Saturday, 20 August 2011

Church Times reports on two equality law issues

The Church Times has a report by Pat Ashworth Nurses win abortion battle.

The first part of this deals with the case reported here: Equality Act applied in abortion case.

The second part deals with the EHRC intervention: Equality Commission reveals its views on 4 cases at the European Court. This finishes with a quote from me, which unfortunately got shortened in the editing process. The full quote reads as follows:

Many observers will welcome the EHRC’s suggestion that the rights of Eweida and Chaplin, under Article 9(2) of the European Convention on Human Rights to manifest their Christian beliefs, were not adequately considered. It is unclear why claims such as theirs ever came before the courts at all.

However, the EHRC’s view that the domestic courts came to the correct conclusions in the cases of Ladele and McFarlane will be very unwelcome to those who have campaigned so vigorously and so long on their behalf. Most employment lawyers though will breathe a sigh of relief that common sense has again prevailed.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 20 August 2011 at 7:53am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation
Comments

I still don't understand what this has to do with the nurses being Christians. No nurses, whether they have a personal faith of any kind or not, can legally be forced to participate in an abortion.

It was good that the courts decided that "participating in an abortion" included all aspects of work in an abortion clinic, not just administering the drugs.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Saturday, 20 August 2011 at 9:17am BST

Equal Rights are surely not compromised in the different issues dealt with here by the EHRC.

In the case of Abortion, the issue of personal conscience is a very clear one - especially to those nurses and doctors who have a loyalty to the Hypocratic Oath; which rules on issues of life and death, as they interpret the same. Their claim for conscientious objection is a legitimate one.

Regarding the other issues - of failure to comply with statutory requirement of their employment by an employee to deliver the legal requirements of their office; (a) in refusing to administer the ceremony permitting a same-sex couples to be united in a legal Civil Partnership; or (b), in the case of a Bed and Breakfast proprietor, refusing the use of their facilities to a same-sex couple - on account of their same-sex relationship - these are both far short of the 'life-and death' issue that the performance of an abortion might present.

Therefore, EHRC, in my opinion, is not being unreasonable or inconsistent (as some here claim) in its judgement on the petitioners.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Wednesday, 24 August 2011 at 12:10am BST

There's now an article about this by Adam Wagner at the UK Human Rights blog titled: Equality and Human Rights Commission reverses position on religious cases intervention

http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2011/08/22/equality-and-human-rights-commission-reverses-position-on-religious-cases-intervention/

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 25 August 2011 at 9:01am BST

And, there is this column by Nelson Jones at the Spectator:
For God and equality
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/nelson-jones/2011/08/rights-commission-equality

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 25 August 2011 at 3:14pm BST
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