Thursday, 21 December 2006

Getting Equal: Northern Ireland goes ahead

An attempt by religious groups to delay the introduction of The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 on 1 January was rebuffed in the High Court. See this BBC report, Gay rights objectors lose action, and this earlier: Go ahead for gay rights challenge.

Last week, an attempt in the Northern Ireland Transitional Assembly to pass a motion calling on the government to withdraw the regulations was defeated by the narrowest of margins. See the earlier BBC report, Assembly clashes over gay rights.

For more background, read William Crawley’s blog, Will and Testament, in particular these articles:
21 Dec New Gay rights law gets the go-ahead
20 Dec Church leaders meet the minister over new gay rights law
18 Dec Christian groups challenge equality legislation
13 Dec The Equality Act

There is also this rather odd press release from the Church of Ireland.

The government’s analysis of the many responses to its consultation can be found in html format here.
Further links to government material here.

My earlier analysis of the religious exemption provided in the regulations is here.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 21 December 2006 at 10:48pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: News

Thank Goodness for the rule of law, with its possibilities for the doing of right --or at least justice. God save us from the odious 'Christian' Institute with so much time and money available to it, for illiberal mischief-making.

If The Reverend Ian Paisley and his co-religionists and co-politicists could not prevent this anti-discrimination legislation, CI certainly cannot. Carry on huffing & puffing (sic).

What a disgrace such religionists are. What shame they bring on all of us who pursue a religious path.

When the history comes to be written

My fear is that it is nails in the coffin of christianity. Can it rise from such crucifixtions as these ? There is such spiritual hunger in the world and the churches could have helped meet it. I guess people will look more and more to the arts, the psychotherapies, thoughtful writers in all fields, the scientists , the East .... ah --maybe not so bad after all. But churhces, shuls, mosques and sanghas do offer an invaluable communal dimension to such seeking and practice. Communities of practice, thing and relating, fellowship.

Posted by: laurence on Friday, 22 December 2006 at 10:11am GMT

What is odd about the Church of Ireland press release? I'm not well informed - is it incorrect in what it claims?

Posted by: Christopher Shell on Friday, 22 December 2006 at 12:35pm GMT

There really is such nonsense talked here. The regulations have not been delayed in NI, but have been in England, largely because of Ruth Kelly's wriggling conscience and her ambition, which do not always coincide - nothing would surprise me less than a mini-reshuffle involving Kelly in, lets say, late March!

Fact is that until the DUP and Sinn Fein are prepared to govern together, then enacting legislation in NI will be relatively swift. However, there was no actual reason to delay the measures there given that the responses received were not overwhelming. neither were they in England - once you discount all the mass-produced emails sent largely from American email addresses!

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 22 December 2006 at 1:46pm GMT

I should have said that the principal oddity of the C of I statement is that it is internally inconsistent and confused.

Reads to me, rather like words of Bishop Proudie of Barchester...

Posted by: laurence on Friday, 22 December 2006 at 3:05pm GMT


Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 1:03pm GMT

looks to me as though the CofI is simply trying to keep the hardliners happy by making a few noises of protest. Significantly it nowhere seems to condemn the proposals, only questioning the consultation process concerning elements it describes not as 'wrong' but as 'controversial', and it goes so far as to approve of other (unspecified) elements within the legislation.

Posted by: mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) on Saturday, 23 December 2006 at 3:25pm GMT
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