Comments: Equality Bill: did the government back down?

Regardless of what you think about discrimination of people, I find the whole discrimination between religious jobs and non-religious jobs to be entirely frustrating. The church administrator has a spiritual (or religious) calling to organise the vicar! In the context of a priesthood of all believers there is not much room for a distinction between one job being 'religious' and another not being so. I know that's not the main point of what's going on, but it bothers me.

Posted by PeterB at Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 11:43am GMT

I think that it's difficult to speak of a retreat.

The fact is the Government has lost the votes in Parliament - albeit the unelected part with Bishops sitting in it.

After you lose the votes you ask yourself if you have a chance of winning on a 'go-around' but in most instances it means you don't or you'd have won the first time round.

In one sense the law can't change because of the existence of a Directive which covers discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in employment that UK courts have already interpreted as covering posts within religious organisations and as Harman states, that remains the same.

Posted by Craig Nelson at Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 11:49am GMT

This is the point. Nothing has changed because the amendment would not have changed anything substantial. Clergy and directly religious staff are exempt, others will not be, and I think if the church think, given European directives, that the tribunals will fall on their side, they are even more naive and stupid than I already thought.

The law remains as it was, and the amended law would have simply added clarification rather than changed it altogether. The church lost that argument. I think Lord Lester was right - the church have actually voted against something which may well have given them more of what they wanted.

Posted by Merseymike at Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 3:02pm GMT

Speaking of discrimination, over on Episcopal Cafe is coverage of both Hilary Clinton and Obama objecting in the strongest terms to the proposed legislation in Uganda at the [loathesome] National Prayer Breakfast. Meanwhile, from His Fuzziness ... zilch!

Posted by Cynthia Gilliatt at Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 4:58pm GMT

I agree. I think it is outrageous that the Government and others think it is fine for ministers of religion to be discriminated against, attacked, hounded, driven out if possible, and generally made very unhappy.

No respect for the personal and family life of ministers. It cannot be right, moral or for the Good...

'Regardless of what you think about discrimination of people, I find the whole discrimination between religious jobs and non-religious jobs to be entirely frustrating. The church administrator has a spiritual (or religious) calling to organise the vicar! In the context of a priesthood of all believers there is not much room for a distinction between one job being 'religious' and another not being so. I know that's not the main point of what's going on, but it bothers me.

Posted by: PeterB on Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 11:43am GMT
I think that it's difficult to speak of a retreat.

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 7:47pm GMT

But why are those of us who are (already) ordained fair game for the discrimination of the official church hierarchies ?

Posted by Rev L Roberts at Thursday, 4 February 2010 at 7:58pm GMT
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