS. She cleverly disguised anti-gay actions like refusing service to gay people as a Christian “belief” but you have to be a fool to not see that there is a huge difference between belief and illegal behaviour. She’s counting on the masses being fools and clearly a couple of people here claiming that she had a valid point are proving her right.

          • Steven Gregory

            Strongly agreed!
            Christianity calls for beating of women on several occasions — most concerning to the judge is when a woman who exercises authority over men should be beaten into submission.

            Will she stand for a religious man’s right over his wife’s civic protections? Same with killing disobedient children, stoning a woman on her father’s step for not being a virgin at her wedding, a man who wishes to have numerous wives and concubines, or owning slaves.

          • allan

            And I still definitely don’t like her She believes people should be given the right to discriminate because of a chosen religion. Remember when we thought Shirley Williams was a sane rational woman. No one who talks about extending the right to discriminate for any reason is ever right.

          • Steven Gregory

            Perhaps you should contact her and express that her opinion and statement strikes many people as homophobic. Then ask exactly how being required to adhere to the same business practices as others is an impediment to religion: the same religion that says she tries to usurp authority over men she should be beaten into submission by her husband.

      • TampaZeke

        Well then her bamboozle worked like a charm. She’s got you agreeing with her in spite of the fact that she, and no one else, has ever provided a single example of a Christian being prosecuted or persecuted for being a Christian, or for their “beliefs”. Christians have been prosecuted for their ILLEGAL behaviours and violence inciting speech (just as any Jew or Muslim or atheist would be) but NEVER, not once, for their beliefs or simply for being a Christian.

        This is a perfect example of an intelligent person using rhetorical logical fallacies to make an argument because they couldn’t make the argument using actual facts and specific examples. Ignorant masses fall for these bogus arguments all the time. That’s how she bamboozled you into believing her bogus straw man argument was an “intelligent observation”. Anyone whose taken the most rudimentary debate class would recognize this tactic within seconds.

        • TomSatsuma

          No I didn’t. I agree with most of what you say in your post. You don’t seem to understand the point I’m making about the problems with the law as it stands though (problems which are as likely to victimise gays as anyone else).

          I disagree with her on the conclusion, but she’s right about the problem of outlawing discrimination on the basis of religious belief but then picking and choosing which beliefs that applies to when there are conflicts. It just doesn’t work legally (or ethically in my mind).

          I seem to be having a totally different discussion to everyone else on this page – where people think I’m arguing for MORE protection for religions (if anything I’m arguing for less)

          • TampaZeke

            I don’t think that was the argument she was making at all. She was arguing for MORE protection for anti-gay religious beliefs, though she really meant more protection for anti-gay religious expressions and behaviours.

          • de Villiers

            No she wasn’t. In a twenty page speech she stated many times how religious people should not discriminate against gay people. She spoke at how the balance is to be made to allow people to follow their religion whilst not discriminating against gay people.

      • Steven Gregory

        We have similar arguments in the United States from religious business owners: they are not prevented from assembling with other religious people, reading or speaking about religion, even plastering crosses all over the walls of their business or wearing one around their necks: but they claim their freedom of religion is being impeded when they are not allowed to discriminate. Hogwash.

  • Valksy

    Why can’t the lifestyles live together? Because orientation is not a lifestyle, it is as intrinsic, innate and immutable as the colour of our eyes, hair and skin. Would she argue so robustly to protect the rights of religiously-grounded racists? (after all the bible has been used to do exactly that)

    And you would think someone with legal nous would realise the obvious – Unless we start nominating acceptable religions, legislating for interpretation, and devising a means to test sincerity, then anyone could use the precedent she proposes to declare a belief in anything and start excusing themselves from the law of the land.

    After all, who is to say my deeply held avowed belief in the Invisible Pink Bunny In The Corner That Only I Can See (congregation of one, me) is anything but sincerely held, and that my interpretation of its dogma means I can disregard whatever civil laws I like….

    • john

      It’s not a religious belief she wants to protect though but some person’s opinion that gay people shouldn’t share a double bed in their B&B or that someone thinks that doing a CP for gay people is not right and these opinions are dressed up as a religous belief. I’m not sure what she is advocating has an end to it. I don’t see the link betwee CPs and religion etc yet she seems to think as long as it is a sincere held belief then they shoudl be exempt from the law. A bit dangerous and a very uncertain world for all of us.

      • Steven Gregory

        Yet another case of “Jesus told me to stop you from having sex.”

    • Benji

      Is it normal for a serving judge to make political speeches like this? She is plainly using her title & her position to get publicity for her personal views. If it is normal then I’m suprised.
      Is she advocating a general free for all for anyone claiming a sincere religious belief to refuse services and accommodation to whoever they like? Does she suggest hotels could display “no jews” notices?
      Or is it only the right to turn away homosexuals that she thinks is important?

      • Truth

        Beautifully summarised …!

        • david

          it was not beautifully summarised or even summarised at all – how on earth did you extrapolate that from what she said – utter nonsense. She did not say that at all.

      • john

        She sounds like she is “advocating” removing gays from the equality act only on the basis that it is a lifestyle choice , which if you chose it means that you shoudl forfeit your right to equality.

        • Guest

          She did not describe sexuality as a lifestyle CHOICE

    • DAVID MICHAEL

      Good points.

      It is my “sincerely held religious belief” that the Bible is satanically based, puppeting a “god” who would start a war, destroy and or murder you in an instant for disobedience, it IT really existed short of mankind’s machinations.

      Shall I now not hire Christians in my workplace due to my sincerely held, and fully rational, religious belief that God is only peace and all others are man-ufactured artificial replacement frauds?

  • Jock S.Trap

    Choice to believe in a made up religion doesn’t entitle people to be above the law when it comes to how people are born.

    End of!

  • Alexander Kelso Shiels

    It’s the religious people who are at fault! They will not let people live their lives without discrimination by these Bigots.

    • Steven Gregory

      Also, we have no clear proof of the Bulls’ “belief.” Even their own mythological leader said, “By your love you will be known as my disciples.” Apparently, according to the Christian myth, nonbelievers are in the position to judge the adherence of believers and that criteria is love. I do not perceive love toward others from the Bulls.

  • Cocteaut

    Ok then.

    “Suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.” Timothy 2:12

    My Christian “conscience” tells me this is true, ergo get back to your kitchen b!tch.

    • DanFilson

      St.Paul has a lot to answer for.

