Two more developments in the previously reported appeal to the European Court of Human Rights of four recent cases involving discrimination in the UK, and the announcement by the Equality and Human Rights Commission that it would intervene in the case. That development was recorded here (12 July), and then here (14 July).
Now the Christian Institute is reporting that Angela Mason, one of the EHRC commissioners has said:
“The commission has already decided not to put forward ‘reasonable adjustment’ arguments if we do continue with our intervention.”
Their source is Pink News which carries further comments from Ms Mason:
“The legal issues are complex but it is a question of harm. And we have to be very careful when the issue is of manifesting religious belief that is about discrimination.”
When asked whether she had been consulted before the EHRC made its announcement, she said: “A press release is a press release. I don’t think it fully represented the opinion of the commission.
“It is important to carefully consider all the points and arguments that have been made and take them into account before we decide to intervene. We haven’t actually been given permission to intervene yet and there are sensitive and conflicting issues.”
Speaking about her personal views, she added: “The balance of reasonable adjustment does not deal in the cases of Ladele and McFarlane.
“If we go back to the issue of harm, there is less harm involved in the wearing of crosses than the view that gay men are less equal.”
The second development is the National Secular Society has announced that it is also going to intervene in the case. See NSS given leave to intervene at ECHR in religious discrimination cases.