This press release from the Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia, & Human Rights Conference held on Saturday:
UK GOVERNMENT WILL STAND FIRM AGAINST FAITH EXEMPTIONS ON LGBT EQUALITIES
Government Equalities Minister, Maria Eagle pledged that she and other Ministers would stand firm against any attempts by faith groups to get out of the demands of LGBT legislation and the forthcoming Equality Bill.
Addressing a cutting-edge UK conference, Faith, Homophobia. Transphobia, & Human Rights – building positive alliances for equality and sexual diversity, Ms. Eagle pointed out :
“Values of equality and social justice are held by many within as well as outside faith communities. The circumstances in which religious institutions can practice anything less than full equality are few and far between. While the state would not intervene in narrowly ritual or doctrinal matters within faith groups, these communities cannot claim that everything they run is outside the scope of anti-discrimination law. Members of faith groups have a role in making the argument in their own communities for greater LGBT acceptance, but in the meantime the state has a duty to protect people from unfair treatment.”
The Minister’s position was reflected in the views of other Conference speakers from a variety of faith, spiritual, and non-religious backgrounds. Bringing greetings from TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, Peter Purton from the TUC Equality & Employment Rights Department, warned that people resisting progress towards rights for all “have stolen the language of religion.”
Audio recordings of the speakers are also available:
More material is available here.