Thursday, 14 July 2011

The Equality and Human Rights Commission fights against equality

So the overwhelmingly straight, cis dominated Equality and Human Rights Commission has decided that, following such cases of Christian government employees refusing to provide government services to GBLT people, we need to strike a “balance” between the rights of GBLT people and the rights of Christians.

Particularly, this so-called Equalities Commission thinks that Christians are being badly done to by not being allowed to be gatekeepers of government services and being denied the right to subject GBLT people to homophobic prejudice.

In particular, they are eager to intervene in the case of Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar who decides that her religion should dictate which state marriages are formalised or not. They want to intervene in favour of more homophobia.

They also wish to intervene in the case of Gary MacFarlane, a “therapist” who is so homophobic he cannot work with GBLT people. On his behalf – of course. They want to encourage the continued prejudice that has caused so many of us to be so wary of the mental health profession

And I side-eye, I do. Because the very nature of the “rights” being fought for here are so different:

GBLT people “We want the rights to be treated as any other member of society”

Christians: “We want the right to treat you as subhuman non-members of society.”

ECHR: “Well, both are equally valid and we need to find a balance!”

We're not talking Christians being oppressed here. We're talking Christians being denied the right to oppress others. Being prevented from being arseholes does not make you persecuted.

I don't want to have to jump hoops to access government services or go shopping because some Christian has decided to exercise his religious right to try to drive me out of society. I don't want to have to be careful in public because a Christian has decided he needs to exercise his right to scream hatred and death threats at me. Why does a Christian's “right” to arrogantly and bigotedly make my life harder, more painful and generally less happy overwhelm my right to exist as a f

Why do these rights need “balancing”?

For this to come from any government agency would be appalling. To come from the Equalities Commission just shows how devalued our rights are – and how valued homophobia is. Let's be clear here, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission is fighting to INCREASE homophobia and reverse decisions that protect us from bigotry.

That's the very definition of being unfit for purpose.

One thing that may be useful is that, as you may know (actually, you probably don't because they don't exactly broadcast) this org is seeking consultation for how well it's doing and how it should proceed in the future. There's even a nice questionnaire to fill in and send off and more to follow.

I definitely have some consultation for them. I think maybe not championing the causes of bigots and not seeking to destroy anti-homophobia rulings would be a great way to start

Ah well, I can be confident that Lyn Featherstone and Theresa May will rush forward to speak on this, being Equalities Ministers and all.. Right? Oh, wait, I forgot that neither of them give a damn. They're probably cheering.