Thinking Anglicans

EHRC explains about the B&B case

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has issued a statement: Commission statement on Preddy and Hall legal case

11 March 2011

John Wadham, Legal Director at the Commission, said:

“This morning we withdrew our cross appeal in this case. It was filed initially because of an error of judgment on the part of our legal team.

“They submitted the cross appeal in an attempt to clarify the law around how damages are calculated in cases such as this. This resulted in it appearing that Steve Preddy and Martyn Hall were seeking to increase the amount of damages they receive because Mr and Mrs Bull’s Christian beliefs had led them to break the law. This was not our intention and it was certainly not the intention of Steve and Martyn.

“I would like to confirm that public money will not be spent funding a claim for increased damages in this case…”

That’s the second retraction the EHRC has made in recent days. See also Johns v Derby City Council.

The Press Association report is available at Gay couple end hotel payout claim.

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Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

Typical politically correct, cowardly liberals. They soon back-down.

If the action was plain wrong, why rush in in the first place ?

Backing out now because of the heat.

Lesbian and gay people are still being treated as objects – using first names with implied false pally-ness does not change that.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

EHRC is a very dodgy body.

Paying lip service to lesbian + gay equality.

Merseymike
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Merseymike

I think it’s more a case of still not being very good on these issues. The couple concerned wanted to establish a legal precedent and clarify that the law does not give Christians special rights to discriminate. We won the case and the evangelicals lost as they have lost every similar case. Think they will soon have to stop wasting money on unwinnable cases

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Perhaps the most disturbing outcome of this sorry business is that there was an attempt by the so-called ‘Christian Institute’ to justify the illegal discrimination of the hotel owners against the people they were supposed to ‘serve’ – as bona fide hoteliers. If you’re in business, you don’t necessarily have the right to choose who your customers are.

Chris Baker
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Chris Baker

Father Ron, if someone is in business, they have an absolute right to decide with whom they trade. This goes to the nature of how a contract between a customer and a supplier is made. The supplier, in displaying his product/service, is in law ‘inviting offers to buy’, NOT making an offer to sell. When the offer to buy is made by the customer, the trader has the right to accept or refuse that offer. He is not required to give a reason for turning down the offer – any more than he would have to give a reason for… Read more »

Laurence Roberts
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Laurence Roberts

‘The sheer politico/legal aggression…’

Chris Baker seems to exemplify this so well himself.

As for the points of law laid down by him — I have no idea. Do others here ?

Father Ron Smith
Guest

“Any finer points which favour the trader, will doubtless be submerged by the sheer polico/legal aggression applied by actors and followers of the homosexual agenda.” – Chris Baker –

So, the bias, then, is always towards the *trader’s* rights – and against those of the client? That certainly doesn’r sound like something that would be countenanced by any agency concerned with ‘Consumer Affairs’.One supposes this sort of outlook produces the phrase ‘caveat emptor’.

Kennedy
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Kennedy

I may be wrong, but hadn’t the Bulls accepted a (telephone?) booking from the couple and so it was a bit past the ‘invitation to trade’ stage.

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Laurence, yes, I do. You can offer to buy and sell services but you cannot decide that a whole category from people is excluded from that offer for no other reason than who they are. Of course Chris is right. If someone refuses to buy or to sell without giving reasons, there is nothing anyone can do about it. That’s not the same as saying that refusing is legal or morally acceptable. If I drive 60 mph on a 30 mph road and I don’t get caught, nothing will be done about it. That’s not the same as saying that… Read more »

Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

Chris B “if someone is in business, they have an absolute right to decide with whom they trade” I’m no lawyer, but I thought the point of the equality legislation regarding goods and services is to say that, when offering a service, the service-provider does not have the right to turn people away merely because (s)he dislikes their skin colour, gender, sexual orientation, etc. Surely this is so obviously a good – and Christian – thing (do you not remember the days of “No blacks, no Irish”?) that it looks extremely churlish of even Conservative Evangelicals to make such a… Read more »

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

I wonder if Chris Baker would be as sanguine about a situation where a Jewish or Muslim or Hindu (or whatever) merchant refused to sell to a Christian, on the grounds of his religion?

