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  • Newsnight
  • 9 Jan 07, 01:08 PM

gayrights_203_blog.jpgReligious groups are outside Parliament protesting against gay rights legislation due to be debated by the Lords today. Christians, Jews and Muslims are taking part. They're calling for a halt to laws banning discrimination against gay people in the provision of goods and services.

The Sexual Orientation Regulations, already at work in Northern Ireland, are to come into force in England and Wales under current government plans, but protestors say the regulations would limit their right to live according to their religious beliefs.

Is this just scaremongering or a justifiable concern about religious freedom of expression? The BBC's Have Your Say forum is open to your views, but Newsnight would also like to hear from you. Have you experienced gay discrimination in the goods and services industry? Have you and your partner, for instance, been refused accommodation because you're a same sex couple? Were you turned down outright, or did you meet with unconvincing excuses?

Alternatively, have you tried to book a gay venue but been turned down because you're straight?

Comment here.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 02:09 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Simon James wrote:

If nothing else, us Gays have at least brought all the religions together! More than can be said for any political or religious leader.

  • 2.
  • At 02:15 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Civil_Servant wrote:

At the moment our office has a ban on all recruitment, and this includes advancment/promotion.

Since this ban came in to force, the only people who have had advancement have been gay. They have all played the discrimination card. The evil of 'positive' discrimination

This is very very wrong. It is a symptom of the way the legislation in this country is going. If you are White, Christian and Heterosexual you are stuffed. I applaud those protesting outside parliament.

  • 3.
  • At 02:17 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Ollie wrote:

People should no more be allowed to discriminate based on gender or sexual preference as they can on race or age. Religion is one of the last great dividers of our society; Church and State are fortunately divided for a reason. Religion should not be allowed as an excuse for racism even if it is part of the belief. The same should apply to sexual bigotry, nomatter how old the texts are that promulgate it.

  • 4.
  • At 02:18 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Kim wrote:

what a load of nonsense can we not spend our valubable time talking about matters that are IMPORTANT!

  • 5.
  • At 02:20 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Paul Addy wrote:

Although I am not gay, I have worked at a hostel for the homeless, and I can say with all honesty that no one was ever turned away because of their, sex, sexuality, race, creed, colour etc.

Paul Addy

p.s the company I worked for was English Churches Housing Group.

Dear Newsnight,

Freedom of religion is clearly an important thing, but when religions wish to uphold the implementation of gay rights legislation just because they will have to welcome homosexuals into their religions is disgraceful. Religion ought to stand for tolerance, equality and is supposed to be welcoming. Some religion is like this, however evangelical Christians in particular feel the need to say 'no' to gays. This is horrifying and this is discrimination in its utmost form. It is akin to telling a black person that they can not come to church at place x because of their colour. Religion when disallowing homosexuality is abhorrent - freedom of religion is a must - freedom to arbitrarily discriminate, certainly not.


  • 7.
  • At 02:20 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • jane gould wrote:

it is up to business owners to decide the market in which they are going to operate.
should Club 10-30 be forced to accept a booking from me (a woman of 50) for a week in Ibiza?
this could be deemed to be discrimination. personally, i think it is common sense.
A christian hotel-keeper must act within the bounds of his faith and his conscience, and it is up to him as an individual business person to run his business as he sees fit.
everyone should be free to enjoy their own orientation, and equally should respect those who cannot accept this.

  • 8.
  • At 02:21 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Matt Dann wrote:

Why have the three Abrahimic religions forgotten the holy rule of hospitality that they all share?

I get particularly upset by Christians, who at this time of year remember that Christ was born in a stable because his parents were turned away from an inn... the parallel is so strikingly obvious how can these so-called Christians not see it?

  • 9.
  • At 02:21 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • nick wrote:

I have had this problem all my life being born with what believe is a disorder of the brain, though this may be my way of saying I would far sooner be normal like most other people. the amount of pain, and lack of self essteem this condition causes is very very hard to deal with, and has taken over fifty years to sort things out, using very powerful mental techniques. but it can be done. I believe the only normal relationsghip is between a man and a woman, but have been through almost every kind of abuse, from others, in the past, . luckily my normal mode of being is celibacy. This is a very high and noble estate of mind and spirit when one has sufficently disciplined the mind. fortunately those who cause abuse, are left where they are now, whilst i am free to be with those who are truly loving and generous of heart, and there are a lot of those about.

  • 10.
  • At 02:21 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Alan Marsh wrote:

Christian parents are being hounded and prosecuted in Massachusetts for refusing to allow their children to be subjected to gay sex education classes: these regulations will have the same outcome here, with parents and teachers penalised for "harassment" - failing to comply with demands that children be taught about gay sex.

