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Jesus Bible verse banned by school in Nazareth, USA

April 21st, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

Valentine’s Day cards after he included a famous Bible verse, an American religious liberty organisation has said.

The boy and his parents prepared cards with John 3:16 and a message telling pupils how much God loves them.

The headteacher, however, banned the cards from being distributed, claiming the note sought to establish religious “supremacy”.

The issue has been taken up by Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), and it is suing the school district.

Matt Sharp, a lawyer for ADF, said: “Public schools ought to encourage, not suppress, the free exchange of ideas, including those communicated through Valentine’s Day cards.

“A Bible verse and a reference to God does not make such a card unconstitutional”.

Read here


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Christian nursery worker claims unfair dismissal over dispute with gay colleague

April 20th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Religious Liberty Comments Off

From The Guardian

A Christian nursery nurse is claiming unfair dismissal after losing her job because she said she told a gay colleague the Bible regards the practice of homosexuality as a sin.

Sarah Mbuyi said she made the comments only after being pressed on her beliefs by a colleague who initiated the conversation at Newpark Childcare in Highbury, north London, in January.

Mbuyi is being supported in her case by the Christian Legal Centre, whose chief executive, Andrea Williams, said the government had "seriously let down" Christians and criticised David Cameron for attempting to "mould Christianity to his political agenda".

Mbuyi, who is claiming unfair dismissal on grounds of religious discrimination, said: "When I said 'No, God does not condone the practice of homosexuality, but does love you and says you should come to Him as you are', [her colleague] became emotional and went off to report me to my manager."

At an internal disciplinary hearing, she said, she was confronted with her colleague's allegations, which included the claim that she herself had raised the issue of homosexuality on a number of occasions, which she denies. The nursery directors instantly dismissed her for gross misconduct.

"My disciplinary hearing was hopelessly one-sided because they put my accuser's claims to me as fact, without any forewarning and so I wasn't prepared. It seemed to me they had already made up their minds to justify sacking me, before hearing my side of the story, " Mbuyi said.

Read here

Read also:  Christian nursery nurse sacked for saying marriage is between a man and a woman from Christian Concern

Christian nursery worker 'sacked after refusing to read gay stories to children' by Edward Malnick, Telegraph

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True marriage supporters ‘not welcome’ in New York: councilman

April 18th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Religious Liberty, Thought Crime Comments Off

Councilman Daniel DrommBy Catherine Briggs, LifeSite News

A New York City councilman has effectively told traditional marriage supporters they are “not welcome” in the Big Apple.

In response to Chick-fil-A’s proposed plans to expand their business and set up restaurants in several locations, including New York City, Councilman Daniel Dromm told the Huffington Post that the fast-food chain would not be welcome in the most populous city in the country.

“We don’t need bigots coming to New York City,” Dromm told HuffPost. “They are not welcome here unless they can embrace all of New York’s diverse community, including the LGBT community.”

Chick-fil-A made national headlines in 2012 when CEO Dan Cathy voiced his belief in traditional marriage. His remarks sparked scathing reactions from pro-homosexual politicians and the homosexual lobby.
 
Despite the onslaught of pro-homosexuality antagonism, the fast-food chain received an even larger outpouring of support after the incident, including a nation-wide “Chick-fil-A Day,” during which the restaurant made record-breaking sales.
 
Cathy has recently said he wishes to expand the company and consequently not be so vocal about his personal opinions.
 
This pledge of silence, however, does not placate Councilman Dromm’s desire to keep traditional marriage supporters out of New York City.
 
“We don’t need bigoted people even keeping their opinions to themselves,” Dromm said. “They need to wake up and see reality.”
 
Read here
 
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Organic Grocery Store in Portland, Oregon, Gets the Brendan Eich Treatment

April 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Freedom Of Speech, Gay Activism, Religious Liberty, Thought Crime Comments Off

By Elizabeth Nolan Brown, Reason.com

When is a purveyor of locally sourced produce and free-range organic meat not welcome in Portland? When it's owned by individuals who don't support marriage equality. So this is really a thing we're doing now, huh folks?