Chris Baker
Guest
Chris Baker

Erika says “Of course Chris is right. If someone refuses to buy or to sell without giving reasons, there is nothing anyone can do about it. That’s not the same as saying that refusing is legal or morally acceptable.” Also -“It really is very very simple and the law is very very clear. You cannot refuse to serve people because they are gay.End of story.” Absolutely right. But you CAN refuse to sell.(Sale of Goods Act 1979) The question I will put though is:- If I, (for instance), deny a service to someone, if I choose not to sell an… Read more »

Simon Dawson
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Simon Dawson

Chris, you said “if someone is in business, they have an absolute right to decide with whom they trade. This goes to the nature of how a contract between a customer and a supplier is made.” Does it work the other way? Does a business employer have an absolute right to decide whom they employ – to turn down an offer from a potential employee on the simpe basis that they are Christian? And if so why all the court cases about British Airways crucifixes and Derby foster parents? Under your argument these employers are “not required to give a… Read more »

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

“The question I will put though is:- If I, (for instance), deny a service to someone, if I choose not to sell an article to someone and that someone turns out to be homosexual, what assumption will be made as to my thinking process?” We had exactly the same hypothetical problems thrown up when people didn’t want to have to be forced to make business transactions with women or with blacks. There will always be some isolated cases where people’s motivation is misunderstood. There will be isolated cases where women claim discrimination, blacks claim racism and gay people claim homophobia… Read more »

Chris Baker
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Chris Baker

Simon, my understanding is that in your example, the ‘contract’ is offered by the employer – for the applicant to accept or reject. I see no value however in trying to compare Sale of Goods legislation with that of employment law. The ‘contract’ in S.O.G is a simple, almost simplistic thing, whilst that in employment law is a minefield of complexity.
CB

Sara MacVane
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Sara MacVane

I suppose that the law regarding services is quite different from the law regarding buying and selling. It’s true (I suppose) that a car dealer could refuse to sell a car to someone without needing to give a justification (but why would a dealer do that?), but surely a restaurant owner cannot refuse a place to someone who enters on the basis of race, perceived sexual orientation, gender, religion or you name it(as restaurants and lunch counters did in the southern USA until sit-ins and then civil rights legislation changed that). There would have to be a real justification (the… Read more »

Chris Baker
Guest
Chris Baker

Sara, “I suppose that the law regarding services is quite different from the law regarding buying and selling.” NO,no,no.Selling services is axactly the same as selling goods. The customer makes an offer to the seller – the seller chooses whether to accept the offer (prob. subject to a consideration), or whether to refuse it. There is no more to a goods or services contract than this. We might well think that the trader is stupid to refuse business, but it IS his right. If he gives no reason, which again is his right, then he had better start praying that… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest

Chris Baker, your homophobic comments seem to be clouding your better judgement on what constitutes a fair anf just society. Your fear of what you describe as the ‘homosexual agenda’ renders you ‘off-side’ with more enlighthened public opinion. One does not, after all, speak of a ‘hetero-sexual agenda’ so why isolate one section of society – just because you feel threatened by it?

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris, “If he gives no reason, which again is his right, then he had better start praying that the customer is not active in sexual, racial or other societal minority politics.” Oh, I think I’d find it fairly easy to work out the difference. If someone who has never met me before suddenly doesn’t sell me his car, I shall just think he’s a bit odd. If a B&B I have already booked refuses me when I turn up with my wife, I shall have a fair idea why. And if, to take a genuine example, I find that my… Read more »

Chris Baker
Guest
Chris Baker

Father Ron, I bow to your greater wisdom.
CB

Pat O'Neill
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Pat O'Neill

Chris Baker also seems to have the typical retail transaction backwards…or else is still thinking we live in a barter society. When I go into a store and pick a product off the shelves, I don’t go to the cashier and say, “I’ll pay you $X for this.” Rather, I go to the cashier, they scan the bar code and the system comes up with the price for the item and I pay that. Same with a service, like a hotel room. The hotel’s rates are posted. Even if I order from an online service, my choices for rates are… Read more »

Fr Mark
Guest
Fr Mark

Chris Baker: treating people fairly and kindly whether or not they happen to be female, gay or black (and I assume therefore that you are none of these) is not being “active in sexual, racial or other societal minority politics.” It’s just being decent. Really, the mean-spiritedness behind your jibes here is not something at all Christian. I am not diminished when my neighbour is accorded the respect due to every child of God, whoever my neighbour may be. The exercise of Christian charity and compassion is not a zero sum game where I lose out every time someone else’s… Read more »

