Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Good news from the Lords, for once

Gay rights laws challenge fails (BBC News)

Yay for the House of Lords, for once they're in the news for NOT making a mess of things!

The arguments on the losing side make me cringe, though:

Lord Morrow told peers: "The regulations make it possible for homosexual activists to sue people who disagree with a homosexual lifestyle because of their religious beliefs. "They require religious organisations to choose between obedience to God and obedience to the state."

Well, yes. We do that all the time, if you haven't noticed. We do, for example, when we refuse to allow people to kill people in the name of God. If a faith has a revelation that states they must not pay taxes, would Lord Morrow accept that? Sikhs are enjoined by their religion to carry swords - they don't, though, wearing pins in the shape of a sword, because they chose obedience to the state (in a reasonable and responsible compromise). Why should Christians retain the 'right' to be intolerant of other lifestyles?

I expect that Lord Morrow wants his own faith to be protected from interference by the law, but would not extend similar protection to a religion that offended him. Lord Smith's response seems to be just right, though. Hooray for sensible Christians.

But Labour's Lord Smith said: "I am somewhat puzzled by the arguments that have been advanced.

"It seems to me, in my simplistic way, that what they (the opponents of the regulations) are arguing for is quite simply the right to discriminate and the right to harass.

"And those arguments are being made in the name of Christianity."

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