I don’t often find myself swearing at the TV news – no, actually that’s a lie, and I very often find myself swearing at the TV news, for various reasons – but this story pisses me off even more than usual. Quotes from the employment tribunal who decided that a registrar was unduly discriminated against after she refused to preside over civil partnerships:
The panel said: “Islington Council rightly considered the importance of the right of the gay community not to be discriminated against but did not consider the right of Miss Ladele as a member of a religious group.
“It decided that the service it provided was secular and that the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community must be protected.
“In so acting, Islington Council took no notice of the rights of Miss Ladele by virtue of her orthodox Christian beliefs.”
So, by virtue of this, should I have the right to refuse to interview white/black/Asian/female/male/gay/straight/whatever people for my reporting because an invisible yet all powerful figure whose existence is very far from proven – let’s say I believe in a kind of omnipotent yet strangely prejudiced Care Bear, perhaps – tells me that I should behave that way? Should I bollocks.
It’s another example of the idiotic idea that having faith is in some way virtuous, regardless of what it is you have faith in. What if I had faith that apartheid was a good thing? Or faith in Satan, maybe – should I be allowed to wreak havoc at work in the name of doing his evil deeds? The whole outcome of this case is imbecilic.