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich's resignation has dominated online discourse for the last week or so. Eich was hit with an onslaught of public disapprobation after being outed by dating site OK Cupid as a supporter of California's now moot same sex marriage ban.
 
The situation in Portland is interesting because it captures a lot of the same sides and themes as the Eich story on a much smaller scale. Here's some background, from The Oregonian:
Facebook and other social media sites have exploded over a soon-to-open fresh meat and vegetable store called Moreland Farmers Pantry. Neighbors and nearby business owners, once excited by the prospect of the new shop, are now backing away.
 
"They’re choosing to open a business in a very open-minded neighborhood," said Tom Brown, owner of Brown Properties and president of the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance. "I think their personal views are going to hurt."
There's something beautiful about a man unironically pointing to a community's open-mindedness by way of explaining its commitment to shun those with different viewpoints. Another neighbor called the store's owner naive for thinking someone who doesn't believe in same sex marriage would be able to sell free-range eggs in such a tolerant neighborhood.
 
Read here
 
Rod Dreher fleshes out What Monster Mormon Chauncy Childs Said in The American Thinker, and updates on the persecution of the Portland restaurateur who believes in same-sex marriage but who publicly criticized the boycott of the Chauncy Childs store in a further article, Portlandia Sharia: The Purge Widens
 
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The Most Influential Essay You’ve Never Heard Of

April 13th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Joe Carter, Canon and Culture

“When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”
 
This frequently cited quote is often misattributed to John Maynard Keynes or Winston Churchill. But since no one knows the originator, I’ll claim it as my own. Sometimes when the facts change, I change my mind. Such is the case with this article.
 
This is not the article I set out to write. The facts – or at least my recollection of the facts – changed and I had to change with them. My original thesis was that several years ago LGBQT activists gave assurances that their agenda did not have to conflict with religious liberty rights and that they rejected any claims that opposing homosexual rights was akin to racial discrimination. I thought they too had once claimed, as law scholar Doug Kmiec said nine years ago, that it was “inconceivable” that “a successful analogy will be drawn in the public mind between irrational, and morally repugnant, racial discrimination and the rational, and at least morally debatable, differentiation of traditional and same-sex marriage.”
 
I had thought the claims that those who opposed homosexual behavior were “bigots” and “essentially arguing for homosexual Jim Crow laws” was a recent change in radical rhetoric. But I was wrong.
 
For several weeks I searched to find a single prominent LGBQT activist who supported religious conscience exemptions for individuals. I could not find a single one. The closest I could find was the view expressed by Chai Feldblum, an LGBT rights activist and current Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 2006, Feldblum said:
 
Read here
 
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Take the #NoZilla pledge and #DumpFirefox

April 11th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Petitions, Religious Liberty Comments Off

Read pledge and sign petition here

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Canadian economist never knew he would become centre of a U.S. firestorm over his research on same-sex parenting

April 10th, 2014 Jill Posted in Children/Family, Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Tristin Hopper, National Post

In a Detroit courtroom this month, a British Columbia economist was called to the stand to help build the State of Michigan’s case that overturning its ban on gay marriage would be a mistake.

For four and a half hours, Douglas Allen was grilled by prosecuting attorneys on his small body of research on same sex parenting. Specifically, he was there to defend a trio of statistical studies purporting to show that same sex parenting does not compare to its heterosexual equivalent.

Then, in the final 30 seconds of the cross-examination, attorney Ken Mogill threw Mr. Allen an unexpected theological question: “Is it accurate that you believe the consequence in engaging in homosexual acts is a separation from God and eternal damnation from God?”

In an answer that would soon be called a “bombshell” by Detroit media, an off-guard Mr. Allen replied “without repentance, yes.”

Within days, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman effectively legalized Michigan gay marriage, and ruled that Mr. Allen’s research represented a “fringe viewpoint.”

Within hours of that, four Michigan counties had begun handing out marriage licences to same sex couples.