Chris Baker
Guest
Chris Baker

Thank you all for a robust debate. I was intereted to see which segments of my scribbles were quoted and, a bit disappointed to see what was ignored. Such though is ever the nature of internet discussion.
Nobody asked what MY sexual orientation is …..,

Chris Baker

ps if anyone still is unsure of traders’ rights to refuse a sale, this may help -(3rd para) http://www.newcastle.gov.uk/core.nsf/a/tscivillaw

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris
“Nobody asked what MY sexual orientation is …..”

That’s because it really doesn’t matter.
It is not an issue.
It is completely irrelevant.

Which is what we’re saying here all along.

Could you in turn tell me why it worries you so much that traders might refuse sales? I mean, they’d only penalise themselves, wouldn’t they? It’s a completley hypothetical and extremely unlikely scenario!
Seriously – what possible reason could a baker have for not selling bread to someone, or hardware shop for not selling white spirit?

Chris Baker
Guest
Chris Baker

“That’s because it really doesn’t matter. It is not an issue. It is completely irrelevant.” Exactly, and you will find that I said just that in another form back up the posts a bit. Unfortuately it was accompanied in that post by a sentence or two which failed to support the judgement of my ‘homophobia’, so perhaps did not register. And I am not in the least ‘worried’ by traders refusing sales – the subject was referred to almost ad nauseam by contributors looking for common sense where the law seemed to be devoid of it. I have no idea… Read more »

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris
so what was all that talk about the “homosexual agenda” about, a term usually only used by anti-gay straight people who want to diminish gay people’s battle for equality?

And if you’re not worried about bakers not selling bread, why make a point of commenting on the possibility here several times?

You’re not anti-gay rights, you’re not worried about traders not selling to gay people.
Was that it?

Chris Baker
Guest
Chris Baker

Erika -those confounded bakers.
Read again – you will see that after my initial post, the subject was dragged out by others. Perhaps in hindsight I should have ignored them?

” was that it?”
Well, sort of. I am sorry that I was rather more provocative than originally was my intent. I have learnt a lot from this discussion, (though I was already well versed in consumer law !!) BUT I may never forgive the gay comunity for stealing the word “gay”. 🙂

CB

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris yeah, that elected committee of people representing the gay community employing a conman to steal the word “gay” from the rest of the world. Shocking what people will get up to. But then there is a counter theft by homophobes who turn a simple battle for equality into a sinister “homosexual agenda” that is to be feared. On balance, I’m with the guys who stole the happy word. And I still don’t understand how it is supposed to be Christian to refuse to engage with those you perceive to be sinners. I can just about understand the emotions of… Read more »

Chris Baker
Guest
Chris Baker

Erika,
“But which Christian doctrine says that you must shun the sinner until he has repented? When did “believing that God doesn’t encourage gay sex” translate into “don’t have any dealings with those people?”

Ermmmm ,Oh Go on then, which doctrine was it? More to the point, why do you want to know? I don’t – never have.
CB

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Why do I want to know? Because all of the Christian division on homosexuality seems to centre around being allowed to discriminate against gay people, not having to have them in your house, not having to photograph their life events, you even talk of the right of not having to sell them bread. Where is this coming from? We don’t have the same campaigns about not having to to sell paint stripper to tax evaders or not having to serve chips to divorced people or not having to place foster children with people who don’t observe the Sabbath. There is… Read more »

Chris Baker
Guest
Chris Baker

Erika,
Hyperbole, sophistry and non-sequiters all in the space of four sentences.
Too much for me – I surrender. I concede that you are absolutely right in all respects and aspects of whatever topic it is we have arrived at.

All the best and have a good one.
Chris

Erika Baker
Guest
Erika Baker

Chris
ok – more simply:
what is the appropriate Christian way of dealing with sinners and do all the legal battles around wanting to discriminate gays represent the best of Christian doctrine in this case?

It’s not actually a difficult question.
It just happens to be one people don’t often ask themselves in this conversation.

Laurence Roberts
Guest
Laurence Roberts

As the old bishop said to the Warden,

“Sinners are so much easier to deal with.”