Monday, 5 April 2010

No room at the Inn

There is a thing going around inviting people to tell Boy Dave what they think he should do about the question of what appears to be the personal opinion of one of his Shadow Ministers regarding homosexuals and boarding houses. I copy it here so all know what it invites - no link for reasons I hope will become clear.
Allowing certain business-owners to discriminate based on sexual orientations opens the door to discrimination based on religion, race, country of origin and anything else.
It seems it stems from a situation some while back when the owner of a B & B denied accommodation to a couple of homosexuals. He based his objections upon an abhorrence of their life style. The same set of circumstances were repeated
A gay couple were turned away from a Berkshire guest house by the owner who said it was "against her convictions" for two men to share a bed. Michael Black and John Morgan, from Brampton, Cambridgeshire, had booked a double room at the Swiss B&B, Terry's Lane, in Cookham, for Friday night. When they arrived Susanne Wilkinson refused to let them stay.

She admitted she did turn the couple away because it was against her policy to accommodate same sex couples. The couple have now reported the matter to Thames Valley Police.

Under the Equality Act 2006 it is illegal to discriminate against people on the grounds of sexual orientation."
So, here we have a woman who objects on the basis of her religious beliefs. For the purposes of these scribblings, let us assume that this is a totally genuine reason and not used as a cover for plain old outright homophobia. What is, therefore, being sought is support for the position that she must be denied her Christian values and beliefs. Is that in itself not just some other form of discrimination? Mrs Wilkinson herself has been reported as saying “We are Christians and we believe our rights don’t have to be subordinated. We have religious freedom and we are not judging that but we are not prepared to have that sort of activity under our roof,” he said. “These people are very organised and we have already been inundated with abusive calls and emails. It is really sad that people act like that.”

The local police say that similar matters are normally dealt with a civil matters. Could it be, I wonder, that she was targeted by those keen to advance their own homosexual beliefs?

I have no publishable opinions regarding homosexuals - that comes under my personal attitude of reverse apartheid where I keep myself away from things I cannot bar coming to me. However, I just wonder why we ever got into such a wide application of legislation banning discrimination.

The Human Rights Act of 1998
gave protection at Article 9 under "Freedom of thought, conscience and religion"
1 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2 Freedom to manifest one's religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."
That seems quite clear to me. I accept that me sticking to 'my rights' may conflict with you enjoying 'your rights' but such situations arise in everyday transactions and events. That is possibly why 'such matters' are normally the subject of civil court remedy where the judgement of a independent and learned third party will prevail. So, why did we give homosexuals absolution from being judged on what is otherwise the law of the land? I do not know. Certainly, there has been considerable publicity seeking acceptance of them and their beliefs. But why should that belief over-ride religious beliefs truly held? We have recently had the opinion of the Leader of the Church of England regarding paedophilia in another religion and it would be reasonable to assume that that same attitude would apply to what the accepted Book of Rules/Bible says regarding homosexual conduct.

Of course, now that the matter has been brought into the three ring circus of pre-election madness, all reasonable comment will be lost in a stream of point-scoring. It stems from an overheard remark so presumably the author was not intending it for a public statement as to how he might act if put into a position of power. And, what if he did? He cannot issue edicts. The requirement for Bills being made law requires action by Government as a whole. The Labour concerns at the freedom of action the guy might have maybe reflects the way they are accustomed to operate? Perhaps. What seems to be being advocated is that none should act in accordance with their beliefs and conscience but become slave to the exact compliance with the law.

If there be any who have got this far and wish to see more opinions firmly stated, I would recommend they have a read of these comments on a Holy Joe site.

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