Comments: Equality Bill notes

I have read more bills moving through the Colorado state legislature than is healthy for an average adult. I am not a learned scholar of language for bills being moved before the Parliament. However, I would like to assume that Their Serene Lordships of the House of Lords and opposition MPs in the House of Commons **have** such knowledge of how to read a bill presented to Parliament. Therefore, I can only assume that hysterical accusations made of Ms. Harman are being done out of obtuseness, rabble-rousing, and a desire to scare the public about GLBT people. And I say "Shame on them!"

Posted by peterpi at Monday, 8 February 2010 at 1:40am GMT

"A religious organisation cannot discriminate against gay people or women when it hires a book-keeper, but it can when choosing a minister of religion. - Ms. Harman: H.o.C. debate, Thursday -

Well! Whatever happened in the house of Lords recently, where certain of the 'Lords Spiritual' made their point, it would appear that the Bill denying the Church's right to discriminate against the LGBT community is still necessary - if only to secure the rights of this minority to be employed in non-ministerial Church work.

The resulting Bill still leaves Bishops with the power to refuse to ordain women or gay clergy. Whether they will do so as individual prelates will depend on their willingness or otherwise to counter the current culture of homophobia and misogyny within the Church of England.

The fact that other Churches of the Anglican Communion have moved ahead of the C.of E. in this regard ought to encourage the General Synod to up-date their thinking on the whole question of whether or not all people are created equal in the sight of God, and whether it might be God's sovereign intention that the ranks of the clergy should be open to women and gays.

This will be very important for the continuance of the role of Canterbury in the future of the Communion. In the current situation, it would appear that any form of Anglican Covenant seeking to exclude the Provinces which ordain women and gays and seeks to give a form of blessing to same-sex relationships, will result in an alliance between Canterbury, ACNA and conservative GAFCON-allied Provinces only. This would probably force TEC and maybe the Anglican Church of Canada, and the more liberal Provinces of the Communion to seek their own alliance - thus dividing the Communion on the lines of a conservative/liberal split. Pray 'God forbid!'

Posted by Father Ron Smith at Monday, 8 February 2010 at 3:30am GMT

'...although we respect the fact that some areas of religion must be subject to the control and decisions of those religions, for the rest, religious organisations, like everyone else, obey the law.'

Quite so. Nothing has changed. What will happen now is that the churches and other religious bodies, having denied themselves the opportunity to clarify their exemptions will face further publicly damaging and expensive litigation which they are likely to lose. And so they should.

Posted by Richard Ashby at Monday, 8 February 2010 at 10:19am GMT

I think it's fair to say that Edward Leigh, a local MP, is perhaps not the sharpest chisel in the workman's bag.... Genuinely nice bloke, fully paid up RC (Humanae Vitae and the rest) but....

Posted by Mynsterpreost (=David Rowett) at Monday, 8 February 2010 at 8:35pm GMT
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