Gay Rights, Faith and the Law

As many of you will have noticed, attempts to block the Sexual Orientation Regulations in the House of Lords have failed.

A number of faith groups had objected to the regulations. The rules mean that people who offer paid services to the public cannot refuse people, or discriminate against them, on the grounds of their sexuality.

To quote the BBC report on this:
Critics say the new rules mean hotels cannot refuse to provide rooms for gay couples, and religious groups would be obliged to rent out halls for “gay wedding” receptions.

Is this – as some have reported – about gay rights vs ‘Christian’ rights? Clearly not all Christians feel this way – but the quote below shows how some feel…

Christian Voice – a pressure group – claims in its press release that:
‘The Government and their ‘gay rights’ friends have no right to impose their morality, or lack of it, on the 99% of the population who are not that way inclined. Christians, members of other faiths and indeed of none cannot be forced to act against their conscience by providing services to those whose activities they find perverted, disgusting or simply against the clear, unequivocal word of God.”

Gay Rights Campaigner Peter Tatchell said of faith campaigns against the regulations:
“The Christian fundamentalists who want these exemptions are demanding the right to discriminate against gay people, but they are not campaigning for the right to discriminate against adulterers, unwed mothers, thieves, murderers or rapists. They have a highly selective and overtly homophobic interpretation of Biblical morality.”

Should people be ‘forced’ to offer services to all – or have the right to decline in the manner some seem to wish to?

Is this about rights at all?


jasonrpe says:

I have been waiting for this to be ‘blogged’.

First off, I will make clear I absolutely support the government and the lib dems on this one. To allow businesses- because thats what we are talking about here, not individuals homes – to actively discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation is fundamentally wrong. The important thing here is we are talking about a group of people, long suffering in many cases, finally being afforded rights that quite frankly we should be ashamed they have to be afforded them, and not simply assumed, in the first place.

It seems to be a minority of highly conservative christians who have the biggest problem with this, my message to them would be look deeper into your faith and I think you will find christianity is not anti-gay at all. If they disagree,I would suggest they change their job or career into a different spectrum, and not the public spectrum, because in this FREE country public services are for all, regardless of what colour someone is, what football team they support, whether they like sprouts or if their life partners name is Gilbert or Margeret!

Christian voice’s argument that somebody elses morality is being forced upon them is simply untrue. The act is designed to avoid exactly that – the forcing of one groups morality onto everyone else. This is untrue. no-one is forcing them to operate hotels, no-one if forcing them to work in a public sector, the act is simply making sure those who hold discriminitive viws on a group of people can not discriminate against them in the public sector.

finally – a comment on the below;

‘ …..activities they find perverted, disgusting or simply against the clear, unequivocal word of God.”

Whomever believes this clearly hasnt read the bible properly, because it is anything but the clear unequivocal word of God, and using words like perverted and disgusting is simply shameful. Jesus – the historical man that I have read about – I’m pretty sure, would be ashamed.

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