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Friday, 6 August 2010

How dare this woman criticise Christian bigotry? Disgusting!

The rabidly homophobic Christian Institute seems to think there’s something wrong in the fact that one of the UK Labour leadership contenders, Diane Abbott, has dared to criticise Lillian Ladele, the Islington registrar who wouldn’t splice gay couples.

Lillian Ladele
This nutty organisation says that Ladele “was bullied at work and disciplined for her religious stance on homosexual civil partnerships”.

No, no, no. Whether she was bullied or not I don’t know, but she was disciplined not for her religious stance on homosexual civil partnerships, but for her stance on homosexual civil partnerships. The stance itself, not the religious stance. The fact that she saw it as a religious stance is neither here nor there; it’s a matter between her and her religion. It’s not important. It makes her refusal to do people’s nuptials no better – in fact, if anything, worse, because she was allowing belief in fairies to come before people’s dignity and equality.

The disciplining of Lillian Ladele was because she wouldn’t do the job she was being paid to do.

Abbott says, “You cannot use religion as an excuse for discrimination.” Giving Ladele the benefit of the doubt and saying she wasn’t using it as an excuse, but that she genuinely acted from a religious standpoint, I’d say that was still no reason for treating gays differently from straights, whether she believed she was acting against the Bible or not. And that is simply because the Bible should not be used as an arbiter in such matters, it being largely a collection of folk tales.

Anyway, as we saw, she lost her case. Bad for her, and she seemed by all accounts to have given good service as a registrar. But the signal has to be sent: religion has no place in the public square. No, I don’t mean we should ban all sight of its manifestations, because that would mean demolishing churches and not having a few angels around at Christmas. By “public square” we mean where it can influence policy, where it can influence people’s actions against other people against the latter’s wishes.
Related links:
Lillian’s ping-pong pantomime of prejudice

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