Tuesday, 9 January 2007

Anti-Freedom Demo Today Outside Parliament

Tonight, in the House of Lords, there will be a debate on whether a Humble Address should be presented to Her Majesty praying "that the regulations laid before the House be annulled". The regulations in question are the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2006 which were introduced on 01 January.

The purpose of Regulations is to make discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation unlawful in the provision of goods, facilities and services, education and public functions in relation to Northern Ireland. Similar regulations are under consideration for England, Wales and Scotland, but these have not yet been finalised. They are due for April this year.

Christians, Muslims and Jews will demonstrate outside Parliament today against new regulations whicht they claim will force them to "actively condone and promote" gay sex.

A petition signed by 10,000 Christians will also be handed to the Queen asking her to use her "position and power" to stop the Government introducing the laws.

The Christian Institute has also started a Judicial Review against the Regulations on the grounds that the consultation period was not long enough. The government however received one of the largest number of responses for that type of document ever.

The torch-lit rally, due to be attended by Christians, Jews and Muslims, is to be held in Old Palace Yard, opposite the St Stephen's entrance to the House of Lords, from 1730 GMT to 2000 GMT.

It is due to start when the Lords debate the motion. (Faith rally over gay rights bill, BBC News)

Unfortunately, there is no word anywhere of a counter demonstration but I think I will try and go, just in case... If you believe in true freedom, join me there!

It is important to remember that the regulations already include doctrinal exemption for churches meaning that they can discriminate in the provision of their "religious services". This is, I think perfectly acceptable. What is not however is for them to want to discriminate whenever they want.

Audio files:
* Interview of Maurice (Lord) Morrow, who is challenging of the regulations at the House of Lords today on Radio 4's Today Programme this morning. (3.38 min, 3.33Mb, mp3 file)
* Interview of former Tory lord chancellor Lord Mackay of Clashfern and Labour MP Angela Eagle on Radio 4's Today Programme this morning. (9.05 min, 8.32Mb, mp3 file) - Read a summary of the interviews.

Related Articles Today:
* Christians and Muslims gear up for their big night out - Pink News
* Religions united in opposition to gay rights law, Jonathan Petre - The Telegraph
* Homophobia, not injustice, is what really fires the faiths, Polly Toynbee - The Guardian
* Should religious beliefs bow to gay rights?, James (Lord) Mackay - The Telegraph

Previous Posts:
* Sexual Orientation Regulations, Letter To Ruth Kelly
* Sexual Orientation Regulations, The Saga Continues
* Anti-Gay Christians Strike Again - Part 2
* Anti-Gay Christians Strike Again

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