Read here

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Group Starts #OpenZilla Campaign to Ensure ‘Tolerance’ Extends to Christian Employees at Mozilla

April 9th, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Katherine Weber, Christian Post

Faith Driven Consumer launched an #OpenZilla campaign in response to the recent resignation of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich whose support for California's Proposition 8 in 2008 caused uproar. The #OpenZilla campaign seeks to ensure the software company expresses inclusiveness and respect toward its religious employees who may oppose same-sex marriage.
Faith Driven Consumer, a group that seeks to connect Christian consumers with faith-compatible companies, has requested the Silicon Valley-based software company provide clarification on its diversity policy to ensure employees will not be discriminated against for their religious beliefs. Recently, Eich resigned from his newly-appointed post as CEO of Mozilla, known for its Firefox web browser, after it was revealed that he donated $1,000 to California's Proposition 8 in 2008.
The Christian-consumer group said the purpose of its #OpenZilla campaign is "to encourage a company famous for open source solutions and inclusiveness to extend openness, tolerance, and respect to those who hold a biblically-based view of marriage."
 
"While the firestorm surrounding Mozilla's recent actions has focused largely on the company's former CEO, we remain deeply concerned about faith-driven employees at the company as well as those who may apply to work there," Chris Stone, a certified brand strategist and founder of Faith Driven Consumer, said in a statement.
"In the short-term, we are concerned about the rights of employees to continue to hold to their personal biblical views on marriage without being discriminated against or bullied. In the long-term, we are troubled by LGBT advocates who are calling for a 'glass ceiling' for faith-driven employees, suggesting that companies may hire such people but should not allow these employees to assume leadership roles if they hold a biblical view of marriage."
 
Read here
 
Sign up to #OpenZilla here
 
Sign the #NoZilla pledge here
 
Kevin Kallsen and George Conger discuss this 'thought crime' in this week's Anglican Unscripted (16.30 minutes in)
 
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Elane Photography Case Shows Why We Must Fight Against Government Coercion

April 8th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Ryan T Anderson, The Foundry

Today, the Supreme Court declined to review Elane Photography v. Willock—the famous case involving a photographer who politely declined to tell the story of a same-sex commitment ceremony. While neither affirming nor rejecting the lower court’s ruling, the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari means a New Mexico Supreme Court decision against the Huegenins’ right to free expression will stand.
Jordan Lorence, senior legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is representing the Huguenins, explains:
“It is important to note that the Supreme Court did not ‘uphold’ the repressive decision of the New Mexico Supreme Court but merely decided not to hear the case. We don’t know why, but this is not an affirmance of the lower court opinion. The high court’s decision today sets no legal precedent. There are other cases now in the pipeline and probably more to follow that will likely reach the Supreme Court.”
What was the case all about? The Huguenins run Elane Photography, a small business in Albuquerque, N.M. In 2006, the couple declined a request to photograph a same-sex commitment ceremony because, as Elaine explains, “the message a same-sex commitment ceremony communicates is not one I believe.”
 
Elane Photography didn’t refuse to take pictures of gay and lesbian individuals, but it did decline to photograph a ceremony that ran counter to the owners’ belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman (an understanding of marriage that New Mexico law upholds). Other photographers in the Albuquerque area were more than happy to photograph the event.
 
Read here
 
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Christian Demonstrations Violently Attacked by Left Wing Radicals in Baden-Württemberg and Cologne

April 4th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

From Intolerance against Christians EU

March 2014: A new governmental sex ed curriculum of Baden-Württemberg has caused outrage among Christian parents. Several manifestions suffered serious attacks by left wing activists which were later identified as LGBT activists. Eyewitnesses reported in shock to the Observatory.
 
Eyewitnesses told the Observatory: Christian parents were shouted at with obscenities. They were spit at, eggs were thrown and little bags with feces or color. Cables of loud speakers were torn out. Pages were ripped out of the bible and used to wipe backsides, then formed into a ball and thrown at the parents. Christians were deeply hurt in this process. At least one banner was snatched from and destroyed in front of the eyes of the parents. Marshals were target with pepper sprays. Shouting by counter-demonstrator made the planned public speaking partly impossible.
Many parents reported to have been shocked at the amount of the hatred and at the inactivity of the police, and that their religious feelings were severely hurt.
 
