Thinking Anglicans

Northern Ireland: judicial review of SoRs

The BBC reports on the outcome of the judicial review of The Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006:

New legislation banning discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals is lawful with just one exception, a High Court judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Weatherup said harassment provisions in the Sexual Orientation Regulations must be removed…

…The judgement followed a five-day hearing last June when the Christian Institute and numerous churches applied for a judicial review of the regulations which they claimed were a “gay rights charter.”

… The regulations came into force last January when former secretary of state Peter Hain was accused of rushing the powers into law by limiting consultation to six weeks whereas people in the rest of the United Kingdom were given six months to examine the controversial issues.

It was on the consultation ground that Mr Justice Weatherup said the harassment provisions had to be set aside.

Read the full report here.

A harassment clause was not included in the corresponding regulations for Great Britain, as the topic was to be considered as part of the wide-ranging Discrimination Law Review. (The consultation period following that review has just closed, see here.)

The Evangelical Alliance issued a press release saying:

The Evangelical Alliance is encouraging Christians to respond respectfully and in a Christ-like manner to the decision made in today’s judicial review of Northern Ireland’s Sexual Orientation Regulations that banning discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals is lawful with one exception.

The Alliance welcomes the fact that a number of Christian organisations were able to exercise their right to call for the review. It also welcomes the removal of the harassment clause and particularly of the judge’s confirmation that the regulations do not apply to the core school curriculum. But it is also praying that following the decision, Christians’ rights do not appear bigger than their representation of Christ or their commitment to the rights of others.

For an alternative interpretation of the decision, see the Christian Institute’s press release.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
7 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

Ok so that’s ‘christ-like harassment’ then is it, EA ?

Glad most of the anti-gay demands were thrown out.
Oh how we need the secular Law and institutions to save us from the Churches and self-appointed god-botherers / human botherers.

It may be beginning to dawn on Ian Paisley what civil protections are for…

drdanfee
drdanfee
13 years ago

So what is the proper civil response to constantly being told at work – in small and medium and occasionally rather large ways – by a gung-ho and fully committed-conforming religious member of your work or supervisory team – bordering at times on tones of the sorts the Global South and USA Network leaders often like to use in their public pronouncements? – that you just need to repent properly of being an Out/Partnered/and/or Parenting queer person, give your heart submissively to Jesus as construed in a vigorous penal framework, and get God to/let God change you fortwith into either… Read more »

Pluralist
13 years ago

Another defeat, good – it’s the same story having to be repeated over and again, and the secular space being the ethical space.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

This is far more serious a defeat than the spinmeisters of the Right realise. The harassment part of the NI regulations doesn’t exist in the rest of the UK for a good reason – because it was recognised that a cross-group approach was needed, hence inclusive harassment protection is part of the current review of discrimination law. This approach was supported by the major gay rights groups such as Stonewall, which is why they agreed that it should not be implemented within the SOR’s in the rest of the UK. Indeed, the legislation as it stands can actually deal with… Read more »

MG
MG
13 years ago

“fundigelicals espousing their abhorrent views”

What a charming turn of phrase you have! Is that called inclusive too??

L Roberts
L Roberts
13 years ago

“fundigelicals espousing their abhorrent views”

What a charming turn of phrase you have! Is that called inclusive too??

Posted by: MG on Thursday, 13 September 2007 at 6:28am BST

Inclusiveness, as I understand it, does not mean ‘anything goes’.

Merseymike
Merseymike
13 years ago

I think its absolutely essential to oppose those who oppress.
You cannot have an inclusive organisation which is non-discriminatory and welcoming if those who wish to discriminate and do not welcome are allowed free reign.

Inclusivity does not mean the right to discriminate. And liberalism does not mean wishy-washy sitting on the fence – but opposing the forces of reaction and prejudice. Fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals.

7
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x