On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

Commission says courts have been too tough on British Christians

Religion News Service

LONDON — A government-funded watchdog panel said British judges have erred in supporting employers who try to fire Christian workers for wearing crosses or refusing to offer sex counseling to gay couples.

    The Equality and Human Rights Commission said Monday that employers should ease up, saying current interpretations of the law are “insufficient to protect freedom of religion or belief.”

    The commission’s ruling came barely a day after the Church of England’s General Synod called on the British government to give Christians the legal protection to defend themselves against prosecution for faith-based decisions.


    In a string of legal cases in recent years, Christians have faced labor and legal disciplinary action for wearing religious symbols such as crucifixes on the job or refusing services to gay couples because of religious beliefs.

    Philip Giddings, chairman of the Church of England’s public affairs council, told the Synod that government regulations should “take proper cognizance of the points we are making.”

    “We are not making this as a unique claim for Anglicans,” Giddings said. “It applies to everyone.”

    Only seven months ago, the human rights commission had backed a same-sex couple in their suit against a hotel’s Christian owners who had refused to allow them to share a single room.

    In other recent cases, an airline check-in clerk was denied the right to wear a crucifix on her uniform, and a hospital nurse was barred from a ward for insisting that she he allowed to wear her cross.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Chris Vogel

    This is so typical of religious people: either you do what they want or they won’t have anything to do with you, even if they are being paid by the taxpayer. (In fact, they prefer that the powers of the state be used to enforce their beliefs on everyone else.) Still, better than the old days. Modern secular governments do not permit them their traditional response to difference: torture and mass murder.

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