Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Equality Bill - Lords revision starts

See earlier article here which includes a list of some of the amendments of interest.

Yesterday’s committee hearings dealt with Clauses 1 to 9. No amendments were agreed. The Hansard record begins here. The Parliament website has this news report with links.

Amendments considered included one from the Bishop of Chester on gender reassignment. (The Bishop of Chichester spoke on his behalf.)

The latest (Tuesday morning) list of the remaining marshalled amendments (excludes those considered yesterday) can be found here. Committee hearings resume on Wednesday.

The Bishop of Winchester’s amendment relating to marriages and gender reassignment discrimination has now reappeared in much shorter form then before:

58A* Page 143, line 2, at end insert—

GENDER REASSIGNMENT
A person does not contravene section 29, so far as relating to gender reassignment discrimination, only because of anything done in reliance on section 5B of the Marriage Act 1949 (solemnisation of marriages involving person of acquired gender).”

Baroness Noakes and Baroness Neuberger have added their names to Lord Alli’s amendment relating to the venues for civil partnerships.

Meanwhile in the House of Commons, two questions were asked relating to the EU “reasoned opinion”.

Stewart Jackson (- Shadow Minister, Communities and Local Government; Peterborough, Conservative)

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality if she will place in the Library a copy of the reasoned opinion of the European Commission on the compliance of the UK’s equality legislation with the EU Equal Treatment Directive.

Maria Eagle (Minister of State (also in the Government Equalities Office), Ministry of Justice; Liverpool, Garston, Labour)

The understanding between the European Commission and member states is that infraction correspondence remains confidential. The Commission publishes the fact that a Reasoned Opinion has been sent, but not the letter itself. The Government will therefore not be placing a copy of this Reasoned Opinion in the Library.

Philip Davies (Shipley, Conservative)

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent discussions she has had with the European Commission on UK compliance with EU anti-discrimination legislation; and if she will make a statement.

Maria Eagle (Minister of State (also in the Government Equalities Office), Ministry of Justice; Liverpool, Garston, Labour)

The European Commission sent two reasoned opinions to the UK Government on 20 November 2009 which questioned the compliance of our domestic legislation with two European Directives in certain respects. We are studying these reasoned opinions carefully and will reply to the Commission towards the end of January.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 9:53am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation
Comments

'This amendment is not, however, about our individual attitudes or beliefs on the matter but about the rights of citizens to fair treatment and respect for their personal identity.'

Well said by the Bishop of Chichester. Would that all prelates and others act on such words.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Tuesday, 12 January 2010 at 12:30pm GMT

I agree with you, Richard. If this only were the attitude common among ALL Bishops of the Anglican Communion, there would have been no need for a Covenant. We would already be in Communion with one another - not on the base of gender or sexuality, but our sharing in common of the Image and Likeness of God.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 9:47am GMT

Why is it that whenever I see the words "Bishop of Winchester" and "equality" together I instinctively cringe?

Posted by: Fr Mark on Wednesday, 13 January 2010 at 1:27pm GMT

"If this only were the attitude common among ALL Bishops of the Anglican Communion, there would have been no need for a Covenant."
Actually there IS no need for a Covenant (but this has already been said many times).
This is all so "through the looking glass" -- bishops of the Church of England (which can't sign the Covenant) say that The Episcopal Church can't be part of the Anglican Communion even if TEC signs the Covenant (& there is no "Communion" since certain African primates refused to commune with the ABC & boycotted Lambeth).
This is why I have pretty much given up commenting!
:(

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 2:26pm GMT

Far greater departures from Anglican belief and practice happen every day in Sydney than have ever happened in the U.S. or Canada, yet we seldom hear a word about them.' - Prior Aelred -

Please don't give up on us, Aelred. The dissenters who look in on us on this site need to be reminded, again and again and again, that the Church is a Hospital for Sinners, not a Mauoleum for Would-be Saints. Mea maxima culpa!

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Thursday, 14 January 2010 at 10:22pm GMT
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