Monday, September 28, 2009

Act now to stand by Christian organisations in your Community

Public Sector ‘Equality Duty’ aims at ‘Culture Change’

Act now to stand by Christian organisations in your Community

Consultation closing date 30 September 2009 (for England)

Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) in the Equality Bill is to be extended to cover age, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, religion or belief, and gender reassignment.

CCFON objects in principle to the PSED extending to sexual orientation, religion or belief and gender reassignment, noting the threat to Christian Groups who will face a stark choice between eliminating the Christian element of their projects or services and being shut down for lack of vital public sector funding.

Under the proposed provisions public bodies such as local authorities, schools and health bodies will be able as part of their core business, to promote equality. As is so often the case, what is presented as tolerance and inclusiveness will in reality have the effect of shutting Christian groups out of publicly funded services.

Alarmingly, the proposals overtly state that the move is aimed at bringing about ‘culture change’.

Religious organisations are already facing local authority funding difficulties due to all- inclusive equality conditions. Charities and religious organisations have had to consider taking “Church” or “Christian” out of their name to facilitate funding. We strongly oppose this and fear these new moves will only serve to deepen the problem.

Christian individuals, schools including faith schools and religious organisations should not be required to promote other religions or sexual orientations contrary to their beliefs.

Promotion is different from not discriminating and showing respect for diversity.

The consultation even proposes a ‘national equality standard’ to reward organisations that tick all the “culture change” Equality Award boxes. It can be assumed that holding this ‘national equality standard’ for suppliers will be a factor determining who receives public funding.

These moves threaten nothing less than the exclusion of Christianity from public services. Please raise your voice against these moves, which will result in a further erosion of our faith in our communities, hitting quality of services, parental choice and putting good Christian service providers out of business.

Please act by the 30 September using the simplified proforma reply on this vital issue.
To see the consultation and how to reply by the 30th of September 2009 click here:

Andrea Minichiello Williams
Christian Concern for our Nation

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