Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Equality and Human Rights Commission is inequitably biased

Published: August 25th, 2011

The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has changed its mind over how it will intervene in the four cases of discrimination against Christians that will be heard in Europe soon.
The change follows a pattern of apparent indecision in recent months.
The EHRC said in July that it would intervene on behalf of Nadia Eweida, Shirley Chaplin, Gary McFarlane and Lillian Ladele in the European Court and would suggest the need for ‘reasonable accommodations’ which “will help employers and others manage how they allow people to manifest their religion or belief.”
It also said that the British courts had got it wrong in these cases, stating in a press release that “Judges have interpreted the law too narrowly in religion or belief discrimination claims” and that the courts had given “insufficient” protection to those manifesting religious beliefs.
The announcement took many by surprise. It was greeted with approval by Christian groups but was strongly criticised by secular and homosexual rights campaign groups.
However, in a subsequent consultation document, the EHRC has said that it will now act to support Chaplin and Eweida (whose cases relate to the right to wear a cross) but will oppose Ladele and McFarlane (whose cases relate to providing certain services to homosexual couples), stating that the “domestic courts came to the correct conclusions” in these two cases.
The turnaround comes after one of the Commissioners, Angela Mason – who was previously chief executive of homosexual rights group Stonewall – revealed in an interview with Pink News that the EHRC would no longer be putting forward the idea of ‘reasonable accommodation’ for Christians.
The Commission is now using a consultation to find out people’s views on whether the idea of reasonable accommodation “would have any practical useful application.”
Nelson Jones of The New Statesman commented: “This, after several weeks of mixed messages and in a rushed consultation with a deadline only three weeks hence, suggests that the ECHR is in almost total disarray on the issue.”
He went on to say: “This latest saga certainly points to a troubled organisation, uncertain of its role, vainly trying to placate contradictory points of view, and bearing the impression of the last pressure group which sat on it.”
The think-tank Civitas recently called for the EHRC to be abolished, saying that it contributed little and costs the tax payer too much money.
Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, responded:
“We are growing used to blunders and backtracking from the EHRC.
“I am not surprised that they have compromised on their intervention for Ladele and McFarlane.
“The Commission has a history of actively promoting homosexual rights where they come into conflict with freedom of religion and conscience. They have previously described Christian moral views as an ‘infection’ that might harm children.
“This is simply the latest example of concessions made to the homosexual lobby.”
New Statesman

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