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Lawyers, Teachers and Faith Leaders unite against proposed new sexual orientation laws which will discriminate against Christians, Jews and Muslims.

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(Government Consultation on laws ends Monday June 5)

Government plans to introduce 'Sexual Orientation (Provision of goods and services) Regulations' face significant backlash by leading lawyers and faith leaders. The Regulations will impact churches, faith organisations, charities, groups and individuals who are said to deliver almost 40 % of voluntary care in the UK.

The previous Lord Chancellor The Right Honourable Lord Mackay of Clashfern said:-

‘For people of religious faith, whether Jews, Christians, Muslims or other faiths who believe that the practice of homosexuality is wrong these proposals seem to me to carry a serious threat to their freedom not only in their voluntary and charitable work but also in relation to earning their livelihood in a number of occupations.’

Religious leaders have expressed deep concern at such regulations. The impact on religious liberty will be enormous. People of faith are having their freedom and integrity to live according to their beliefs taken away from them.

The Bishop of Rochester, Michael Nazir Ali said:

‘In the proposed regulations there is no clear exemption for religious belief even though it is widely known that several of the faiths in this country will have serious difficulty with the regulations. Religion affects every area of life and cannot be reduced to just worship. These Regulations will certainly affect a great deal of charitable work done by the churches and others. It is the poor and disadvantaged who will be the losers.’

Pastor Andrew Lloyd Adeleke, Senior Minister of House of Praise, Redeemed Christian Church of God in London with 1000s every Sunday in his congregation and whose ministry and outreach is to one of the poorest and most culturally diverse areas in Britain said:-

‘The Government talk about multicultural Britain, and yet they propose laws which make it illegal for Christians, Muslims and Jews to act in accordance with their longstanding beliefs about homosexuality. The Government would not dare to try and make the Bible, the Qur’an, or the Torah illegal, so why do they think it is ok to make it illegal for Christians, Muslims and Jews to act according to those religious texts?’

The British legal system professes to uphold religious freedom and freedom of conscience. How then can legislation be used to try to control people’s personal views and actions on matters such as sexual orientation?

The regulations will amount to persecution of faith communities. And show no understanding of those communities.

Dr A. Majid Katme, spokesman on behalf of the Islamic Medical Association UK said: - ‘These proposed regulations demonstrate that the Government is prepared to discriminate against faith communities in order to promote what the Government calls ‘unrestricted equality’. The right to hold deep faith convictions which affect the way people think and behave in every aspect of life is sacrificed in these regulations at the Government's prized aim: equality for all, whatever the cost".

Rupert Kaye, Chief Executive of the Association of Christian Teachers said: - ‘The UK government is right to promote freedom and equality for all, so long as this allows peaceful dissent and non-violent disagreement. Diverse individuals and organisations should be free to agree to disagree. They should not (and cannot) be required by law to show ‘mutual respect' to individuals or organisations whose beliefs or lifestyle are anathema.’

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Barrister, Head of Public Policy, Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship said:-

‘In an attempt to keep up with liberal European laws which Britain has signed up to implement, the government is acting inconsistently. In 2000 the Government brought the Human Rights Act into force. The Act says that particular attention should be given to the importance of two rights: the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of religion and belief. Today, nearly six years later, the Government is proposing Regulations which stamp on both these principles by making it illegal for those who hold religious view (about homosexual practice) to act in accordance with their beliefs. The Government’s proposed regulations are ill thought through, wrong in principle and unworkable in practice.’

For further information contact:-
Andrea Minichiello Williams.
0771 2591164


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