Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Do gay people feel discriminated against?

The reason why I ask is all the heat, and it seems to me, very little light over whether the Catholic Church ought to have an opt out of "anti discrimination" regulations due to come into force.

The Catholic Church argues it should have an exemption for its adoption services, whilst it seems that many in Labour think there should not be one.

Not being gay I can't see what all the fuss is about. Do gay people feel they can't get access to services because they are discriminated against? If so, how and where?

If the Catholic Church does get an exemption that does not mean that gay people can't adopt, what it does mean is that they will have to go to another agency. Is that a big problem?

Is society big enough to have people of diverging views on what is and is not moral?

The BBC has this here.


Daniel Cowdrill said...

"Is society big enough to have people of diverging views on what is and is not moral?"

Yes. But I'm afraid that when a discrimination law passes through Parliament, it undermines the whole point if interest groups are allowed to opt out. The point is not that Gay couples have other agencies they can go to, but that they should not be discriminated against, period. If the Church has a problem with disrimination laws, debated and passed by a democratic forum remember, then they should not put themselves in a position where they might find themselves in prison.

We have a piece on this at www.bucf.wordpress.com

Benedict White said...

Daniel I have read and indeed commented on that article.

Firstly I doubt if a Conservative government would have passed such a law, secondly I doubt (but I may be wrong) that most gay people care what Catholic adoption agencies do or don't do.

In many ways it seems to me something "activists" have got worked up about.

Do gay people feel discriminated against? It is a fair question. The law apparently makes it ilegal to discriminate on religious grounds also, but I don't feel descriminated against.

Further more, the Catholic Church will comply with the law, but not in the way the government or rather the activists behind this legislation want.

Daniel Cowdrill said...

oops. I have to say I'm not an activist. It just seems to me that in some areas gay people are not protected from discrimination. If a catholic gay couple for example, went to a catholic adoption agency, as they are entitiled to do so, their sexual orientation should not be used to discriminate against them. Under the new legislation this is what will happen, and the Church should not be allowed to opt out. I just simply find it hard to believe that the Church can still demand changes in the law to suit themselves. My response would be, just don't provide the service if you don't think you can do it without discriminating.

Benedict White said...

Daniel, Firstly all sorts of people demand changes in the law.

Where do you think this one came from? Did some one suddenly think "I know, I'll change the law in this area today, after all it's a bit quiet in parliament."

Then there is the consultation process in which all sorts of people demand modifications in the law for various reasons.

Thirdly gay Catholic couples will not be able to go to a Catholic agency under these rules, because they will close or get private funding in which case they can discriminate under these laws anyway.

So it does nto achieve the desired result.

Can I ask (not that it is any of my business) are you gay? If so do you feel discriminated against?

Daniel Cowdrill said...

1. They certainly shouldn't get the change in the law.

2. It is a possible consequence that catholic agencies will close. If they feel they can't abide to the new discrimination laws. But this doesn't mean they should be exempt.

3. If this legislation only includes publicly funded agencies, then in line with my previous arguments, perhaps it should be extended.

4. I'm an atheist - and I fail to see why the Church should be exempt from discriminating against gay people, if indeed that legislation has been passed by a democratic forum.

5. I'm not entirely sure about my own sexulity - sorry for the lack of clarity there. Although my argument is a logical one, not emotional.

Benedict White said...

Daniel, 1. There certainly shouldn't be a change in the law. What from the current status where they can, or to the new proposed law? Which ever way you look at it activists have lobbied to get what they want.

2. Well, it does not provide a possitive solution it provides a negative removal of apparently a good service.

3. I see. You would like the law to go further?

4. Well as an atheist you seem to be ignoring people of belief systems other than your own. We are surely all entitled to our own belief system?

5 Fair enough.

Lastly I see your comment about argiung from a logical point of view. As there have been no studies carried out, we do not know whether this blanet policy will be good or bad for children.

Also I see your position as more ideological. The problem with ideology is it is best suited to an ideal world. This one isn't ideal. What is needed is to look at this from a pragmatic viewpoint, which is what being a Conservative is all about.

Daniel Cowdrill said...

No. The legislation as a whole is practial, not ideological, as far as I am concerned. You implement anti-discrimination laws to protect people from being openly discriminated against. To me it appears quite logical that if you pass anti-discrimination laws they apply to all. This is quite a practical move and it is quite logical that everyone should be treated equally before it. This is my Conservative view.

Benedict White said...

Sorry Daniel, but how big a problem is it realy?

Is it practical? What ill is it trying to solve? Apparently people are not allowed to put up signs in guest houses saying "no catholics here".

Frankely I find that unhelpful, for me it is useful to know who the bigots are.

Secondly it will involve some service providers not providng a service. Practicaly speaking that is not good.

Faith organisations are a very important part of this country in the provision of services. They do useful work. However because they are faith organisations they hold views that some others may not agree with, but then so does everybody.