David Blackburn

Pope Benedict XVI is correct: the Equality Bill is fundamentally un-British

Pope Benedict XVI is correct: the Equality Bill is fundamentally un-British
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I doubt His Holiness and I would hit it off, but he is right that Harriet Harman’s Equality Bill would impose strictures upon religious communities that run contrary to their beliefs.

The coalescence of British and EU anti-discrimination law is but an immodest garment for trenchant ideology. Harman’s bill strives to subjugate individual freedoms, such as that to religious expression, beneath state-imposed rights. This legislation is the progeny of faith in social engineering, not social mobility; it ignores that toleration and freedom in Britain were derived from the right to religious observance free from state proscriptions.

If enacted, the bill will require organisations to employ without thought to suitability, and allocate resources under the perverse dictates of positive-discrimination. In practice it will conflict with the stupendous fabric of precedents that define rights to individual expression as supreme. Ironically, anti-discrimination measures will be invoked to ensure that religious groups may practice their faith without hindrance. Equality defers to liberty.