 
 
 
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Support Free Speech for Mozilla CEO

April 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Freedom Of Speech, Petitions, Religious Liberty Comments Off

Brendan Eich, the CEO of Mozilla, which created and maintains the Firefox web browser, is under fire for having donated $1000 to Proposition 8 in California. Prop 8 was against changing marriage to make homosexual unions equal to heterosexual unions.

Among many protests against Brendan's 'politics', the dating site okCupid is blocking visitors to its site using Firefox and asking them to ditch the Mozilla browser as a way of punishing Mozilla and Brandon for his views.

The champions of tolerance once again have turned into bullies to harass and punish all who disagree with their opinions.

okCupid claims that 8% of their customers are gay. Well, 52% of California voters supported Prop. 8.

Sign our petition in support of the free speech and conscience rights of the Mozilla CEO and everyone's right to free political action free of harm and harassment.

Read and sign petition here (Non-US residents can use the 'No State' option at the top of the drop-down list)

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Let everyone think what he likes and say what he thinks

April 2nd, 2014 Jill Posted in Freedom Of Speech, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Brendan O'Neill, Free Speech Now!

Every man should think what he likes and say what he thinks.’ It is 350 years since Spinoza, the great Dutchman of the Enlightenment, wrote those simple but profound words. And yet every man (and woman) is still not at liberty to think what he or she likes, far less say it. It is for this reason that, today, spiked is kicking off a transatlantic liberty-loving online magazine and real-world campaign called Free Speech Now! – to put the case for unfettered freedom of thought and speech; to carry the Spinoza spirit into the modern age; to make the case anew for allowing everyone to say what he thinks, as honestly and frankly as he likes.

It is true that, unlike in Spinoza’s day, no one in the twenty-first century is dragged to ‘the scaffold’ and ‘put to death’ for saying out loud what lurks in his heart – at least not in the Western world. But right now, right here, in the apparently democratic West, people are being arrested, fined, shamed, censored, cut off, cast out of polite society, and even jailed for the supposed crime of thinking what they like and saying what they think. You might not be hanged by the neck anymore for speaking your mind, but you do risk being hung out to dry, by coppers, the courts, censorious Twittermobs and other self-elected guardians of the allegedly right way of thinking and correct way of speaking.

Ours is an age in which a pastor, in Sweden, can be sentenced to a month in jail for preaching to his own flock in his own church that homosexuality is a sin. In which British football fans can be arrested for referring to themselves as Yids. In which those who too stingingly criticise the Islamic ritual slaughter of animals can be convicted of committing a hate crime. In which Britain’s leading liberal writers and arts people can, sans shame, put their names to a letter calling for state regulation of the press, the very scourge their cultural forebears risked their heads fighting against. In which students in both Britain and America have become bizarrely ban-happy, censoring songs, newspapers and speakers that rile their minds. In which offence-taking has become the central organising principle of much of the political sphere, nurturing virtual gangs of the ostentatiously outraged who have successfully purged from public life articles, adverts and arguments that upset them – a modern-day version of what Spinoza called ‘quarrelsome mobs’, the ‘real disturbers of the peace’.

Read here


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Why won’t church leaders fight for Christian values?

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Archbishop Of Canterbury, Christianity, Islam, Religious Liberty Comments Off

by Leo McKinstry, Daily Express

Anglican leaders spout dreary Left-wing pieties that pass for socialist thought, whether on Europe, immigration, or welfare.

Yet this establishment, so eager to parade its progressive credentials, is utterly craven towards militant Islam, which represents a growing threat to Christian and liberal values here and abroad.

[...]  There is a crisis facing the world’s Christians as a result of mounting persecution by Muslim hardliners.

Yet the Anglican Church prefers to show solidarity with environmentalists in pursuit of a green agenda rather than with its co-religionists in defence of their faith and lives.

On the day Williams’s article appeared it was reported from Pakistan that Christian Sawan Masih has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammed during a conversation with a Muslim friend.

