Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Not very christian

A row is brewing as peers are set to debate a motion to annul regulations under the Sexual Orientation Regulations which are in force in Northern Ireland and due to be applied to the statute in England and Wales shortly. Religious groups aren't happy that gay people will soon have equal rights with everybody else. The underlying theme is that these groups wish to remain free to discriminate on the spurious grounds that outlawing discrimination of one sort introduces another.
Thomas Cordrey, a barrister and analyst with the Lawyers' Christian Fellowship, is quoted in the article I've linked to as saying that while christians don't want to discriminate, they don't want to be forced into actively promoting or condoning practices which they don't agree with. Nobody is proposing that. What is proposed is a set of rules to outlaw denying a person access to goods or services based on their sexual orientation and I fail to see how anyone can have a problem with that, same as with previous rules to equalise the rights of women or black people, for example, or indeed for anyone who feels the need to follow any given religion. Indeed, the law will stop gay bars barring heterosexuals entry, not that I've ever found this to be a problem myself.
It's a typical and semi-expected knee-jerk really - a common tactic, especially in right-wing rags like the Mail or Express, whereby a law outlawing an action is taken to mean that you actively have to perform the complete opposite. Which is, let's face it, unmitigated bollocks.
With a bit of luck, common sense will prevail and these protestors can stew in their own misguided sense of moral superiority.

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