Thursday, 17 January 2013

more comments on the European court decisions

Law and Religion UK Frank Cranmer Chaplin, Eweida, Ladele and McFarlane: the judgment

Cif belief Mark Hill Lillian Ladele is the real loser in Christian discrimination rulings

Guardian Joshua Rozenberg Balancing Christian and gay rights isn’t easy - give Strasbourg some credit

Law and Lawyers Eweida and others v UK ~ a look at what is being said? which in turn has links to several further articles.

Also, from the Guardian Local Government Network, Phil Allen What a religious discrimination ruling means for local government.

And the International Business Times has this: Full Gay Rights Threaten Christians in Public Life, Says Anglican Mainstream.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 17 January 2013 at 10:28pm GMT | TrackBack
You can make a Permalink to this if you like
Categorised as: equality legislation

Re: Anglican Mainstream charge that gay rights threaten Christians in public life (International Business Times)

Well, one can only observe that being Christian is a lifestyle choice, but being gay isn't. Christians are free to stop being Christian, but gay people aren't free to stop being gay.

Given this, whose rights should prevail? The answer seems clear.

Posted by: John Thorp on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 1:41am GMT

In the business Times: ""Gay rights have now become a separate privilege and a specially protected group of rights which trump all others, including freedom of conscientious objection and to hold religious conviction without fear of discrimination."

Oh, rubbish! On the one hand, these are exactly the arguments which could be brought forth on any human rights issue. You do not have a right to discriminate! On the other hand, let's consider the Christian GLBT people, and their supporters, who are excluded or ignored by the "separate privilege" of some heterosexual Christians, who seem to feel they ought to be a "protected group."

Posted by: Nathaniel Brown on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 3:55am GMT

Anglican Mainstream should learn that lying is a very poor public witness to Christ.

Posted by: MarkBrunson on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 7:50am GMT

"Full Gay Rights Threaten Christians in Public Life, Says Anglican Mainstream."

I am a Christian and I do not feel threatened. As usual, Anglican Mainstream casually assume that their position is the only valid Christian point of view. Surveys show that many if not Christians do not have a problem with gay rights and see no conflict with their faith in supporting them.

Posted by: sjh on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 8:20am GMT

I think that Mark Hill is mistaken in his view that Ms Ladele ought to have won her case. It is true that civil partrnerships were introduced after she took up employment as a registrar but no doubt at th time the local authority already had a comphensive Equal Opportunities policy to which Ms Ladele had to adhere in her work. The fact that subsequent legislation specifically introduced a requiment that she should register civil partnerships is neither here nor there. Would she have refused to work with a same sex couple in obtaining them housing? One might argue that objecting to any legislation and refusing to work within the law could be justified. 'I don't like the look of you therefore I shan't serve you' is clearly a nonsense position.

With one phyric victory and three defeats I wonder whether the Christian Legal Cantre and its financial backers (a US right wing fundamentalist Christain body according to Wikipedia) think their money has been well spent? They don't seem to be doing very well so far.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 9:21am GMT

Richard, I think choosing rather dubious cases and loosing is part of their agenda. It helps them promote the view that Christians are persecuted, and in that I would say they have been fairly successful.
I am genuinely surprised by the inteligent people who have been taken in by their propaganda and press comment.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 4:45pm GMT

The evolution in policy re civil partnerships may well have put Ms. Ladele in a pickle; but its not much different than being a police officer and having the law change. Can't in conscience enforce it? Then its time to turn in your badge.

Posted by: Rod Gillis on Friday, 18 January 2013 at 8:21pm GMT

Martin, you mean that these people have an agenda, that they are cynically using a few lonely people, that they are manipulating public opinion, that they want to appear persecuted? Dear oh dear. I am so disillusioned.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Saturday, 19 January 2013 at 1:45pm GMT

Ladele has behind her the glimmer of an argument about being a registrar for one thing and not another. Maybe Islington would have been better (from a pragmatic viewpoint) not automatically designating but as a local authority that has to have regard to how to a)serve its end users and b)promote political aims that its elected officials legitimately seek to pursue it has to think how best to proceed.

When acting as an employer it has to be able to seek assurances that its employees will hold up an ethos of equaility and non-discrimination.

The issue comes down to the nature of employment. The employee is the vehicle, not for their own values, but for those of the employer (in this case a democratically elected body).

If a private sector employer has an ethos of excellent customer service and at the same time of all its employees being treated equally you have to be be able to fulfil those conditions to be able to work for the firm. Surely these are legitimate aims both in the private and public sector.

To create a right to conscientious objection within employment would (in the end) nullify discrimination law and equal opportunities policies (at least as regards LGBT people) and completley upend employment law so that the employer is paying employees to enact their own private value systems in service delivery (there is of course the bizarre argument that the other emlpoyees will 'cover' for the employees unwilling to serve customers/residents/citizens - a)why should they? and b)what if they can't without placing an undue burden upon them?).

For this reason I find the dissents in Ladele to be alarming in that they are a)wrong and b)fail to give due respect to the margin of appreciation of the national determination of such matters. But they are only dissents, of course.

Posted by: Craig Nelson on Saturday, 19 January 2013 at 8:16pm GMT

It was reported last week that Barclays Bank is requiring its staff to sign up to a new statement of 'values', at least partly to restore some trust in the organisation. Now this requirement has been imposed on employees after their recruitment. Is there any justification for those who refuse to sign and are then dismissed?

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Sunday, 20 January 2013 at 8:56am GMT

Interesting item on the Christian Legal Centre and its tactics on the 'Sunday' programme this morning. As always what is not said is as interesting and sometimes more revealing than what is. In particular, inspite of being asked at least twice, the spokesperson refused to say whether there had been any discussion of a compromise with the nurse who wished to wear a cross. The nurse herself was intransigent, one can only conclude that the CLC reinforced and encouraged her intransigence.

It is clear that the CLC's agenda is to extend to the UK the sort of culture wars espoused by its US backers (TA May 3rd 2011). In the process what is fair and reasonable is replace by lies, misinformation, evasion and exgeration. Christianity continues to suffer and 'Christians' are wingeing and agressive victims.

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Sunday, 20 January 2013 at 9:52am GMT

The Sunday Programme did a report on Paul Diamond and the Christian Legal Centre this morning.

They must have read your shock horror reaction yesterday, Richard as the journalist's editorial line followed your outline closely .........

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 20 January 2013 at 11:47am GMT

So, Mrs Chaplin, you were not forbidden from wearing a cross as a symbol of your faith, you could have worn two on your ears and the cross you valued attached to your ID laniard or securely attached to your uniform.

It seems that only the cross and chain you had worn all through your nurse training would do ....

Just where in the annals of Christian persecution do we place this unhappy episode?

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 20 January 2013 at 2:25pm GMT
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