Sunday, 7 August 2011

further developments in the ECHR appeal

Two more developments in the previously reported appeal to the European Court of Human Rights of four recent cases involving discrimination in the UK, and the announcement by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that it would intervene in the case. That development was recorded here (12 July), and then here (14 July).

Now the Christian Institute is reporting that Angela Mason, one of the EHRC commissioners has said:

“The commission has already decided not to put forward ‘reasonable adjustment’ arguments if we do continue with our intervention.”

Their source is Pink News which carries further comments from Ms Mason:

“The legal issues are complex but it is a question of harm. And we have to be very careful when the issue is of manifesting religious belief that is about discrimination.”

When asked whether she had been consulted before the EHRC made its announcement, she said: “A press release is a press release. I don’t think it fully represented the opinion of the commission.

“It is important to carefully consider all the points and arguments that have been made and take them into account before we decide to intervene. We haven’t actually been given permission to intervene yet and there are sensitive and conflicting issues.”

Speaking about her personal views, she added: “The balance of reasonable adjustment does not deal in the cases of Ladele and McFarlane.

“If we go back to the issue of harm, there is less harm involved in the wearing of crosses than the view that gay men are less equal.”

The second development is the National Secular Society has announced that it is also going to intervene in the case. See NSS given leave to intervene at ECHR in religious discrimination cases.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 6:28pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation

A certain group of Christians has decided that it is beneath their dignity, that it is an affront, merely to serve food to, provide a room at an inn to, or perform ordinary civic functions for, GLBT people.
So society must conform to their needs..
This is arrogance. This group of Christians have decided that a certain class of sinners must be avoided, can be humiliated in public (if "I'm sorry, there’s no room at the inn for your kind" isn't an attempt at public humiliation, I don't know what is), so as to keep themselves pure. They are saying “I’m better than you.”
Innkeepers throw the doors of their inn open to the general public. A registrar registers the documents or acts of all people who come through the door. They serve everybody.
I bet the Christians who are upset that they cannot wear their crosses or crucifixes in certain situations would find that their employer's sanction was not "Thou shalt not wear crucifixes or crosses for it is an abomination unto me", but rather "Please refrain from wearing any jewelry, chains, medallions, clothing, pendants, etc., which might cause a safety hazard or interfere with instrument telemetry." But! They don't care about the not wearing of Magen Davids, kipot, turbans, veils, or other religious jewelry or artifacts. They care only for their crosses or crucifixes.
These certain people feel it is all right to tell other people not to discriminate, or to serve everyone, or to not wear jewelry, but they feel “By God (literally, apparently) I'm a Christian and I'll discriminate or wear crosses as I damn well please!"
John 11:35

Posted by: peterpi - Peter Gross on Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 7:58pm BST

Oh, dear!

What's this? Angela Mason and her equality unit, as I remember, opposed the goods and services regs !!

The press release referred to followed a rather confusing interview from Trevor Phillips who heads up the ECHR, the head of the ECHR's legal department has some strong views expressed there. One detected at the time an attempt to wrong foot Commission members and push forward a certain agenda.

Richard Kirker and LGCM fought a long campaign against the appointment of Trevor Phillips and we didn't think much of Angela Mason either!

Some time later others started to share our concerns and that well known opponent of marriage equality Ben Summerskill (who took over Stonewall from Angela) resigned his seat on the ECHR (2009), the seat then offered to Angela.

All a little incestuous really.........

I would vote for none of the above.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 7 August 2011 at 8:08pm BST

Martin, I think each use of ECHR in your posting should read E&HRC. The former is the European Court of Human Rights (a European body) which has never had Trevor Phillips at its head. He heads the Equality and Human Rights Commission (a UK body). An unfortunate similarity in the acronyms :-)

Posted by: RPNewark on Monday, 8 August 2011 at 12:41pm BST

Just so PRNewark, thanks, acronyms and my brain don't mix.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 8 August 2011 at 10:13pm BST
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