  • DanFilson

    Baroness Hale misses the point. There is no problem with Christians having their beliefs, or even expressing them provided they in doing so do not cause hatred or pain to others. But if Christians run a business, they are rightly obliged not to discriminate against customers – we already have adjusted to non-discrimination on grounds of race, I trust nobody suggests anyone should have the right to discriminate on grounds of gender or age or disability, so now businesses must learn not to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation. If you don’t like observing the laws relating to the business you are in, get out of that business.

    • That There Other David

      She’s not missing the point. She’s deliberately avoiding it, just as all those who wish for special religious exemptions do. Christians, Muslims etc. base their lives on fairy tales. Fine if they want to do that, not fine if they try and impose that on others.

      • TampaZeke

        She’s not deliberately avoiding it, she’s deliberately confusing it to mislead the masses. She knows that Christians aren’t be prosecuted for their beliefs. She’s not an idiot. She just assumes that the masses she’s trying to mislead are.

      • Steven Gregory

        We are already seeing anti-religion backlash in the U.S. from Christians in government who oppose other religions. The stupidity is stunning to behold as government officials attempt to present their case.

  • David Greensmith

    Do we therefore look forward to BNP supporters being able to refuse services to black people? Xenophobic English being able to discriminate against French, German and Eastern European people? I’m sure that someone holding a bigoted racist/nationalist belief is capable of holding that belief as sincerely as any religious person. How about managers being able to promote male employees over female employees and being honest about their sincerely held belief that men are better at the job than women? If so, we will be seeing a new era of “No blacks, no dogs, no Irish” on guest house, shop and pub windows, only with a few more added to the list.

  • Brian Martenis

    I don’t believe that Jesus ever discriminate against anyone. Ever. Some “Christians” need to study the great master’s message. It’s very simple really. Apparently too simple for some. Pray for them.

    • Rehan

      Erm … Matthew 10:33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. 34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

      Admittedly it’s not focused on sex/uality, but still it’s not quite unconditional love, is it?

      [Apologies for going off at a tangent.]

  • Brian Martenis

    I don’t believe that Jesus ever discriminate against anyone. Ever. Some “Christians” need to study the great master’s message. It’s very simple really. Apparently too simple for some. Pray for them.

  • TomSatsuma

    Pink News, this is really bad of you. The headline “Baroness Hale: Christians should have more legal protection for anti-gay beliefs” paints a picture that just isn’t backed up by what she said. You do this all the time but this is a particularly bad example.

    What she actually said was very balanced and fair and focused on general principals rather than specific beliefs and cases.

    • de Villiers

      I’ve just said that – and this in relation to a liberal judge who has upheld gay rights at every opportunity.

      • TomSatsuma

        Yes, that’s a point I forgot to add… thanks.

        Actually the point she makes is nuanced and vital. I work with anti-discrimination law and the protection of religious beliefs has always been problematic (how does one prevent, say, a Catholic employer from not hiring protestants, while at the same time not basically legalising every crazy demand a whacko religion makes?)

    • Sparkyu1

      Pink news did an excellent job here – that is exactly what she wants. Just because she does her job doesn’t mean she isn’t speaking up in favour of bigotry.

  • de Villiers

    This is one of the most liberal judges in England, who has supported gay rights in every case that she has decided. People need to read what she really said and post sensibly rather than taking this sensationalised headline, which does not reflect the nuance of her position.

    • Mark Y

      No you miss the point of what she said. Re-read the article, and listen to what she’s now saying, not think about she has done in the past.

      Here is how the daily mail are interpreting her new state of mind on her past actions…..

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2663037/I-wrong-condemn-Christian-B-amp-B-owners-says-judge.html

      • Cocteaut

        She is saying, both here and in the daily wail, that the bull’s should have been allowed a “conscience” consideration.

        In other words there stupid beliefs would allow them to discriminate.

        • Mark Y

          Exactly, that’s what I’m pointing out. De Villiers seems to have missed that crucial understanding of what she is suggesting should be law.

      • Rehan

        That is one scary article.

    • Sparkyu1

      We have read what she said. Just because she does her job and applies the law doesn’t prevent her from also speaking up in favour of bigotry. Religious freedom is not a new argument for bigots, she has not raised a new point or a point that hasn’t fought through the courts before. Reasonable accomodation for religious belief does not include legal pandering for bigotry

      And it’s amazing how people like this judge didn’t feel the need to raise the point about employers being unable to deny women or deciding to deny service to other religions – but the minute our rights are on the horizon then suddenly it’s a hot button issue

  • David Charles Dawson

    “A bigot – one blindly and obstinately devoted to a particular creed…” – Chambers Dictionary. Sounds like Baroness Hale wants to give legal support to such people in our enlightened 21st century society. She should be resisted.

  • Mark Y

    The law shouldn’t have more legal protection for anyone in particular – it should be equal for everyone.

  • Rob

    Would she still support the same people to turn away black, disabled or Sikh people? I think not, so why target gay people?

    • TomSatsuma

      Please read what she actually said.

      She ruled AGAINST the Bulls

      • Mark Y

        Yes that was in the past. I think it is you who needs to read what she actually said. Becuase now she doesn’t think what she did is right. Stop defending someone who wants to allow christians muslims and jews a conscience clause to discriminate.

        • TomSatsuma

          We are never going to agree – I work with discrimination law so I’m well aware of what she said.

          I don’t necessarily agree with her – but the points she raises are important and valid.

          • Bobbleobble

            I don’t agree that the point is either important or valid. She is effectively advocating special privileges for those with religious beliefs that are genuinely held. Either discrimination is a bad thing or it isn’t, it can’t be a bad thing unless it’s carried out by someone with strongly held religious beliefs.

          • Cocteaut

            Well I hope you never represent me if you cannot see the blatant “religious right to discriminate” this woman now wants to enshrine in law.

          • http://www.pariss.info Pariss

            Her points are not valid
            What she has said and done is a) uphold the law and b) stated that she disagrees with the law as it stands

          • TomSatsuma

            Everyone is talking like the law is clear cut on this – It’s not… I work with it and followed this case as it was happening. She made the right choice but some interpretation was necessary.

            It could have easily gone the Bulls way, as the law stands.

          • http://www.pariss.info Pariss

            I don’t think anyone is dispsuting she made the right ruling according to law.
            What we are all saying is that it is wrong for her to advocate special dispensation for religious beliefs on this matter
            Come to think about it, any sort of dispensation on the grounds of religious belief is wrong

          • TomSatsuma

            I know what everyone’s saying, and I agree. I just don’t think everyone really understands the full implication of what she said or what the law is as currently stands.

