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Cheers - AE

Sunday, 21 March 2010

A reasonably good day for freedom.

On the subject of religion, one lot the government do still take moderately seriously have had a good result this week. Catholic adoption agencies, which predictably have a religious problem with the idea of placing kids with homosexual parents, are more likely to be able to continue this discrimination (let's call it what it is) in future after one of them won an important court case. Hilariously they used a piece of law intended to protect gay charities.
Catholic Care, which serves the dioceses of Leeds, Middlesbrough, and Hallam in South Yorkshire, launched the legal action saying it would have to give up its work finding homes for children if it had to comply with the 2007 Equality Act
The law banned adoption agencies from discriminating against homosexual prospective parents.
Now while I disagree with the charity and with their church they are still entitled to believe what they want, including that a 13 billion year old invisible being in the sky says he'll roast for eternity anyone indulging who has a preference for sapphic satisfaction or man love. For gay people to approach an adoption agency that is clearly going to have a religious objection to them is like me going into a Vegan restaurant and trying to order steak tartare with the horns left on - there are plenty of places where I can order meat so why even trouble one that doesn't want to serve meat (and possibly meat eaters) unless I'm doing it just to be awkward? So while I don't take the Catholic faith any more seriously than any other religion I was on their side. That their victory is apparently due to a legislative own goal on the part of the self righteous equality obsessed wankers who drafted the law is icing on the cake.
The adoption agency claimed that a clause of the legislation – Regulation 18 – should permit charities to continue to refuse gay couples if the stated aim of the charity was to provide services to people of a particular sexual orientation. The loophole was inserted to ensure that gay charities could not be sued for discrimination by heterosexual couples.
Let's just read that again, because it's fucking delicious.
The loophole was inserted to ensure that gay charities could not be sued for discrimination by heterosexual couples.
So far from being about equality there was a clause that was written to allow gay charities to discriminate against us heteros. Fucking charming, I don't think. How appropriate that Catholic Care's lawyers spotted the opportunity to turn it on its head.

Still, lets not imagine that anything but a minor skirmish has been won here. This is about freedom - freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association... all of which can add up to freedom to discriminate. Whether it's in favour of this group or against that group is irrelevant and arguably the same thing anyway, and yes it may mean people holding opinions and beliefs the rest of us find unpalatable or offensive. But the alternative is far worse because it's nothing less than Thought Crime.
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