Thinking Anglicans

equality bill – committee stage begins

First, there is a Research Paper from the House of Commons Library concerning the bill, available as a PDF, see Research Paper 09/42.

Committee hearings have begun, and Hansard reports can be found linked from this page. A more user-friendly version can be found here at TheyWorkForYou.

Written evidence has been submitted by various organisations, all listed there.

Among them are these:

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales

British Humanist Association

Accord

Discrimination Law Association

Trades Union Congress

Proposed amendments to the bill can be found here (click on Show+ Amendment Papers and Proceedings).

Ekklesia published on 2 June a study by Savi Hensman The Equality Bill 2008-9 and church responses to it.

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riazat butt
12 years ago

ooh – with all the hoo ha about gordon/obama I wouldn’t have noticed so thanks TA!

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Thanks lots to Savitri Hensman for her summary and bit of context. We’re still wrestling with darkness pretending to be light, the package being ‘obeying my conscience or beliefs’ with the reality being ‘closing doors on gay folks.’ That contradiction will not go away just because certain strict religious believers wish to practice it. Indeed, insofar as it is practiced, and we all see it and hear it, the contradictions hasten the day when believers will correct the legacy errors we and our forebears make in holding only negative views of those same gay folks. Meanwhile no extra intellectual or… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

Yet more discrimination against Christians and people of other faiths. This Govenmnent is writing the longest suicide note in history. I am impressed by how balanced the Catholic bishops statement is…the key is unjust discrimination.

Father Ron Smith
Father Ron Smith
12 years ago

“I am impressed by how balanced the Catholic bishops statement is…the key is unjust discrimination.” – R.I. Williams –

The ethos of ‘Magisterium’ doesn’t sound like much of a *balance* to me – especially on issues where the Roman Catholic Church is intent on prserving the endemic culture of patriarchy within its own ranks.

To my mind, the Roman Catholic bishops are only equally ‘balanced’ with those of other faith communities who insist on preserving the status quo, to the detriment of women and the LGBT. community.

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
12 years ago

Hi drdanfee- You write: ‘Surely only people who do not really know gay family members, coworkers…or neighbours can continue to press such fear and fear upon fear’. (1) Everyone I know (and that obviously includes me and doubtless you) is correct about some things and mistaken about others. (Often people will be mistaken through ignorance; often through disinclination to examine the evidence; often through not having got round to examining the evidence, but not having the patience to reserve judgment.) In the case of every person therefore we love and affirm the person 100% while agreeing with a proportion of… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Ah yes, Mr. CS. So (1) – we are not playing percentages here. I suspect you know that anyways. Fact is, if you know a gay citizen as a family member, coworker at the office or lab, school team mate, or neighbor of more than distant acquaintance – you may find it cheesy or dishonest to preach the going religious trope, Nothing good exists in daily life for gay people. Nothing good at all. Of course, you can persist and cling to categorical negatives; but you have to work harder to keep them going. You may be faced over and… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Continuing Mr. CS. Re: (2). I’m not sure why you gloss me as presuming that liking must mean agreement. I do not see strictly eye to eye with nearly anybody else in my daily life – not at work, not in immediate or extended family life, not in my own home life, not in my citizenship, not in my neighborhood networks. Irrational I am, and we all are, to some extent. So much more important, then, to engage with empirical hypothesis testing, models which emerge from all that data, and reasoning in application from all that. Meanwhile, I occupy a… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Apologies to the thread for multiple reply posts. Important criticisms deserve an answer. Now back to CS. Re (3, 4.1). I’m lumping points together, as they seem to read in a cluster. As to (3), I agree. None of us ordinarily has anything other than a skewed sample of the real world. Outside careful research. That also means, none of our forebears did, either. Why else could people believe in the obvious fact that the earth was flat, for long, long centuries? If this holds true, then why privilege a legacy skewed sample with its historic categorical negatives about gay… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Apologies twice to the thread for multiple reply posts. Important criticisms deserve an answer. Now back to CS. Re (4.2). Let’s see, CS, you deny hearing fears being mongered, meanly, about gay folks. I’m mystified. Nearly every antigay voice I hear these days is preaching some sound of alarm, some sound of danger connected with not condemning gay folks out of hand. I hear fear, fear, fear, fear. Fear of civilization going to hell in an immoral sexual handbasket. Fear that family life or children will be harmed. Fear that some hidden gay agenda, all destructive, is aiming to mess… Read more »

BillyD
12 years ago

“We’ve given up preaching that being gay causes stillborn cattle, crop failures, or weather patterns.”

Not at all. Most Christians have given up these sorts of claims, but those like Pat Robertson still love this theme. And not as an indirect claim, either.