            She’s saying that IF you are going to protect ‘religious beliefs’ then you can’t pick and choose, you need to protect them all, or none… even the unpopular ones.

            My answer is not to protect ‘beliefs’ at all.

            I’m actually agreeing with you – but I don’t really think she is the Christian homophobe she’s being painted as – I don’t really agree with her conclusion, but her initial points are all correct. She’s speaking specifically about a law that it seems many here don’t understand.

          • Truth

            IF that is what she is actually saying – that you either have to protect ALL religious belief – or none at all – then I totally agree with her. I trust that legislators would realise how ridiculous and impossible it would be to administer any such law which offers protection for ALL religious belief and would therefore choose to end it.

          • http://thenakedgeek.shawwebspace.ca/ Barry William Teske

            The law is supposed be ‘clear cut’ when it comes to incitement (violence) motivated by hate.
            Seems to me this Baroness is looking for a ‘get out of hate free’ card.

          • REALrenovato

            Valid how? The whole idea is vile that some one should be protected in law for in effect forcing their religious views on some unsuspecting person because of THEIR “sincerely held interpretation” of a “religious book”, I dont doubt it is important issue to discuss because the extremely religious are forever trying to prevent disagreement with some of their actions which harm other people and seek to impose there views of life the world and every thing on anyone who disagrees with them. The question Judge Hale raises (and seems to endorse) is that opinions about categories of people defined by religious people for the purposes of treating them less favourably should be given protection from laws that everyone else has to abide by because of a belief sincerely held of course, that is defined by the discriminator to avoid compliance with treating people fairly and with respect irrespective of their natural human characteristics.
            The odd one out here is religion, as it is a choice of belief decided by the believer, who is free to change or modify that belief in a milisecond, the one thing she is correct about is that a court cannot decide (and should not) what is a valid religious belief and what is not.
            I think we are forgetting why we have anti-discrimination laws for religion in the first place, and they are longer standing than any others. It is to prevent religious discrimination between PERSONS of differing religious beliefs ie not to use your religion to give favour or disfavour in your ACTIONS or to privalage one person over another and force them to comply with your belief or religious sect to recieve the same treatment or service, this is a double edged sword – maybe some need to reflect on the true “moral” of sodom and gamorah, which is stated a couple of times else where in the text – it is about being HOSPITABLE to those not in your friend circle, city or tribe or in other words, strangers who may be different, but mean you no harm.
            You cannot have laws which depend on the “belief” of the offender as to whether they are culpable, as a senior Judge I would have thought she would have worked this through a bit, the fact that she has not, demonstrates bias and in this instance demonstrates underlying homophobia or a will to privilage a religious opinion over the demonstratable facts of life and normal natural human characteristics. My own view is that is unreasonable, with the emphasis on reason!

          • TomSatsuma

            I think my stance has been totally misunderstood. Most arguments against me here are basically making my point.

            I disagree with her conclusion of what should be done, but her assessment of the current situation is correct – see my comments further down for more depth.

          • REALrenovato

            I think I understand the situation perfectly, the problem occurs when as was the case in the marriage debate when some religious zealots tried to enshrine in law that people could not be criticised or arguments presented that rubbished or denigrated their *opinions* – this is dangerous stuff, to privilage religion in spite of reason and fact and harm caused to others, brings back memories of the rediculous blasphemy law and the other nonsense argument that something should be privilaged because its “traditional” and of course there is nothing more traditional than religion or so some would have us believe. Human Rights legislation is somewhat distorted in some peoples interpretation because religion is included in the section about personal characteristics race ,sex /gender,disability, ethnicity etc instead of being included within (as part of the section on) freedom of thought, expression, that religion is of similar character to the other grounds when in fact religion is an opinion or belief which is open to change on a whim, the problem occurs when you give the same weight to religious *opinion* as to provable fact; it can never work! and in the law at present it depends on the term *REASONABLE* when reason need not form part of it, ie. it needs to be clarified that unsupported belief cannot be used to trump provable fact, science and peoples imutable or innate characteristics; and practices/actions which cause harm or discriminate on natural characteristics cannot be justified no matter what beliefs you may have.
            What troubles me is that a seniour judge would allow her remarks to be interprated in such a way that it could be *reasonable* to do otherwise, to give beliefs exemption from the law is to invite anarchy and chaos and tyrany from clerics. which is all too evident in other parts of this world, let us not go there again.
            No doubt this will generate squeels of outrage from the devout and dimwitted, good, lets have an argument.which does not include religious belief and dogma – as truth. Well one can hope!

      • TampaZeke

        She ruled against them based on the current law but is making the case that the law should change to accommodate such BEHAVIOUR; which she cleverly calls “belief”.

  • TomSatsuma

    I wonder – does Pink News just want to whip up outrage to get page clicks, or do they think so lowly of their readers that they have to ‘interpret’ any ambiguous statements into ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’.

    Judging by the comments here it seems like maybe they are right.

    • Mark Y

      No, you are not reading what she is saying and her change of heart on this subject. Pink News are reporting exactly what she said – which would give christians more legal protection for their anti-gay beliefs. You are in effect defending someone who now thinks it might be right to allow christians the right to discriminate.

      Lady Hale has suggested that the law should develop a ‘conscience clause’ for Christians like the Bulls. ie – discrimination.

      • TomSatsuma

        She’s saying that if we are going to protect ‘religious beliefs’ then we need to protect them all. Her answer is (possibly) to do that (although she isn’t explicit), my answer is not to protect ‘beliefs’ at all but to somehow find a way of protecting ‘people’ from religious discrimination while leaving beliefs open to challenge. Either way her initial assertion is correct. The law is problematic as it stands.

        • Robert W. Pierce

          The problem with Lady Hale’s statement is that if she believes all religious beliefs should be accommodated outside one’s place of worship, especially in the workplace or in the delivery of goods and services, then similarly those of no faith, those who aren’t Christian, Jewish or Islamic should be accorded exceptions too. It opens up a whole can of worms. Religious people in the UK have freedom of religion to worship and believe whatever they wish under the law but why should they be allowed to bring those beliefs into the workplace in what is an overwhelmingly secular work environment? They are NOT places of worship of for the exercise of religion.

