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The Contemplations, Rants & Reminiscences of DavidB327

Something Sensational To Read On The Train

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What Price Equality?

There has been much debate over the Equality bill, currently trudging its way through parliament.  Some aspects of the bill has faced, and will continue to face, considerable opposition from the religious bigots in Westminster (such as Lord Tebbit).  In advance of his trip to the UK later this year, the pope has also stuck his oar in:


"The effect of some of the legislation designed to achieve this goal has been to impose unjust limitations on the freedom of religious communities to act in accordance with their beliefs. In some respects it actually violates the natural law upon which the equality of all human beings is grounded and by which it is guaranteed."


I always find it intensely annoying when bigots cite “natural law” as an argument for defending their prejudices.  Even more so, when this is not some nutter banging on the pulpit at some backstreet church, unauthorised by the mainstream church.  This bigot is the head of the Catholic church!


The Equality bill, lest anyone need reminding, is about ensuring ‘equality of opportunity’, and ending the discrimination of religious groups (eg discrimination against homosexuals and transgender people).


The Catholic church would also cite the bible as a reason for discriminating against people whose behaviour is perfectly legal (in this country at least).  Clearly I do not agree with that.  But what about gender identity?  What possible twisted logic could arrive at the conclusion that such discrimination is justified?


Anyone facing discrimination of this kind might feel tempted to consult the EHRC for support.  However as Christie has found (original posting on Christie’s Livejournal), the EHRC is not the most supportive organisation.




Not surprising really.  The EHRC is a Quango (Quasi Autonomous Non Government Organisation).  Most Quangos are there to give the appearance of doing something, rather than actually doing it.  


Hence the government can create an organisation to do “blah blah blah”, and then forget about it.  There are now several hundred of these, many of which will disappear after the general election.  I doubt if many tears will be shed, apart from those of the “fat cats” that run them.  Other Quangos that I have approached over the years (for various reasons) have been unhelpful to put it mildly.  Nevertheless I have my fingers crossed that Christie will eventually get support from the EHRC.  I do occasionally have these bouts of optimism.