Wednesday, 21 March 2007

SORs: Lords vote

Updated Thursday morning

The amendment seeking to prevent the Regulations coming into effect was defeated by 168 to 122.
Text of amendment here.

The original government motion to approve them was then passed on a voice vote: I heard no dissent while watching the last part of the debate over the internet. I saw only three bishops present: York, Winchester and Southwell & Nottingham. (The 42 objectors must be disappointed.)

Craig Nelson was also watching and made some notes here.

You can watch the debate by going here and going forward about 4 hours 30 minutes. The Hansard report on this debate starts here. Direct links to the bishops speeches in a later TA article.

Meanwhile, Zefrog has Anti-Sexual Orientation Regulations Vigil Outside Parliament - Report. It seems the demonstration was quite small.
Ekklesia has a report too: Christians demonstrate against anti-discrimination measures. (Note: this appears to relate to an earlier demonstration, see Zefrog comment below.)

The BBC has Lords support gay equality laws.

The Archbishop of York has published his speech. Anglican Mainstream has it here.

Thursday morning
BBC Gay laws ‘a major step forward’ (Note: story originally contained untrue statement about the General Synod, now corrected.)
The Times carries a comment article by Roy Hattersley criticising Lord Carey’s reported earlier remarks about disestablishment but also mentioning the SORs (which Carey had not done): Be off with you, Lord C.
Ekklesia has Victory goes to equality in House of Lords vote.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 10:49pm GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation

"The ayes have it. The ayes have it!"

The right wing 'religious' objectors now look very foolish and misguided -- with faces covered in --- egg ! ....

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 11:06pm GMT

Well actually I wasn't 'watching' - no the truth is I'm afraid an awful lot sadder than that.

A colleague from UNISON's LGBT committee was watching on her PC and put the phone next to the speaker so I could listen in!

Nonetheless a very good day for decency and true moral values. I think in all honesty a bad day for religion playing a positive role in a modern society as the Church of England let slip some of its darker prejudices which it has no doubt been trying to keep under wraps. Now it's all out in the open it doesn't need to.

Overall it's our society that has moved forwards on the basis of equality and decency, and maybe I'm a heretic but I somehow think this was something not a million miles away from the teachings of Jesus.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 11:15pm GMT

Wow, congratulations UK, and thank goodness, thank God. If we combine this good news with the recent TEC HoB statement, at last things are finally getting clear so far as how we may move forward while agreeing to disagree. Prejudice and discrimination out just a bit more. Plus, the people who have to start paying the cost of holding legacy negative views are the people who hold those views, not the target group against whose equal citizenship the views are aimed.

And to think we got this far, in my own particular life time. What a blessing to have lived to see it taking shape. Thank you, House of Lords, and all friends/family. Let us live into the good conscience and free spaces that are just clearly opening up. Let us take the opportunities for equality in world and church as part of our sure foundations for equipping ourselves and one another for service in a hurting world. Not least in ministry to our planet itself.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 21 March 2007 at 11:20pm GMT

Good news on BOTH sides of The Pond. Hurrah! :-D

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 12:06am GMT

There were actually at least two different demonstrations today. Two were located in the same place (one during the day (Ekklesia and PinkNews reports) and another in the evening (the one I witnessed).

There may also have been something happening on Parliament Square at noon, if we are to believe that the call made by some filthy video on YouTube has had any effect in bringing people out (links from my blog).

Posted by: zefrog on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 12:16am GMT

I do believe the award for the most ironic quotation of a genuine hero of the faith goes to ++York, for quoting Wilberforce:

“The time is fast approaching when Christianity will be openly disavowed, in language as in fact it is already supposed to have disappeared from the conduct of men: when to believe will be deemed the indication of a feeble mind and contracted understanding.”

In what way have the religious opposition to the SORs not done *everything* in their power to haste that day?

Austin, TX

Posted by: Oriscus on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 12:36am GMT

The Bishop of Winchester:

"less than the best, less than the most healthy, and less than God’s will for humankind."

The Dromantine Statement says
"The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us."

"less........less........less" His Lordship diminishes thrice!

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 12:52am GMT

Wow the Sentamu speech is blazing in its blindness. He cannot see his own straight legacy privileges, over and against the queer folks target group, as anything other than a level playing field. The Status Quo is just fine so long as nobody is physically queer bashing.

Wow, he cannot question his own status or privileges as a believer who just happens at the very same time to be a straight male. He cannot envision how to think about queer folks from any other perspective except the condemning legacy ones - you know, those condemning views which are yet again preached as the only possible bright core of the only possible real religious conscience.

I am grateful for this opportunity to get a glimpse into his remarkable blindness on both counts, a harrowing but slightly deeper look into his flat earth cosmos of exclusively straight but plausible deniabilities. (Nope, no special straight privileges here, only my own special straight brand of godliness.)

It would all be a museum piece curiosity, except that of course it is part of the legacy sure foundations for the physical queer bashing that eventually occurs, and Sentamu must now shoulder more than his unfairly lightened and buffered share of that cost as he answers for his blindly negative legacy pledging.