          What if a religious employee tries to proselytise, what if he or she refuses to work with a gay person or anyone else they disagree with or refuse to do a specific task because of religious beliefs? Why should an employer have to make an exception for one group? The majority of us have a right to be free from religion, especially while they are working and shouldn’t have to be subjected to someone prattling on about their beliefs and on the receiving end of harassment. Why would any employer in their right mind want to set him or herself up for disruption because some religious nutter wanting to trample over everybody else’s rights. Everyone should be allowed to work in peace and do the job they are paid to do. Nobody should be exempt or above the law.

        • Robert W. Pierce

          If citing the Bulls’ unsuccessful case as Lady Hale has done iis used as a litmus test for religious discrimination and if she really believes that all religious beliefs must be protected from discrimination, then what about if I as a gay man and an atheist owned a business? Should I be afforded the same protection/exemption due to my personal beliefs to refuse products and services to the likes of people such as Ann Widdecombe and Andrea Minichiello-Williams as two examples? People have a right to be free from religion too as well as have protection under the law.

    • Sparkyu1

      How is it whipping up the outrage to report her actual words?

  • Tom (Winnipeg)

    They want protection for their bigotry. They must not be given this special consideration. Gay people must continue to fight for total equality.

  • Roku

    Which would lead to anarchy; anyone could claim religious or ‘deeply held’ beliefs in order to discriminate against any group they dislike. As I see it the law as it stands does the job- it protects ALL people from discrimination in goods & services, even christians!

    • http://www.pariss.info Pariss

      If you extend her feelings along a logical route then Christian racists could ask for legal protection for their beliefs

      • TomSatsuma

        Exactly – and they potentially could under current law… which is why her points are important to consider.

        • Bobbleobble

          They could ask but they’d be denied. Unless a Hale has her way and suddenly beliefs and their manifestations get to trump every law of the land.

        • Mark Y

          Oh ffs Satsuma, why can’t you just admit you have got this wrong?

          Her points are not important to consider. She is suggesting that religious people should be able to discriminate. Why can’t you understand that? What is there to consider? Religious people should not be able to discriminate. She is suggesting they should be able to.

          She things the pendulum has swung too far against christians – she’s not saying they should have rights taken away from them – she’s saying that christians should have more rights to discriminate. A clause of conscience.

          • TomSatsuma

            It’s not my fault that you can’t understand the nuance of what I’m saying.

          • Mark Y

            Satsuma, there is no nuance. I fully understand what you are saying and I think you are wrong. Why can’t you understand that?

          • Bobbleobble

            Well it is since clearly you’re not explaining yourself well if we apparently can’t understand what you’re saying. There are no problems with protecting religious belief other than those dreamt up by Hale. That Christians feel aggrieved at having to obey the law is not a problem with the law itself.

          • TomSatsuma

            There has been a problem with the law for years – and as it’s part of my job I’ve been involved in debates about it.

            You think there’s no problem with LEGALLY protecting beliefs (i.e. opinions)!? It’s terrifying! At the moment it’s not become an issue because the rulings (like Hale’s) have been sensible… but in theory I could tell my employer I didn’t believe in working on weekdays and if I could prove it I might have grounds to make them accommodate me!

            It would probably be dismissed by a sensible judge, but the law as it stands allows that possibility. If you are going to protect beliefs you need to protect all of them (a ridiculous situation) or none. You can’t have judges ruling on which beliefs are acceptable or real and which aren’t…

          • Bobbleobble

            Why?

          • TomSatsuma

            “she’s saying that christians should have more rights to discriminate. A clause of conscience.”
            And for the f*ckteenth time, I DISAGREE WITH HER CONCLUSION, but her assessment of the current situation is insightful and correct. Do you know the law as it stands? Are you aware of the problems with protection of religious beliefs?

        • REALrenovato

          Only if it was *ruled* as “reasonable” to to discriminate against someone by giving credance to discrimination against anyone because of their natural human innate or intrinsic human characteristics, surely this is the problem, such discrimination should never be deemed reasonable, whatever someones belief, religious or otherwise.
          Discrimination on those grounds indicate unreasonable animus and should be given added scepticism.
          If we start giving credance to and justify animus on grounds of religion or belief we might as well not bother with anti-discrimination laws, and the worst suffers of discrimination then may well be the very people who are claiming the right to discriminate because of their religion.
          {of course many of those same people would then be crying for a blasphemy law which only applied to their beliefs; “naturally”.
          What Baroness Hale seems to imply is that religious based animus against some groups (or any?) which are directly protected by law is excusable if you believe your diety backs you up – not tenable or enforcable and as a principle of law as nuts as the “Arizona freedom of belief legislation” – so off the wall that even rabid Gov. Brewer vetoed it.
          Any comment Tom?

          • Tom Katsumi

            Actually she said ‘all beliefs and none’ which shows that it’s not just religions and deities she wants to protect but any ‘sincerely held belief’ even by atheists. As I said, I think that’s unworkable – but that’s the law as currently stands (theoretically)

          • REALrenovato

            Thanks,
            The problem here is she has not taken into account the basic precepts of human rights law UDHR & ECHR which judges need to give regard to in their judgements Well the ECHR in direct LAW in anycase. The case of religion/ belief and tradition is subject to the other provisions of the convention and is not an equal balance, many Judges have and are giveing added sceptacism to the use or attempted use of religion or tradition to circumvent equality laws for the very reasons you suggest. The use of “conscience” used in these circumstances is a subvertion of the very concept, as conscience is invocked to not do some thing, usually, which harms or you believe would harm others, not yourself! Very suspect. The use of religion to discriminate against others whilst expecting to not get discriminated against because of your religion would seem to contradict and subvert the very basics of human rights and( I think) article 14 of the ECHR and you cannot use the provisions of the convention to treat others less favourably. or as an excuse for causing harm. Pretty basic stuff which Ms. Hale seems to be forgetting. Which has not gone unnoticed by some especially religious, who claim human rights are being used to trump religion – yes, because that is what its supposed to do when animus or prejudice is used to act against protected rights.

          • Tom Katsumi

            Mostly I’ve been in agreement with all your posts though

    • TomSatsuma

      As the law stands they potentially can – that’s the problem, and why it’s vital to have this debate.

      • Bobbleobble

        There was no debate until Hale started one. The law as legislated and implemented by the judiciary stated that discrimination on the grounds of sexuality is not allowable even if the person doing it has strongly held religious beliefs. In advocating supremacy for religious beliefs over the law of the land Hale has thrown a spanner into the works and created a debate which needn’t exist.

