Saturday, 17 April 2010

Equality Bill becomes an Act

The Equality Bill received the Royal Assent on 8 April.

The full text of the Equality Act 2010 can be found here:

The Act will start to come into force from October 2010. More information on that is here.

The text of the debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday 6 April, when all the House of Lords amendments were approved without any voting taking place, can be found here:

During the debate, the Solicitor-General said:

The House might recall that it was mentioned on Report and Third Reading that the European Commission had delivered a reasoned opinion in November 2009 on two aspects of our implementation of this directive. We have now responded to that opinion, although the correspondence is kept confidential. However, as my noble Friend Baroness Royall explained on 25 January in the debate in Committee in the other place, we did not inform the European Commission that the Bill will amend regulation 7(3) of the 2003 regulations, which paragraph 2 of schedule 9 replaces, to bring the position into line with the directive. We did not say that because the existing legislation already complies with the directive. I ask the House to agree to these amendments.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 17 April 2010 at 6:31pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation

One wonderful thing about this Bill, is that it includes many provisions for the protection of individual civil rights. This is a profound issue of human rights for ALL - not just for those with issues of gender, sexual orientation, or religious conviction. In a country like the United Kingdom, with its eclectic mixture of ethnic, religious and other diverse characteristics, the Anglican Church should be grateful that it cannot ever be subject to marginalization by any other religious body in the U.K. "Live and let live" is surely more in keeping with the message of the Gospel than any attempt to impose a theocratic form of government - no matter what may be the insular demands of a dominant faith community.

Perhaps Lord Carey, and Bishops Wright, Nazir-Ali and Scott-Joynt should now take a sabbatical, in order to study what it means, as a follower of Jesus Christ, to be part of a peace-loving world community, respectful of one another's traditions and distinctive points of view - which affirms the human rights of ALL - to be as God created them.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Saturday, 17 April 2010 at 10:44pm BST

Brilliantly expressed, Father Ron Smith. I wish Joseph Ratzinger would follow Lord Carey into a sabbatical. Similar mindsets in Rome are causing the Latin rite Church to implode by the weight of its' own bigotry, misogyny and homophobia. Your words about what it means to be a follower of Jesus are truly beautiful and right on the mark. Thank you.

Posted by: Chris Smith on Monday, 19 April 2010 at 5:35am BST

As a Quaker, may I thank the Anglicans who supported our stance on this bill? When Friends House asked us to get any peers we knew to support what became the Alli amendment on civil partnerships on religious premises, I thought "Of course: but it will take us 30 years". Our letter to "The Times" before the Lords debate seems to have been crucial. Although I drafted it, it was the senior Anglican signature list, collected with great verve by Diarmaid MacCulloch, that swung it.

Posted by: Iain McLean on Monday, 19 April 2010 at 11:04am BST
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