When the accusation was first made against Masih about 3,000 protesters set fire to Christian homes and churches in his native city of Lahore.

This is the terrifying reality of life for Christians in much of Asia and Africa, though you would hardly know it from the muteness of our established church.

Again in Pakistan, Christian Asia Bibi has been on death row since 2010 after her conviction for blasphemy.

Two Pakistani politicians who dared to speak up for her have been assassinated while her family has gone into hiding. It is the same grim pattern elsewhere.

In Nigeria at least 119 people were killed in three Christian villages by Muslims armed with guns and machetes.

In Kenya gunmen stormed a Christian church, shouting “Allah is great” as they killed seven worshippers.

We in Britain have experienced nothing like that kind of violence but disturbingly Muslim zealots are gaining in confidence, particularly as they perceive the failure of society to defend our traditional values of tolerance and equality.

Read here

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Christian street preacher held in 19-hour custody wins police compensation

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty Comments Off

From The Christian Institute

Police who wrongfully arrested Christian street preacher John Craven and detained him in custody for over 19 hours, have settled the claim for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment and breach of his human rights.

Mr Craven preached on John 3:16. He then stopped preaching when two homosexual teenagers asked him what he thought of gays. He replied by saying that what he thought didn’t matter – what mattered was what God thought. He then quoted from the Bible.

The youths responded by kissing in front of him and taunting him with crude and suggestive gestures.

The police then arrested Mr Craven and placed him in custody, denying him food, water and access to medication for his rheumatoid arthritis for almost 15 hours.

Through our Legal Defence Fund we were able to support Mr Craven’s claim and we are delighted that Mr Craven will now receive £13,000 in compensation plus legal costs from Greater Manchester Police.

Read here


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Caterers who refuse to work on same-sex weddings face prosecution

March 31st, 2014 Jill Posted in Civil Liberty, Gay Marriage, Religious Liberty Comments Off

By Alice Philipson, Telegraph

Chauffeurs, photographers and caterers could have to pay thousands of pounds in damages if they refuse to provide services to a same-sex wedding

Chauffeurs, photographers and caterers will break the law if they do not provide services to same-sex couples getting married on conscience grounds, the government's equality watchdog has said.

In accordance with new rules introduced yesterday, businesses such as florists, hoteliers and wedding planners could have to pay thousands of pounds in damages to same-sex couples if they refuse to work on a gay wedding.

The guidance, drawn up by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and civil servants, makes it clear that "refusal to provide services to customers" is in breach of equality laws and all weddings must be catered for on an equal basis.

Churches, religious organisations and other groups opposed to same-sex marriage could be denied contracts with publicly funded bodies such as schools, hospitals and prisons, according to The Sunday Times.

Under the new rules, they could lose contracts or be refused grants for any service where their opinion on same-sex marriage cold be "relevant", such as marriage guidance counselling or during the process of adoption or fostering children.

Read here


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Pro-gay anti-discrimination laws will one day ban teaching Christianity

March 28th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Religious Liberty Comments Off

Famed Irish singer, politician, and pro-life leader Dana Rosemary Scallon warns that Christians in the West could soon be banned from teaching their faith because of the tightening grip of pro-homosexual anti-discrimination laws.

Read here

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“I’m stunned and horrified” – North Korean Christian tells MPs of their persecution

March 26th, 2014 Jill Posted in Persecuted church, Religious Liberty Comments Off

Baroness Warsiby Gillan Scott, God and Politics in the UK

Yesterday the Minister for Faith & Communities, Baroness Warsi chaired the first meeting of the Foreign Office group on Freedom of Religion or Belief. According to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website, the group, which includes Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Joel Edwards, the International Director Micah Challenge, is intended to advise FCO Ministers and staff on promoting and protecting the right to freedom of religion or belief worldwide. Referring to the meeting, Baroness Warsi gave this quote:

“Freedom of religion or belief is a personal priority for me. Across the world, people are being singled out and hounded out simply for the faith they follow or the beliefs they hold. The persecution of people because of their faith or belief has, I believe, become a global crisis. I want to make sure we have the best advice available. This is why we have set up this new Advisory Group, made up of real experts in the field, and of those who are working every day in practical ways to defend the right to freedom of religion or belief. I look forward to working with them as we seek to move towards a world where no-one is persecuted for what they believe.”
 