        • TomSatsuma

          Actually the law offered equal protection for sexuality and religious beliefs – so there was a conflict there. Ultimately she made the right choice I think but it’s still unclear as to the point at which beliefs become protected.

          Religious discrimination law is very problematic. A sustainability officer tried to sue his company on the basis that they were forcing him to go against his ‘deeply held’ green beliefs. A butcher’s assistant could potentially demand not to have to work with meat based on their vegetarianism.

          We need reform. I don’t agree with her on everything, but she’s certainly right that if we are to protect some beliefs then we must protect them all, no matter how distasteful – my answer would be that we shouldn’t protect beliefs at all, we should protect people.

          I’m really disappointed in the knee-jerk reaction to this piece. She’s been totally misrepresented and it’s turned a debate that I think has been a vital one for years (whether or not you agree with her) into a circle-jerk of shouting ‘Christian bigot’ and ignorance of the law as it stands.

          • TomSatsuma

            There’s an intelligent debate about the problem of protecting ‘beliefs’ to be had here – but all anyone’s doing is shouting boring sound bites about equality that are easy to agree with but utterly lacking in depth or nuance.

          • Bobbleobble

            There is no debate to be had. You can believe whatever you like but when it comes to manifesting those beliefs then you have to be subject to the laws of the land. Muddying the waters as Hale has done here is ridiculously counterproductive.

          • TomSatsuma

            You seem to be wilfully ignorant of both my stance and the current law. I’ve tried to explain it but I’ve reached my limit.

          • Mark Y

            Satsuma, no one is ignorant of your stance – its clear to read . You seem to be ignorant of what Hale has said and how her suggestions would give power to religious people to discriminate.

          • TomSatsuma

            No I’m not. I disagree with her conclusions, but her points are still valid.

            I’m done headbutting the wall now.

            Enjoy your weekend.

          • Cocteaut

            Aww.

            Poor we diddums is misunderstood and the toys get flung out the pram.

            Clearly no one is agreeing with your singular misinterpretation.

          • Tom Katsumi

            I’m fine with that.

          • http://www.bloketoys.co.uk/ BlokeToys.co.uk

            The problem arises in the interpretation of “religious freedom”.

            People have the religious freedom to practice their beliefs and hold them, no one is being “persecuted” for their religious opinions. That is the issue here, these people want the right to inflict their opinions on others, not just to have their opinions.

            Religious belief is not a license for attacking others nor inflicting that opinion onto others in the incorrect setting. The law is no where near done in ensuring this progress continues. The next step is to end all religious schools, remove all religious preaching from places of employment and prevent people from preaching their nonsense in inappropriate places.

          • Bobbleobble

            And I think you’re wilfully ignorant of what a Hale said and why people are angry about it.

          • TomSatsuma

            No, I understand both perfectly.

            I also actually understand the law as it stands and agree with her assertion that it is illogical and dangerous (to gay people as much as anyone)

          • Bobbleobble

            I don’t think she made that assertion. Her argument is that religion and it’s manifestations should be given privilege. Now that’s illogical and dangerous.

          • Tom Katsumi

            “All beliefs and none” – it’s not giving religion privilege as she deliberately includes atheist beliefs.

          • http://thenakedgeek.shawwebspace.ca/ Barry William Teske

            See my other comment “As it stands…”.
            Please.
            Not sure which direction this thread is running…
            Nonetheless.
            After reading my comment I must ask your intellect.
            Belief enough for who?
            Is the human need to truly be equal amongst equals (and all that implies) not nuance enough for intellectual standards these days?
            Perhaps the murders, beatings, suicides, break downs and (dare I mention) the continuous vicious and violent ongoing hate for those of a different ‘depth’ a problematic debate too easy to dismiss?
            Intelligence is waiting patently for an answer.

          • Bobbleobble

            There was no conflict. The law offers protection for the consumers of goods and services, not the providers. She is suggesting that providers should have protection too and that would create a conflict.

            I also disagree that protecting some beliefs means we must protect them all and that they all have equal validity if they are genuinely held. That’s utter nonsense. She also doesn’t limit herself to beliefs but to manifestations of those beliefs which is even more nonsensical.

          • TomSatsuma

            “I also disagree that protecting some beliefs means we must protect them
            all and that they all have equal validity if they are genuinely held.
            That’s utter nonsense.”

            So who decides which beliefs are worth protecting? This is getting scary.

          • Bobbleobble

            The judiciary, it’s what they’re there for after all. But as I said below, believe what you like, it’s when it comes to manifesting those beliefs that the problem arises and Hale is saying that if we protect the manifestation of one belief then we must protect them all. Frankly I think that is hugely scary.

  • CHBrighton

    The Baroness’s views are a recipe for chaos as they will lead to all bigot groups demanding the freedom to treat others less favourably.

    • Steven Gregory

      Indeed!
      I wonder how the Baroness would feel about someone holding slaves and claiming their Bible-supported right to do so should be honored over the lives of their human property?

    • http://www.bloketoys.co.uk/ BlokeToys.co.uk

      It’s clear at the end of the piece that hate groups and religious nutters are jumping on this as some kind of “evidence” that they are right or have a legal case to be permitted to abuse and attack people.

      She has shown a considerable lack of good judgment in giving these groups such ammunition.

      Thankfully, I think her opinion is very much her own, and does not reflect the views of many of her colleagues. Society is moving on from the days of voodoo and preachers, and no matter how the religious try they will never succeed in indoctrinating another generation. Their numbers are collapsing and support for such bigoted and intolerant views is declining massively. They’re still dragging their heels over the basics of modern life, so by the time the religious do finally realize they need to modernize or die out it’ll be too late for their cults to survive.

  • Rehan

    Whatever she intended to say, I do wish Lady Hale had managed to avoid the word ‘lifestyle’ which, when used to refer to sexuality, is usually a sterling hallmark of homophobic prejudice.

  • ra

    One is a delusion, and one is reality. Simple.

  • ian123

    A religious right to discriminate? Something that is denied (quite rightly) all other strands of society? Surely she can see where that would lead? Why should someone’s claimed religious belief trump everything else in 2014?

  • anon

    NOPE

  • Cal

    Christian bigots like herself need to choose professions where their ignorant and nonsensical beliefs can cause no harm or insult to other citizens going about their business.

    • michael p

      Idiot, why do you assume she is a christian? and she is less of a bigot than you are, taking the word literally. I do despair at the lack of intelligent thought that appears to go into some of the knee-jerk reactions posted here sometimes….the only woman in the Supreme Court, independent, forthright and liberal – I think she chose the right profession.

