Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Public opinion on B&B discrimination is divided by age

Bull and another (Appellants) v Hall and another (Respondents) is being heard at the Supreme Court today.

Meanwhile, an opinion poll has been published, which shows that:

Over 60s and under 50s sharply divided on B&B gay discrimination, new survey shows

An appeal by bed and breakfast owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull is due to be heard by the Supreme Court this week. The Bulls refused on religious grounds to let a double room to a homosexual couple in a civil partnership in 2008, and were ordered by a County Court to pay damages to the couple concerned.

A majority think it is wrong to discriminate

A nationally representative poll carried out by YouGov for the Westminster Faith Debates finds that the majority of people in Britain (57%) don’t think that B&B owners should be allowed to refuse accommodation to people based on their sexuality, whilst a third (33%) think they should and 11% ‘don’t know’. (See appendix for survey question.)

Opinion varies enormously by age

In response to the question of whether B&B owners should be allowed to refuse accommodation to people based on their sexuality, 81% of under 24s say they should not, but just 40% of those aged 60 or more agree. Half of those aged 60+ think that B&B owners should be allowed to discriminate against gay couples.

The graph below shows how much opinion differs by age. The younger you are, the more likely you are to be opposed to discrimination against people on the grounds of their sexuality. Even though gender and religion have an effect in shaping opinion, age is decisive. Thus even amongst those most likely to support discrimination – the strictest believers (who take their authority from God, scriptures, religious sources rather than their own judgement) – the current generation of young people is now opposed…

Follow this link for the graph.

The press release continues:

Most religious people do not think discrimination should be allowed

People who say they belong to a religion also disapprove of discrimination. Asked the question whether B&B owners should be allowed to refuse accommodation to people based on their sexuality, the proportion of those in all the major religious groups who say they should not be allowed outweighs the proportion who say it should.

Looking at how opinion varies by strength of belief in God, even the most certain believers are against allowing discrimination (by 49% to 41%), and as you go down the belief scale from certain belief in God to certain atheism, the margin against discrimination increases to 40% (65% to 25%)

Looking at how opinion varies amongst those who regularly participate in a religious group, the more regularly attenders are more likely to be in favour of allowing discrimination. Those who attend at least once a week are in favour by 53% to 36%. The more rarely you attend a religious group the less you are in favour.

Amongst all religious people those most in favour of allowing discrimination are the small group who look to God (48% to 36%), scripture (50% to 37%), or traditions/teachings of religion (49% to 35%) for their main authority in life.

And there is more.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 at 12:21pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation
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The Bull v Hall hearing in the Supreme Court can be watched live from a link on the Supreme Court website.


http://news.sky.com/info/supreme-court

Ed.

Posted by: badman on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 at 2:08pm BST

The statistics are interesting; but it must be remembered real people are involved in this matter.
As a priest nearing his 80th birthday, and Blessed to be in a Civil Partnership I believe the owners of the bed and breakfast are well out of order. They are refusing to obey or accept the law of the land. Taking us back to the 50's and 60's.
Thankfully we have moved on from those days, and a hotel of repute would not question the matter.

Fr John

Posted by: Fr John E. Harris-White on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 at 3:18pm BST

"Amongst all religious people those most in favour of allowing discrimination are the small group who look to God (48% to 36%), scripture (50% to 37%), or traditions/teachings of religion (49% to 35%) for their main authority in life."

They should be careful what they wish for. It is a matter of debate, although not serious debate outside the world of bigots, as to whether people who experience same-sex attraction can in any useful sense "change". It is not a matter of debate whether religion is a fixed characteristic: people changing their religion is a pretty common event, with a constant flow between various faiths, denominations, sects and, indeed, faith and non-faith.

Therefore, in any legal structure in which the religious get to ram through legislation that permits discrimination on the grounds of sexuality (and this is all hypothetical, because it will no more happen than I will learn to fly unaided), discrimination on the grounds of avowed faith will absolutely be legal. However "fixed" a characteristic you think sexuality is, religious faith is less fixed.

Want to be able to post "no gays" signs on doors? Fine. Get ready for "No Christians" signs. Forget about all those disputes about whether or not you can wear crosses in the workplace: it would become legal for shops, hotels and so on to refuse service to anyone displaying religious symbols or, indeed, whom they suspected of being a bit Christian.

If Christians really want to advance the argument that the sine qua non of Christianity is discriminating against people on the grounds of sexuality (and it appears that some Christians believe that, while too many of the rest are unwilling to say "not in my name", cf. assorted ABCs) then they should get ready for the backlash. And backlash there most certainly would be.

Posted by: Interested Observer on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 at 3:53pm BST

I found this the other day. If it is true that you can't turn away unmarried heterosexual couples, as the author suggests, but which the Bulls say they do, then they haven't a leg to stand on. Have they?

http://vicaringroo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/my-thoughts-on-cases-involving.html?spref=fb

Posted by: Richard Ashby on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 at 4:47pm BST

As usual the Church gives out a negative message. It's not surprising that the next generation are not interested.

Posted by: Concerned Anglican on Wednesday, 9 October 2013 at 10:18pm BST

I wonder whether they asked to see the marriage certificates of the heterosexual couples and analysed whether their marriage was biblical? i.e are you re-married divorcees?

Will they sell their business to a couple who want to use it as a B and B with non discrimination?

Posted by: robert ian williams on Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 6:19am BST

Seems I belong to the excluded 50-59 year olds who don't know what they think!

Posted by: Fr Paul on Thursday, 10 October 2013 at 4:40pm BST

Fr. Paul. You have us all on tenterhooks. Can you tell us openly, what you do think? I, at least, would be most interested! (p.s.. I think I know what RIW thinks - about this, anyway)

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 11 October 2013 at 1:44am BST
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