Who let the religious zealots back into Parliament?

Yes that was meant to be a provocative statement, because I’m actually surprised that religion is being given any credence in 21st century Britain. This is the post-religious age, and while personal faith is wonderful and supportive to so many, it has no place in the House of Commons. Yes I know that there are members of various faith communities within the House of Lords and that will probably continue but thankfully they are mostly harmless.

heaven or hell, its your choice

Keep this out of government

I remember a few years back when Tony Blair after he left parliament formally converted to Roman Catholicism, and half the country looked up and thought that as well as all his other crimes, he’d pulled a fast one and been a religious nut, as well as a megalomaniacal war criminal. We look at parliament and see all the corruption, backstabbing and good governance and don’t react, but a religious zealot making a speech and its scary and wrong.

I know that there are many LGBTQIAPPQA people of various faiths out there, who I’m sure are preparing to leap to defend faith and religion, honestly there’s no need, I’m not talking about purging religion, I just want it kept out of where it does not belong. We currently have MPs defending the right of fundamentalist christians to hate calling for inquiries into whether treating a clear and unreasonable prejudice is okay, provided its cloaked in a religion.

Its not about freedom, its about discrimination just as bad as those in the BNP, just as self-righteous and just as disgusting. I’m categorically not condemnation of all Christianity, because where Christianity is in Britain its so progressive and compassionate, unlike this pre-reformation styled position found in the fanatical fringe.

David Cameron and no-one important

Walk the walk David, Not Just Talk the Talk

You can look back to Geoffrey Fisher, Archbishop of Canterbury at the time of the Wolfenden Report, supported the report, saying

“There is a sacred realm of privacy… into which the law, generally speaking, must not intrude. This is a principle of the utmost importance for the preservation of human freedom, self-respect, and responsibility.”

These haters are hypocritically applying levitical law, picking only the laws that they want to hear, ignoring the shellfish, slavery, stoning, and sumptuary laws among others. You don’t get to object to being gay without objecting to slavery being the will of God.

The fact that the EHRC is even considering such a move, let alone Parliament entertaining an inquiry is a sign that the tories still have a problem with homophobia that they claim to have purged. Its time for David Cameron to step up and quash this support for hate.

Its Discrimination, Period!

repeal section 28 pink bus from protest in picadilly circus

Not so long ago

Despite this being the 21st century, in one of the most progressive liberal societies on earth, and yet a new minor undercurrent of homophobia is being given credence by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. While we are not too many years away from the days of “Section 28”, disparity in age of consent laws, and absolutely no chance of marriage equality, under the last Conservative government, by the time the Conservatives regained power the country had changed fundamentally.

In 2010 Britain, homophobia is targeted in schools, both head on, and in more and more schools by education programs. Hate crimes and Employment protections are sacrosanct, and we have marriage equality in all but name. Now despite the perversions of anglicanism across the world, the Church of England has been a supporter of basic respect and rights, if not full equality, and has made it clear that it is not its place to enforce its views on the country. However there are always other sects of christianity, who are frankly not as progressive and evolved as the C of E, or even the Catholic Church. To certain Pentecostals, Baptists and other Evangelicals the Bible is treated as word for word perfect, rather than the views of progressive sects, being highly open to interpretation, and full of metaphors and parables.

Some people who hold these stricter views are coming into conflict with 21st century and LGBTQIAPPQA people no-longer to be satisfied with discrimination a probability of daily life.  There was a time that a gay or lesbian couple would struggle to get a hotel room, get served in a restaurant, or hospital visitation rights, and brave people have fought for basic rights and protections.

sheffield mothers against section 28

Mothers who did think about their children

Freedom of religion is a limited and specific scope right, that is very important to British Society, and should you remain quietly in your home and job, not bringing your faith out into the real world, then you are as free as a bird to practice your faith, however you are expected if you are working in a business or even more so a public office, to leave you faith at the door.

As per normal hypocrisy comes into play, these are not foster carers demanding the right stone unruly children, or wedding chefs refusing to cook with shrimp, or even registrars complaining that their uniform requires them to wear 2 different kinds of fabric. No those issue, which should come up with all of these “Bible Believing” people don’t have a problem with stoning children, seafood, or sumptuary laws, they have a problem with  treating gay people with the simple basic respect they are due.

The EHRC rather than standing up against bigotry, seeks to find ways to smooth over issues of homophobia rather than really address them. So a registrar who refuses to officiate a gay wedding would not be fired for refusing to do their job, but instead , give the shift to an un-bigoted registrar. This sounds like a nice and equitable solution, nobody gets hurt, except the British values of justice and fairplay.

Remember David Cameron supported section 28, don't trust a tory

Tory Influence on EHRC?

Here’s a simple test for discriminatory behaviour, if you replace gay, with race, does what you are asking sound reasonable. “A registrar refuses to marry a couple because she believes interracial marriage is wrong” is horrific and “A registrar refuses to marry a couple because she believes gay marriage is wrong” is equally horrific.

There are certain restrictions placed on business practices, be they health and safety, employment protections or non-discrimination in provisions of service. Now if you are a registrar you are expected to do your job and marry people, without prejudice, and you are not entitled to a right to refuse to do your job. A vegan should not work in a slaughter house, a pacifist should not join the army, and someone who refuses to perform marriage ceremonies should not be a registrar.

Lillian Ladele

Magistrate who refused to do her job

In business provision its the same, you don’t get to decided whether to serve someone based on your prejudices, whether its race, gender, or sexuality. If you are a couples counsellor, you don’t get to say “I won’t provide therapy for gay couples” and more than you could say “I won’t provide therapy for interracial couples”.

Its clear that many of the people that are turning to a new homophobic right wing christian group called Christian Concern, are sold on the lie that being LGBTQIAPPQA is a choice, no matter the mountains of evidence to the contrary. The director and co-founder of Christian Concern  stated “Race is totally different from sexual orientation practice, homosexual practice”.

Its sad to see that the good name and reputation for tolerance and acceptance of Christianity in the UK brought into disrepute by groups like this who seem to be modelled around hate groups in the US like Focus on the Family, American Family Association and the ACLJ.

This is discrimination, this is wrong, and its a tragedy that the EHRC has put forward such a policy that suggests discrimination is acceptable, and equally tragic that 13 MPs have signed the policy. Its discrimination plain and simple.

 

A lawsuit with a happyish ending

When a lesbian couple wanted to walk as a couple in their school’s traditional Snowday Parade, they were told that it was not acceptable, because it might make some of their compatriots uncomfortable.

However you look at the response by Mary Olsen official for the schoolboard, she seems to think it was acceptable to try to sanitize these events, and does not seem to have any problem with repressing lgbtqa expression.

As a result, Desiree and Sarah filed a federal discrimination lawsuit. They were shocked that their school would do this. However in a move for sanity and understanding the lawsuit was resolved by mediation, and the couple were able to walk proudly with the other couples.

The reason i call it happyish, is because its clear that figures involved did not realize what harm they were doing by trying to censor this couple. Hopefully these figures will be more understanding next time an issue of LGBTQA rights.

Thank you for this couple who said do not step on me and stood up for their rights.