Equality and human rights through the looking-glass

Rights? Pshaw. The clerics will tell you what rights you can have, thank you. And the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission will help them out. Yes, you read that correctly.

After supporting several gay equality cases, the EHRC now believes the rights of religious people are not being upheld…

To rectify this supposed shortfall in religious protection, the EHRC will now push for a new legal principle of “reasonable accommodations” so that believers can negotiate the boundaries of their contract with employers.

Which means…? That believers can refuse to do their jobs if their religious beliefs tell them to.

There is the case of Lillian Ladele, the Christian registrar who refused to perform civil partnerships and so was disciplined. And that of Gary McFarlane, the Christian relationship counsellor who was sacked for refusing to counsel gay couples. The EHRC has decided to back these people in the name of “reasonable” compromise.

“Compromise” as in allowing people to refuse to do their jobs if doing them involves providing a service to people they think are oooooooky on religious grounds. That’s not compromise. Would the EHRC back Hindu people who refused to provide a service to dalits? Would they back doctors and dentists who refused to provide a service to menstruating women?

Maybe they would.

When one group refuses to fulfil its job description because it disapproves of another group, there is no middle ground, no give and take. Those responsible for judging the behaviour have to back one or the other. This is the roulette of human rights. You can’t put your chips on the black and the red.The EHRC is not even trying to do so – it has switched colours, and what an extraordinary switch that is. To refuse to work with gay people is ipso facto discrimination, however you attempt to justify it. Yet now the commission will champion the discriminators.

He’s not making it up, either – you can read it for yourself.

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