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Churches to be forced to employ gays

 
Churches and other Christian groups will be forced to employ practising gays, transsexuals and civil partners under the Government’s new Equality Bill.

by
CCFON/Christians Together

(Caveat: Some issues of legislation have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament whilst others have been retained by the Westminster government.)

 


 


SpannerThe Equality Bill aims to sweep all of the existing law on equality into one Act of Parliament and to eliminate more forms of discrimination than are currently covered.

While Christians believe in the innate worth of every human being, the Bill undermines basic Christian freedoms to adhere to biblical values in the area of employment. Churches and other Christian groups will not be able to discriminate on the basis of sexual practice which contravenes biblical values or gender reassignment when employing staff.

Only roles which mainly involve teaching, promoting, or leading worship services will be exempt from the provisions of the Government’s new Equality Bill. Far from simplifying the law which the Equality Bill promised to do. The Bill places even more complex requirements above and beyond those already within the existing law and states in the Explanatory notes to the Bill that “the specific exception applies to a very narrow range of circumstances”.

This means that churches could be sued for not employing practising homosexuals for jobs including a church youth worker, secretary or accountant.

This is made clear in the Explanatory notes that accompany the bill: ‘This exception would not apply to a requirement that a church youth worker of accountant be heterosexual’.

Equalities Minister Maria Eagle has recently addressed a UK conference on Faith, Homophobia, Transphobia and Human Rights and stated that “The circumstances in which religious institutions can practice anything less than full equality are few and far between…”. This sort of so-called equality leads to censorship and discrimination.

Andrea Williams, Director of Christian Concern for our Nation commented, ‘This is a new attempt to impose the State’s secularist agenda on the Church and gag Christians from teaching and living out what the Bible says about sexual ethics. The Government thrust is that Christians should largely be free to follow Christ in private, as long as it doesn’t affect their working life ’.

Recent Christian Legal Centre cases illustrate the point. Kwabena Peat, a Christian teacher spoke out against homosexual propaganda on a school training day and found himself suspended. For more information, click here.

David Booker, working at a homeless charity was also suspended after answering questions from a colleague about his views on homosexuality.

 

Additionally, new or revised legislation covering 'aggravated offences' and 'hate speech' (so-called) whilst protecting the innocent, could also be used to wrongly accuse those with religious views.



CCFON, 22/05/2009

Feedback:
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Editor 22/05/2009 18:33
On another thread Rosemary Cameron said:

---- quote ---------

At the end of March CARE put out an email about the Equal Treatment Directive coming before the EU Parliament.

Quoting from their email -

"Among other things, the Directive introduces a new offence of harassment in relation to religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability or age. Harassment is defined as ‘unwanted conduct which takes place with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.’

Defined in these terms there are major concerns that:

* Christians preaching the gospel to people from other faiths could be found guilty of harassing them.

* Christians defending a biblical approach to sexual relations in the context of monogamous heterosexual marriage could be found guilty of harassing those living in active gay relationships.

* The proposed harassment offence is very illiberal and constitutes a major threat to free speech."

[Rosemary again]
I wrote to Catherine Stihler, Labout MEP for Scotland, expressing my concern, particularly with regard to free speech. Her reply made it quite clear that she supported the directive in its entirety.

She also seemed to be critical of the fact that she had received a number of similar emails on the same topic, leading her to believe that a campaign was being coordinated by the Christian Institute.

In actual fact it was CARE, however that should not have been a barrier to her considering the views of her constituents, given that they had taken the time to write to her.

I found her seemingly antagonistic attitude to a Christian campaign all the more difficult to understand given that she claimed to be a regular attender at a Dunfermline church when she stood (and failed) to be elected to Westminster in the Dunfermline by-election in 2006.

Scotland is regarded as one region for the EU election, the MEPs being selected according to the number of votes their party receives.

EU directives do affect us so I would encourage everyone to find out about the different party policies and vote accordingly.

Many thanks to CARE for highlighting the issues involved and providing a useful website.

--- end quote -------
Rosemary Cameron 22/05/2009 18:59
The equality bill is a real concern. I think we need to pray that this present corrupt government, which seems determined to undermine the rights of christians and churches to live according to scripture, is replaced by a more godly one before this bill can be passed and become law.
Peter Carr 22/05/2009 20:23
There is no need for us to get into a flap, if this becomes law, then the solution is simple - defy the law!!
Helene Macrae 24/05/2009 17:43
greetings siblings..i have read all the bumph as it were and the responses..some of you have been mis-understood for sure..when we read these items we should try to empathise with the writer..not get angry..they are not trying to start an argument..as a baby christian i was taught that we do not argue scripture nor with each other..and sorry peter carr...we can not be a rebellious b.a.c., the 2 don't mix, and defy the law.. thats what those chaps are doing..defying God's law.. so many grreat scriptures have been pointed out in all these sad and desparate pages..i believe our heavenly Father is up to something good if He has allowed this sin to take place in spite of all His children's hearfelt crys to not let this happen.. so keep your minds and hearts open siblings.. again God is on the move..as we draw closer to the end..end times our Father will be moving more and more and will want His army down here to be on the alert..and await His commands to go forth..be alert but most of all be content in all you do for our God that we serve..love you all..helenemac..p.s...keep reading His word to hear what He haas to say to us.daily..hugs hugs..
Peter Carr 24/05/2009 20:45
Sorry Helen, I have to disagree with you when it comes to defying man's law. There are times, and church history is punctuated with examples, of the need to put God's word before human legislation, particularly when obeying men would put us at odds with God.

You are right in saying that the route problem in this situation is that they are defying God's word, prefering men's law instead.

But what I am proposing is just the opposite. If need be we should be prepared to go to jail rather than be at odds with God and His word. You only have to look at the suffereing church throughout the world to see this.
Editor 25/05/2009 17:49
Donald Boyd contributes the following information:

Some more quotations:

The homosexual debate takes place under the claim of securing equal rights. However consider these two online quotations which manifest “selective concern”:

1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/north_east/8049761.stm

14'20 Rev David Randall: “I know from speaking to people, that there are going to be many, many people who will have nothing more to do with the Church of Scotland if we do go along that line.” [to vote in favour of the induction of an openly homosexual minister]
14'30 Rev Ewen Gilchrist: “I am more concerned by the number of people we have hurt generation after generation.”

2. http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S3/committees/equal/reports-08/eor08-03.htm

“In written evidence, Patrick Harvie MSP indicated that he would be “remaining neutral on the inclusion of other categories”, as his intention was to implement a key recommendation of the Working Group on Hate Crime, which covered only sexual orientation, transgender identity and disability.”

In other words, he was concerned about some categories only.

Thank God that true Christians are concerned about everybody.
Fraser 27/05/2009 12:55
Watch the fury unfold when Muslims and their mosques are told to adhere to the Equality Bill.
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