They’ve already lost a series of court applications, and the resultant appeals, to allow them as Christians to discriminate against same – sex couples. Now, the British Supreme Court agrees: discrimination is not permitted under British law.
(Hazelmary and Peter Bull insist that in their defence that they are not discriminating against same – sex couples, but against all unmarried couples. In British law, however, civil partners are in effect, “married”).
Three British Christians who claimed their religious rights were violated by employers were told by European judges today that they could take their rejected cases no further.
Shirley Chaplin, Gary McFarlane and Lillian Ladele saw their discrimination claims rejected by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg earlier this year.
Mrs Chaplin was switched to a desk job after she refused to take off a crucifix which hung round her neck, while Miss Ladele was disciplined by Islington council for refusing to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.
Mr McFarlane was dismissed from his role with the charity Relate after indicating he might have a conscientious objection to providing therapy to a same-sex couple.
The claimants attempted to take their appeals to the Grand Chamber of the Court but the judges have rejected their request.
Mrs Chaplin’s claims were rejected on the grounds that the removal of her necklace was necessary to protect the health and safety of nurses and patients.
Appeals by Miss Ladele and Mr McFarlane were dismissed on the grounds that disciplinary proceedings against them were justified.
The ruling stated that both Islington council and Relate were bound by duties not to discriminate against their clients and meant they could not support staff who refused to work with homosexual couples.
“It’s unfair that someone who cared so much about her students and her job should lose them on the basis of something she cannot even control,” the petition says. “The school claims its mission is to teach its students about love, acceptance, and tolerance, and yet it did none of this in the way it treated Ms. Hale.”
The U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops says the church believes God created marriage between one man and one woman, providing for the good of the couple and the procreation and education of children. It considers sex between members of the same gender “harmful and always wrong.”
According to a contract between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Columbus and the Central Ohio Association of Catholic Educators, teachers can be terminated for “immorality” or “serious unethical conduct.” Messages left for a diocese spokesman were not immediately returned this morning.
Lindsey Perkins of Dublin, a 2001 Watterson graduate, said Hale is a family friend who taught at the school for 19 years and was fired after a parent complained to the diocese about the obit, which was published in The Dispatch.
Perkins called Hale a “wonderful teacher and amazing role model” whom Watterson should be proud to have on staff.
She said she feels the Catholic Church should be accepting of gay marriage and “focus on the larger issue, which is loving and accepting everyone.”
“It’s just a very poignant time for something like this to happen, and hopefully for people to start realizing that we need to practice acceptance and humility to all people,” she said.
Chile’s president signed an anti-discrimination bill into law on Thursday, motivated in large part by the brutal killing of a gay man who was found beaten to death with swastikas carved into his body.
The law was approved in May after being stuck in Congress for seven years. President Sebastián Piñera had urged lawmakers to speed its approval after the slaying of Daniel Zamudio in March set off a national debate about hate crimes in Chile.
Zamudio was found beaten and mutilated in a city park. The U.N. human rights office had urged Chile to pass legislation against hate crimes and discrimination after the killing.
Without a doubt, Daniel’s death was painful, but it was not in vain.
– Chilean President Sebastián Piñera
Many people in Chile refer to the new measure, which enables people to file anti-discrimination lawsuits and adds hate-crime sentences for violent crimes, as the Zamudio law.
“Without a doubt, Daniel’s death was painful but it was not in vain,” Piñera said at a press conference joined by Zamudio’s parents. “His passing not only unified wills to finally approve this anti-discrimination law but it also helped us examine our conscience and ask ourselves: have we ever discriminated someone? … After his death we’ll think twice, thrice or four times before we fall prey to that behavior.”
Four suspects, some with criminal records for attacks on homosexuals, have been jailed in Zamudio’s killing. Prosecutors are seeking murder charges.
A photo studio’s refusal to photograph a same-sex couple’s commitment ceremony violates the New Mexico Human Rights Act, the Court of Appeals has ruled, rejecting the Albuquerque studio’s argument that doing so would cause it to disobey God and Biblical teachings.
It was the third loss for the studio, and victory for Vanessa Willock.
Willock first contacted photographer Elaine Huguenin of Elane Photography in fall 2006 about taking pictures of a “same-gender ceremony” and was informed the studio only handled “traditional weddings.” When her partner contacted the studio without revealing her sexual orientation, the studio responded with a price list and sent a follow-up email.
The opinion follows a national trend, according to the Pennsylvania law professor who represented Willock on the appeal.
Many gay men and women see the Christian Church as unjust and bigoted towards them. For purposes of this article, I will only consider the situation of the Catholic Church. Just today, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in publishing its notice about Sr. Margaret Farley’s book on sexual ethics, reaffirmed the teaching that: “Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.” It is not difficult to see how gay men and women could find these words hurtful and even demeaning, even though the CDF precedes this bit about “intrinsically disordered” by affirming the fact that the Church also teaches gay men and women “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”
I should like to see the Catholic Church, and the broader Christian community, do more to focus on the teaching about “respect, compassion and sensitivity” and think Melady’s and Cizik’s article does this. It does not ask the Church’s leaders to do something they do not think they could, i.e., change the Church’s teaching. It does not ask the Church to reverse its views on marriage. Instead, the call to oppose unjust discrimination against gays in Uganda asks the Church to do what it can.
The EU has pledged to spend €20 million ($24,660,000 £16,100,000) to help fight discrimination, including against LGBT people, around the world.
EU Commissioner Andris Piebalgs launched the package today (1 June), saying it would fund Non Governmental Organizations and civil society groups to tackle any incidences of discrimination on the ground.
“My religion compels me–and I love it for it–to be against discrimination of any kind in our country, and I consider [the ban on gay marriage] a form of discrimination. I think it’s unconstitutional on top of that. So I think that yesterday was a great day for America because the president in a very personal, as well as presidential way, made history, and hopefully this will bring people together on the issue.