The establishment of this group is a welcome sign that after years of waiting and lobbying by (mainly Christian) organisations, the Government is continuing to slowly wake up to the need to address the crisis of persecution that affects millions of people around the world simply because of the beliefs they hold. Much of the credit for this group coming into existence needs to be attributed to the tireless work of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Barnabas Fund, Open Doors and others for continually raising the plight of so many.
 
Read here
 
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Christian beliefs should be ‘accommodated’ under law – top judge

March 20th, 2014 Jill Posted in Religious Liberty Comments Off

By John Bingham, Telegraph

Supreme Court deputy president Lady Hale calls for ‘accommodation’ for faith under the law as she warns Britain ‘less respectful’ of religious belief than some other countries

Christians with traditional beliefs about issues such as homosexuality should be given “reasonable accommodation” in law, Britain’s most senior woman judge has said.

Lady Hale, deputy president of the Supreme Court, said the UK is “less respectful” towards people with religious views than other countries, despite its long Christian traditions.

She questioned whether the current “hard line” approach to discrimination claims, based on EU law, could be sustained in the long term.

Her comments, in a lecture at Yale law School in the US, follow a series of cases in which British Christians claimed to be suffering religious discrimination but lost their cases.

They include Shirley Chaplin, a nurse from Exeter, who was banned from wearing a cross at work as well as Gary McFarlane, a former Relate counsellor, and Lillian Ladele, a marriage registrar, who both lost their jobs after resisted performing tasks they said went against their religious beliefs.

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Christian guesthouse owners go to Strasbourg over ‘discrimination’ case

March 17th, 2014 Jill Posted in Gay Activism, Religious Liberty Comments Off

by David Barrett, Telegraph

A Christian couple who were told it was illegal to turn unmarried couples away from their guesthouse have launched a landmark legal case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Sue and Jeff Green, who run a 13 bed B&B in mid Wales, advertised that only married couples were allowed to take double rooms.

But at the end of last year they received a letter from the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s “legal enforcement team” informing them they could be guilty of discriminating against gay couples.

Now Mr and Mrs Green have secured the backing of the Christian Legal Centre to take their case direct to Strasbourg in a bid to establish whether Christians’ beliefs and human rights are superseded by equality laws.

Mr Green said Christian businesses were now “struggling” to be true to their principles of faith because of demands placed on them by the state.

He added that the EHRC’s letter, which warned them it was “unlawful” to discriminate against someone over their sexual orientation, had arrived out of the blue and they had received no complaints direct from members of the public.

Read here


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People cannot debate traditional issues because of liberal ‘censoriousness’, says Lord Neuberger

March 14th, 2014 Chris Sugden Posted in Gay Activism, Religious Liberty Comments Off

Traditional attitudes to issues such as sexuality are being shut out of debate by a new form of liberal “censoriousness” which only allows “inoffensive” opinions to be heard in public, Britain’s most senior judge has warned.

Lord Neuberger, President of the Supreme Court, said that Britain could be becoming less diverse rather than more because once common opinions are now deemed “unacceptable”.

He likened the new form of “moral reaction” to the opposite but equally restrictive attitudes of previous generations.

….in the area of sexual attitudes, attempts to improve diversity risked bringing a new restrictiveness of their own.

It follows complaints from traditionalists who opposed gay marriage that they were unfairly being treated as homophobic because of their stance on matrimony.

At the height of the debate over the issue, a housing trust manager from Trafford, Greater Manchester, was demoted from his job and accused of discrimination because he said in a private Facebook posting that he thought same-sex weddings in churches were a step too far.

Lord Neuberger said: “A tendency appears to be growing in some quarters which is antithetical to diversity in a rather indirect and insidious way."

Read here

 

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