It's not true, then, what Canterbury said a while back, that nobody is arguing for an unintelligent reading of scripture. Sentamu still is, and proud of it. Prejudice/discrimination are the last remaining bastions of Anglican godliness? And our worldwide communion is soon to be realigned, narrowly according to just how awful the target group of the moment really is?

Alas. Lord have mercy.

Posted by: drdanfee on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 12:57am GMT

I also linked to some comments by the Cardinal about how terrible the new morality was. Well this sure sounds awful and dangerous I found myself thinking as I read him. Then I suddenly remembered that this new morality is actually the same morality that already generally applies to straight citizens, and the only really new element is that now we can see how it equally applies to non-straight citizens as well. Of course that means leveling the playing field a bit, since many barriers were enacted against the non-straight citizens based on special religious pleading that hardly ever applied to straight folks in the same depriving ways, or to the same hindering extents.

So, no, dear Cardinal, we are not inventing some new morality, but instead we are arguing that the same morality that applies to straight folks probably also applies to queer folks, for all of us are human.

If I actually told the Cardinal that, I do not think he would get it.

Posted by: drdanfee on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 1:06am GMT

Wonderful heart felt responses here. It is moving. Feels celebratory. Gratitude.

my thanks to you all and to Simon for bringing us the news and the discussions and the details--and so fast! And for bringing us together.

Whatever 'G-d' is for you, for us --G-d is I feel in this modern emancipation of our people....may every land ,place and people know it......

May all be freed.....
may be valued....
may be allowed to be happy and to love........

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 8:06am GMT

Sentamu the Discriminator.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 9:11am GMT

Ebor spoke in the House: “… sanitized, and with our consciences surgically removed. The freedom of a good and magnanimous conscience and the voluntary association for the common good cannot be made subject to legislation, however well-meaning.”

Trouble is that the consciences in question seem less “surgically” than ideologically removed, and – what’s worse – less “good and magnanimous” than misery and narrow minded.

Bad will, bad Faith.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 10:02am GMT

Ebor asked the House: “the Employment Equality (Religion and Beliefs) Regulations (2003) do in fact provide an opt-out in relation to religious beliefs, and a similar opt-out was granted in the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations issued in 2003. In each of these cases it was recognised that religious organisations, as well as their individual members, were entitled to protection for their individual and collective conscience, recognising that a civilized society should make room for dissenters. Why, in the present regulations, has a similar opt-out not been granted?”

Because already provided for in the above.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 10:02am GMT

Sentamu the Discriminator quoted J.W. von Goethe: “What you have inherited from your forefathers you must first win for yourself if you are to possess it.”

and W. Wilberforce, concluding: “My Lords, I fear that we are in danger of losing the formative Christian inheritance and foundation of this great nation; a foundation upon which our laws, society and culture have been built, but which is in danger of being undermined.”

But tradition, nómos in theological/technical LXX Greek, means both “Receive” and “Pass on”, and the examples of Goethe and Wilberforce show that tradition is not the Fixation of what we received to win for ourselves, but that it is what we leave changed to our Successors – and that this change was made by us, so that tradition would not die, but would be won for themselves by our Successors.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 10:03am GMT

Conclusion: Tradition is not so much the day before yesterday, as the day after tomorrow.

And remember, that Dr Hooker does not speak of Scripture, Tradition and Reason, as is (nearly) always claimed in this horrible Age, but of

Scripture (including the scripture in question), Reason and the Voice of the Church.

What Scripture doth plainly deliver, to that first place both of credit and obedience is due;
the next whereunto is whatsoever any man can necessarily conclude by force of Reason;
after these the Voice of the Church succeedeth.

That which the Church by her ecclesiastical authority shall probably think and define to be true or good, must in congruity of Reason over-rule all other inferior judgments whatsoever.

Dr Hooker: Of the Laws of the Ecclesiastical Polity, Book V, 8:2; Folger Edition 2:39, 8-14

The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in the Controversies of Faith; and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God’s Word written, neither may it so expound one place of the scripture, that it be repugnant to another…

Dr Hooker: Art. XX in The XXIX Articles of Religion

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 10:08am GMT

Sentamu really isn't very bright, is he - what an inept, contradictory speech?

When will conservative religionists learn that they don;'t have an automatic right of veto?

They are such sore losers....

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 10:27am GMT

You are right - Sentamu isn't that bright BUT he is a good communicator and enthuser. He is always much better 'off the cuff' (radio interviews or panels) than in prepared sermons or speeches. They tend not only to be derivative, but strangely lifted from odd sources and not edited sufficiently. As if he has googled a subject and then chosen the 51st entry for it. Long winded and obscure!

Posted by: Neil on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 2:41pm GMT

The Roy Hattersley Be off with you link is not working, alas. Any chance of getting it back > Thanks

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 10:47pm GMT

It seems to have been taken down from the Times website.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 22 March 2007 at 11:06pm GMT
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