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Sunday, 22 November 2009

EU pressure to stop churches refusing to employ gays

Only this morning I blogged about the homophobic stance taken by the Church of Scotland on allowing an openly gay man to undertake minister training, you can read the story here.

Now it appears that the European Commission will be putting pressure on the Labour government to drop the exemptions from equality legislation by religious organisations who currently have the right to refuse to employ LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) staff.

This opt out has allowed churches and other religious organisations the option to refuse to employ LGBT people.

Although thankfully there have been some successful cases at employment tribunals where they have questioned the implementation and interpretation of the opt-out.
In today's Observer it is reported that the European Commission has written to the British government to warn them that it has not fully implemented EU directives that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexuality.

Who says the European Commission doesn't do anything useful?

The European Commission equal opportunities commissioner, Vladimir Špidla, told the Observer: "We call on the UK government to make the necessary changes to its anti-discrimination legislation as soon as possible so as to fully comply with the EU rules."

The ruling by the European Commission means that the government will be be forced to place new clauses into the Equality Bill which is currently making its way through parliament.

But it will still allow churches to refuse to employ a gay man as a priest for example but I do wonder where the answer to my previous blog post lies? Although employing a priest will be protected, assuming they are gay but what about the training first such as the Church of Scotland's position?

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