      • Cal

        Whether or not she is Chritian, her sympathies now lie with the rights of religious people to discriminate while running a business. She asks why the two lifestyles cannot live together. Religion is certainly a lifestyle. Homosexuality is not a lifestyle any more than heterosexuality is. You will find yourself in a minority here if you plead with her for the rights of bigots to be above the law if their beliefs are sincere. I’ve never heard such nonsense.

        • david

          no, Cal I disagree with her conclusion and reasoning. But I do not think what she said makes her a bigot – it is a strong accusation. Quite the oppositvein fact – she is in fact a liberal and liberals, for better or worse (worse in this case, I personally think and that seems to be the prevailing viewon these posts), can often see both points of view in a matter. That is not a bad thing – it encourages debate. I suspect that was what she was trying to do. It was not a legal judgement but (I think) a public lecture; judges are allowed to express personal views (one post incorrectly said they are not – that is wrong, so long as not political and not on specific live cases). Again, I agree with everyone else here who disagrees with her conclusions, which were in fact ruminations as she did say “perhaps” indicating she wanted debate, but none of that makes her a bigot. And not a homophobe for sure – there is no inkling of any shred of evidence that she is. None whatever. She has a fine and consistent record of supporting gay rights for decades.

          • Cal

            Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I take your point that she is not a homophobe in the strongest sense of the word. But what can she be thinking? Opening up debate is fine but her statement echoes the demands of Christian bigots who feel their right to discriminate should have priority over our equality. What true liberal would even consider this?! Unfortunately, her positive track record on GLBT issues will make her statement appear reasonable when it is not. There is no difference in what she is suggesting to “no dogs no blacks no Irish”.

          • Guest

            “There is no difference in what she is suggesting to “no dogs no blacks no Irish”.

            There is big difference. Genuinely held religious beliefs are not the same as racist convictions

          • Cal

            Wrong. Plenty of people with strongly held beliefs across all the religions do not choose to follow bigoted teaching. Those that do, do so because it suits them. Same as racism.

  • MarkB

    Time she left her Job. A judge should not be offering personal opinion on such a matter. It is part of their code of conduct!

  • TampaZeke

    It’s absolutely absurd to the point of offensive for people to claim that Christians, or anyone else, needs protection for their BELIEFS. NO ONE is prosecuted or persecuted for their beliefs. People are prosecuted for their ACTIONS and occasionally for their hateful or violence inciting WORDS and this woman knows this. She should be ashamed of herself for such a misleading statement.

    If she were being honest and forthright she would just say that she believes that Christians should be allowed special exceptions when they act illegally based upon their beliefs. She then would go on to explain just exactly how far she would be willing to take these special Christian exceptions. Would they only apply to anti-gay beliefs and actions or would they grant special exception to laws if, for example, they wanted to deny service to mixed race couples or Muslims or mixed faith couples or atheists, based, of course, on their deeply held BELIEFS. And does this special exception to laws apply to other religions and other beliefs? Do Muslims get to refuse service to Jews? You see, when you base your arguments on logical fallacies they fall apart with the simplest of challenge. But she knows this and this is why you will never hear her answering these questions.

    You see, the Bulls can believe what they want to. They can believe that gay people are sinners going straight to everlasting damnation in a lake of fire. They can believe that gay people are demons straight from the bowels of hell. They can believe that gay people should be denied goods and services. They can even believe that gay people should be drawn and quarterd in the streets, along with Muslims and Jews and atheists, and they will NEVER be prosecuted for their beliefs. However, the moment they act on any of their beliefs in a way that is illegal, they should be prosecuted.

    We need to remind people of this fact regularly.

    • TomSatsuma

      So banning headscarves is just about the action of wearing a scarf and not the belief that one should be worn? Therefore someone who had a ‘no headscarves’ policy as a roundabout way of not employing muslim women is perfectly within the law?

      • TampaZeke

        Very clever of you to turn my argument upside down and then try to “gotcha” me with it. That’s called a Straw Man argument just in case you didn’t know. NOTHING I said was in support of discrimination but somehow you tried to twist it around to say that I support people banning people goods and services based on headscarves, in spite of the fact that I actually made exactly the OPPOSITE argument.

        • Tom Katsumi

          I didn’t try to ‘gotcha’ you. I was just raising the issue of ‘indirect discrimination’ which is part of current law but your post doesn’t address.

    • Ciaran

      Very intelligent analysis there couldn`t have put it better myself.

    • Guest

      Religious beliefs have to be justified by the Bible. There is nothing in the Bible that allows believers to discriminate against mixed couples or Muslims. As for Jews, it is very unlikely that they would use Muslim businesses.

  • john

    Religious orgs already have opt out, they don’t have to employ gay people etc…extending this to people like the Bulls, Ladele etc is a different kettle of fish. How exactly does Hale expect to police this. What does it cover and to what extent?
    This issue came up in the SSM debate and there was absolutely no appetite at all to change the law and this was from elected MPs and esteem barristers etc in the lords.
    Please Hale , drop the issue, it’s getting boring and the issue has been settled time and time again. We’re all very happy with it.

  • Robert W. Pierce

    I’m surprised Lady Hale would make such a statement having been a supporter of equal marriage before 2010. I strongly disagree with her on this though. There are places for worship/religious belief, religious buildings or one’s home. A place of employment isn’t one of them even if the employer or employee happens to hold strong religious beliefs. I would agree with her only if such an exception could also be applied to non-religious, non-believers who own business, both straight and gay, but who would want to refuse service to religious people, especially those they know who are anti LGBT equality. If I owned a business and Ann Widdecombe, Andrea Minichiello Williams et al wanted to buy products or services from me, I too should have the right to refuse them because both offend my beliefs. Discrimination works both ways.

    • TomSatsuma

      ” I would agree with her only if such an exception could also be applied
      to non-religious, non-believers who own business, both straight and
      gay, but who would want to refuse service to religious people,
      especially those they know who are anti LGBT equality.”
      That’s kind of exactly what she IS saying – when she says that if you protect some beliefs you have to protect all beliefs and none.

      • Bobbleobble

        She’s not just talking about beliefs but manifestations of those beliefs which is where the problem really arises. Anyone can believe what they like but manifesting them is different.