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“Most” Most??? I’d sooner say “some”, “a few”, but certainly not most, at least not on this side of the pond. It may change now that, I assume, nutjob fundies no longer breakfast once a week with the leader of the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, but I don’t think it’s “most” yet, at least not in terms of loudness of voice, which can be misleading, I suppose. And don’t forget it’s more subtle form, the hint of dire unspecified disasters to come if we don’t keep these evil, perversion choosing gays in check. That’s hardly… Read more »

Robert Ian Williams
Robert Ian Williams
12 years ago

When I was in London at half term I purchased a Catechism of christian Doctrine from the Catholic Truth society. The catechism bears the imprimatur of the Catholic bishops of England and Wales..and homosexual practice is described as one of the four sins crying for vengeance to Heaven.

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Again, we might guess that, if the fear dial is twirled up even higher for real, as BD and FE suggest, then it seems even more interesting that anybody listening is so entirely out of hearing range of these same mighty preachments? Occam’s Razor? Seems easier, simpler to just admit that probably Akinola or Orombi is running way scared of the flat earth awfulness that he still believes gay folks to be, instead of saying that All That Fear is Too Distant to be heard clearly. Another clue? Revising Flat Earth does not equal, No Earth. A scary proposition, otherwise.… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
12 years ago

Hi drdanfee- Thanks for responding in such detail. I wish everyone took such things as seriously. A lot of your points are background rather than specific. Also you are quite a Rowan Williams in that I often cannot immediately understand what you are talking about – but then you are a bright guy. On some of your points: Of course we are all different but what needs to be proven is that this is a good or a neutral things. Mobile phone stealers are different from non mobile phone stealers. We have to play percentages because aggregate is the direct… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Hi CS you request details, mainly concerning the sea change in our views, towards (A) disconfirming our legacy negatives about gay folks in particular, plus (B) starting to suggest/explore some possible positives about the same group. I cannot effectively list detailed references to sixty years of empirical research in a blog post. Happily, anybody with computer access can begin to search the peer reviewed research literatures. By now it is a gargantuan task. I suspect an accurate, annotated bibliography would most likely run to several volumes. If I were doing such an annotated bibliography, I would start by sorting each… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Apologies to the thread, multiple posts in reply to CS. Now. CS. Right off, two initiatives you make will not float very well. One is the claim that no evidence exists about real gay folks, that we can call truth, alternative to the legacy negatives. In addition to the large (and growing) body of research, we also have greater everyday exposure to real gay folks in our families, among our friends, in our work teams at office or lab, at school, and the like. All of this is true, so far as it goes. To consider those alternate truth claims,… Read more »

drdanfee
drdanfee
12 years ago

Apologies to the thread, multiple posts in reply to CS. Now. CS. You seem to be saying that the previous great witnesses who first wrote down our legacy negatives about gay folks had a less skewed sample of gay folks, than do we moderns. Surely you cannot really mean this? None of the NT authors, none of the OT writers, had any access whatsoever to any of the empirical research now published on the subject. Such a claim tries to read sexual orientation science, directly in scriptures or our traditions. Do not we believers get into trouble, every time we… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
12 years ago

Hi drdanfee-
Great! Since so much research exists, to what effect is that research (on average, in the broad picture) on matters such as life-expectancy, STD-rate, promiscuity-rate?

Ford Elms
Ford Elms
12 years ago

“Since so much research exists, to what effect is that research (on average, in the broad picture) on matters such as life-expectancy, STD-rate, promiscuity-rate?” STD rate has nothing to do with sexual orientation, and everything to do with safer sex practices. Given that unsafe heterosexual practices are what has driven the AIDS epidemic in Africa, citing STD rates as a reason to disapprove of gay people is the same as saying AIDS rates should spur the disapproval of heterosexual Africans. Promiscuity is also a behavioural choice, having nothing to do with sexuality per se. Is it your contention that promiscuity… Read more »

Christopher Shell
Christopher Shell
11 years ago

Hi Ford- Much saddened headshaking. No statistics. It would be very surprising if male homosexuals were not more promiscuous than the average. For three reasons, (1) men are more promiscuous than women; (2) there is less reason for marriage *even in* a society that permits it for homosexuals; (3) it’s far less likely there will be children involved. (2-3) apply also to female homosexuals. The only study I recall puts the average female-female sexual relationship at even shorter than the average male-male. AIDS is everywhere more prevalent per person among homosexuals. In many places more heterosexuals will naturally have it… Read more »

Ford ELms
Ford ELms
11 years ago

“(1) men are more promiscuous than women; (2) there is less reason for marriage (3) it’s far less likely there will be children involved.” 1 is debatable. You don’t know the women I know. And I always find it funny that conservative ideas about promiscuity seem to see it as something of a given, a “natural” thing in some sense. It suggests you conservatives have a hard time controlling yourselves, and don’t really expect people to be able to do it without the threat of eternal damnation. 2 is astounding. I wonder what you consider to be the “reasons for… Read more »

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