  • Chris in LA

    I have held some religious and political beliefs over the years and I strongly disagree with those who think otherwise. However, during my 44 years of working with the general public, I did my best to serve everyone to the best of my ability, regardless of their points of view or interest. I do not think that religious beliefs entitle anyone to refuse a service they are offering, unless it genuinely appears that the individuals seeking the service might be out to cause trouble. For example, if you are running a hotel, you might be within your rights to turn away a drunken tramp or a bunch of obvious hooligans. A business is not obliged to serve everyone on an indiscriminate basis, but it should only refuse to serve people whose behaviour or personal hygiene are offensive.

    • http://www.bloketoys.co.uk/ BlokeToys.co.uk

      Ah, but those are actions and behaviors, not innate characteristics of an individual which have no impact on anyone else.
      You can justify refusing service to a rowdy group of people because they are not characteristics, they are actions which can directly impact the business.

      It’s basically a comparison between the sensible business practices of refusing business to drunks and that of refusing business to a disabled person, or a person of another race, or LGBT people… people who are different but whose difference has no bearing other than the difference itself.

  • Joseph Styles

    I’m not sure I can untangle the legal issues involved, but I do think that the Baroness has a very dicey conception of Christianity if she thinks Christians should be allowed to use their religion to excuse their homophobic hatred. Jesus told us to love our neighbors, not to love our neighbors except for those who are lgbt.

  • raisinhead

    First comment made the point. Being gay is not a choice. Belief is. No matter how sincerely held, the manifestation of a mere belief should never be allowed to hold sway over an innate immutable characteristic when it comes to balancing rights.

    Religion is a choice. Sincerity adds no weight whatsoever.

    • Steven Gregory

      Excellent comment.
      We don’t even have sincerity regarding their self-proclaimed beliefs.
      As George Carlin said, “Don’t tell me you’re a Christian, let me guess based on evidence.” Is the only evidence of Christian belief to be anti-gay?

  • SeanR

    And quick… can we have legal protection against stupid lawyers who should know better?

  • MikeUK

    “Christians should have more legal protection for anti-gay beliefs.” They already have that right. They can ‘believe’ anything they like, but ‘believe’ being they key word here. They don’t necessarily have the right to ‘act’ on those beliefs that discriminate against certain minorities. Nor should they.

    “Why can’t two lifestyles live together? ” Gay people have been asking that question for thousands of years. It comes from the Christian religion. There’s nothing on the gay side of things that tells gay people from being friends with Christians, even being a Christian.

    All the hate’s coming from the other way.
    Don’t make this out to be both a gay and a Christian conflict, any more than you’d blame blacks for the KKK existing, or Jews for Hitler.

  • DAVID MICHAEL

    The Bible that Judeo Christians adhere to is a book of bigotry separation and violence, directed by a man made artificial ignorant god title that judges and condemns anyone that doesn’t fit its delirious psychotic rants from mixed fabrics to homosexual murder. No, the law does not need to make amends for such vile squanderous poop-squat. Either JUDEO Christians learn to think for themselves in the vain of might FOR right, rather than might MAKES right, or they can take the scorch from rational judges who follow the law of unity, out to set ill taught religio-hypnotized puppets straight. No bargains, no extras, no feel good schtick, at all.

  • D.McCabe

    It really is quite simple Baroness, the law is the land should not be trumped by superstitious clap-trap. In other words, people like the Bulls are quite welcome to have their homophobia but when they run a business, this must not interfere with that business

  • Truth

    So ….. will racists get more protection? And those who believe in fairies? And Peter Pan? Where does all this end? VERY dangerous to legislate to protect ‘belief’. Isn’t that what Iraq’s current troubles are over; the rights of one set of ‘believers’ over another? Has history and experience taught us nothing? ‘Belief’ causes division and hatred. Leave it at home where it belongs along with dirty underwear.

  • Steven Gregory

    What a bu||sh!t statement, your Honor. BIGOTRY does not need extra protections and neither do those who practice it.

    Why does it seem feasible that this judge might not think additional protections need to be extended to anti-Christian or pro-Islam people?

  • Truest

    To whom shall we protest?

  • http://thenakedgeek.shawwebspace.ca/ Barry William Teske

    “Christians should have more legal protection for anti-gay beliefs.”

    As it stands a lot of christians throughout history have gotten away with ‘murder’ when it comes to their anti-gay beliefs. That is probably something that all seeing all knowing “God” understands all to well yes?

  • mike

    These so called Christians do not even know their own
    religion. JESUS NEVER said anything
    about homosexuality. It’s all in the Old
    Testament where anyone should get stoned for saying god’s name and wearing
    mixed cloth and eating sea food! Grow up and read the New Testament then if you
    are without sin throw the first stone…..

    • Guest

      Matthew 5:17-18

      17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.

  • http://www.bloketoys.co.uk/ BlokeToys.co.uk

    No.

    No religious person is being harmed by being made to treat people with decency and respect. It makes absolutely NO DIFFERENCE to a religious person what I do in my bedroom, none, nada, zip. They have no right to behave towards anyone in any discriminatory way based on their own religious thinking.

    LGBT people are continually harmed by those who use their religious delusions as a method of abuse and attack. They want to refuse employment, they want to refuse services, they want to be able to express their loathsome ignorance and hatred to others and call it “freedom of religion”. It’s NOT freedom of religion, it’s “freedom to abuse”. No one is stopping these people from believing whatever nonsense they want to believe, but they do not have the right to be exempt from basic laws against discrimination simply because they belong to a cult, club, gang or other mafia-like community.

    Therefore, the pendulum has not swung enough in the RIGHT direction. We need robust laws that state anyone can believe what they want to believe, but NO religious person can use those beliefs in education, employment or the provision of services.

  • https://www.facebook.com/monica.cassidy.3 monica

    Under her regime, haters would be free to commit such hate crimes as they wanted and justify it just by claiming that they have a religious conscience. Would she allow to roam free those haters who claim to have a religious conscious to stone folk who just so happen to be gay or trans? Let her say so if that is the case and then try to justify keeping her position as a judge.

    • Psychologist

      Excellent point Monica !
      What she is effectively saying is ….. she wants more rights for religions to continue to be “haters”- with legal protection.

      • https://www.facebook.com/monica.cassidy.3 monica

        Thank you ~ yes . Although I’m saying moreover that any thug being brought to court for a hate crime would have the legal escape of saying that they carried out the crime due to a religious belief; when in fact they have none ~ easy and automatic defence ~ places the law in the hands of the thugs. In effect she could in some cases be legalising terrorism in the name of the sky fairy. She really should have thought this through.

        • Guest

          Don’t be silly. Physical assault is a crime and could never be justified by sincerely held beliefs

          • https://www.facebook.com/monica.cassidy.3 monica

            ‘Physical assault is a crime and could never be justified by sincerely held beliefs.’

            Quite so.

            I’m trying to demonstrate just how flawed her logic is by use of logical extension.

        • Psychologist

          Yes indeed Monica – if you EXPAND out her logic, it DOES lead you to those sorts of conclusions, doesn’t it.

          Very ill advised, considering her position as a judge – and puts into question her ability TO JUDGE with the impartiality a judge MUST exercise, in order to remain “uncontaminated” by other influences. For me, after THOSE comments from her, she should be removed from Judging, as she had demonstrated a clear lack of impartiality. (with bias !)

          The current UK equality/anti-discrimination laws clearly state that you can’t (legally) discriminate against someone on grounds of their religious beliefs (or NON-beliefs) so religious believers ALREADY have the same legal protection as gay people !

          However, what some (including this judge apparently) are trying to have is the LEGAL RIGHT to discriminate against gay people ! Yet they try to “MASK” that attempt under the disguise of “religious freedom”. It’s NOT religious freedom to be able to legally discriminate against gay people – that is bigotry and expression of their OWN HOMOPHOBIA, whilst trying to somehow “legitimise” those actions under a banner of “religious freedom”.

          • https://www.facebook.com/monica.cassidy.3 monica

            Thanks yes, that’s what I’ve been clumsily driving at.

            Judgement clouded or impaired by latent prejudice ~ no room for that in the role of a judge.

            In the name of equality the rights of one particular group must never be impeded or superseded by another group claiming that they hold a trump card. Acceptance of individuals that just so happen to be gay or trans and equal marriage should not be trumped by people holding up the religious card. They are wrong and must be told so, and denied extra privilege.

            People of various religious groups are failing to recognise this, and are rather pathetically portraying themselves as victims. They are acting just as greedily as the tax-evading-super-rich and most unhappy at the very idea that they may lose some of their pre-existing privileges.

          • Psychologist

            Exactly Monica, very well said !

            The “apparent victim” style of presentation from these religious believers is utterly FALSE – when what they are ACTUALLY doing is striving for “supremacy” rather than equality – which includes the legal right to continue to discriminate against gay people (and others who disagree with them).

            As you say, the greedy, selfish attitude is very similar to that of extremely wealthy “tax-evaders” who also try to hold on to those pre-existing privileges.

            Religions have got away with such greed and arrogance for way too long ! Time for change – and their greed, privileges, discrimination and hatred MUST be challenged at every opportunity. To NOT do, is effectively colluding with it. (thus allowing it to continue).

  • rapture

    No wonder , people have lost faith in british justice. These out of touch judges whims ,decide peoples fate and they are not even consistent in their judgements.

    • http://loveandtruth.co.uk Faithful and True

      No, but I am!

  • http://loveandtruth.co.uk Faithful and True

    The definition of free will is to be free to live your life to the full, which is what Jesus came to empower us to do. The definition of liberty is to be set free. Any religious belief held that denies that right of free will to be the person you are and to be liberated and free, denies it’s self liberty and freedom. When God comes, there will be no more religion.

  • Johann Fourie

    Yes, Hale forgets one important point here. When you convert your home into a public service such as a B and B, you absolutely HAVE to set your personal beliefs aside and treat every single person regardless of their creed, colour, religion, abilities or political standing exactly the same.

    Your property is no longer just your private home, but it is also a public business through your own personal choice. No business in the UK may refuse services to a person based on any of these reasons.

    Why should an exemption be allowed for people simply because their business happen to be on the same property as their personal home? By that token a landlord who lives above his pub should also be able to refuse entry to gays, Christians or whatever he feels clashes with his deeply held beliefs.

    It’s simple. Force everybody to treat everybody equal in business and they are free to go home and fester in their hatred for those different to them, but any such beliefs must be left aside for the purpose of goods or services.

  • Elvenpath

    At last someone who admits, that the sole purpose of religious privileges is to discriminate against other people.

  • Elvenpath

    Just interchange the word “gay” with the word “black” and everyone will see, what stupid nonsense this woman talks.

  • Psychologist

    So she is saying that she wants Christians to be able to continue to be “haters”, and continue to be allowed to discriminate against gay people, but with legal protection to allow them to do it unchallenged !

    And she is a JUDGE !!!!!! ????????

    Religious believers already HAVE the right to believe whatever they want to. However, what they DO NOT have a legal right to do now, is to USE those beliefs as a tool with which to discriminate against gay people.
    The sooner they just get on with praying to some “sky god” and leave the sex life of OTHER PEOPLE to those OTHER PEOPLE – the better !!!

    Religious beliefs are NOT innate within us, they are merely TAUGHT to us (using “operant conditioning” ! Our sexual orientation however, (whatever that may be) IS innate within us – thus has priority in terms of human rights (as a “birth-right”) OVER religious beliefs (which are merely TAUGHT to us).

    • https://www.facebook.com/monica.cassidy.3 monica

      Yes, though the teacher in me wants to replace the word ‘TAUGHT’ with something else. I’d like to preserve the words teaching and learning in a positive context.

      I thinking I’ll just carry on calling the so-called ‘religious teaching’ as brainwashing.

      • Psychologist

        Yes Monica, I agree, I can clearly see your point. TEACHING should be seen in “positive light”. Technically then, the correct word to use is “conditioning” in religious belief. The psychological process used to deliver it, is “Operant Conditioning” – so technically speaking, it is “conditioning”. (rather than “teaching”).

        Yes, Operant Conditioning is (in layman’s term) exactly “Brain-Washing”.
        So “conditioning”, or “brain-washing” works for me :)

        • https://www.facebook.com/monica.cassidy.3 monica

          Who would have thought that BF Skinner would become so useful?

          • Psychologist

            ha ha ha … yes indeed Monica ! :) :)

            I often wish I had a “Skinner Box” large enough to put the world’s religious believers into !

  • white aquirrel

    Xtians should have more legal protection for anti-gay beliefs
    why should they ?
    there are many xians who interpret the bible to be pro-gay
    [or at least neutral/non anti gay]
    showing that it is not the religion that makes them anti-gay but their own personal [and usually selective] interpretation of it.

  • http://thephora.net/ The Zizzanax

    I can’t see how more protections for free speech is ever a bad thing…

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