  • 11.
  • At 02:22 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Grumpy Grizzler wrote:

No I have not received any obvious discrimination in the provision of services. But then I would not seek accommodation in a small family-run b&b as I would not want to run the risk of encountering such discrimination. When travelling, my partner and I always choose big hotels or self-catering. I am probably discriminating against small b&b's and doing many of the owners a disservice by behaving like this, but I wouldn't want our holiday ruined by any unpleasent encounters.

  • 12.
  • At 02:24 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Mark Mackenzie wrote:

Regardless of what we say or do we will not change peoples minds or perceptions, they think cause we are Gay that we have something wrong with us and for one example some straight guys stuck in the dark ages, really arent as I was with 2 guys in particular who have GF and then decided they wanted to try it with a man and they havent looked back but still in the closet due to their jobs. Anyway enough of me rambling.

Everywhere should have it that regardless of your sexual orientation you should be aloud to have the same rights as everyone else, we are human after all, came into the world the same way and leave it also the same way.

  • 13.
  • At 02:26 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Kath Potter wrote:

I run a Christian B&B in the Peak District National Park.I do not turn away any visitors unless it is a one night stay in high season.

I have had lovely Moslems, Jews,Christians, Sikhs and Hindus stay and lesbian and gay couples in my home. I do not question peoples sexual orientations or religions but find we all have so much to give and offer society. Surely if one takes Jesus' example no one is to be rejected. By setting a loving Christian example we do far more good than criticising. If we differ in opinion we must forgive. I do not want my name quoting but I do not mind my example of multifaith and sexual orioentation being used.

  • 14.
  • At 02:27 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Ross Wharton wrote:

As an openly gay man I am lucky it seems to live in one of the most gay friendly countries in the world. So the odd bit of gay hatred - and thats what this is - doesn't bother me too much. However, in the very unlikley event that this protest leads to a change in the law, I would expect anybody wanting to "follow their conscience" to make it very clear what type of business they want to turn away. Hotels, for instance would need to put signs up in their receipton and clearly state their hatred on any website. I presume they would want to ask any potential customer their sexual orientation before confirming a booking. How else could you be sure??!!

  • 15.
  • At 02:29 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Monica CROWN wrote:

Would you refuse a medical treatment in a public hospital on the basis of religious faith?
All activities open to the general public must be and remain LAIC because the State is, thanks God, a democracy protecting equal opportunity.
Private enterprises can operate according to their faith (as a club) BUT must not receive public financing.
As simple as that.

  • 16.
  • At 02:30 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

I work in the media and can tell you that in certain areas of light entertainment not being gay hinders career progression. Or at least means you get hired initially and when they realise the flowery shirt was just a Paul Smith option, not a lifestyle one, then they get a huffy.

So I quit that area of Telly and got into serious docs instead where you meet a much nicer bunch of gay people who just care about your work performance, not your sexual proclivities.

  • 17.
  • At 02:30 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Honor wrote:

Not very religious of them is it?

Where is there compassion and understanding for their fellow human beings?

I'm not religious myself, because I was faced with all that hypocrisy as a child - from both sides of my particular divide - Christianity.

Raised as a Roman Catholic, but ostracised because of my sexual orientation as well as my social background.

Educated, for some of the time, if you can call it that, in Protestant Schools, I was ostracised because I was a Roman Catholic and also because of my working class background.

Can't win - done my research on other religious groups and they are either misogynistic or homophobic, and all see the "lower classes" from where ever they are in the world as people to be governed, ruled, told whats what.

Religious groups are never going to solve the real problems in the world if they can only think of singling people out that they can be Better Than!

Cheers News Night,

If that Jeremy Paxman was a woman I'd really fancy him, ha ha x

  • 18.
  • At 02:34 PM on 09 Jan 2007,

Yes I have experienced discrimination on the part of being a 35 yr old, gay Roman Catholic and white. We seem to live in a global media-led society that is full of hate, is obsessed by putting derogatory labels on people and lacks tolerance of ordinary people like me who go to college to study, go to work to pay household bills, go to the cinema, the shops, all the everyday things that everyone does. Yet constantly I am made to feel different, feel as if I have to hide myself away, to avoid homophobic attacks. You could say my quality of life is somewhat distroyed by all this hate and homophobia.

From my own personal experience of the goods and services sector, there is this automatic assumption that because you are a single male that you are some how gay, curiously enough this only applies to men, never lesbian or bi-sexual women.

Rooms in hotels and B+B's have been refused to me because of how my voice sounds on the phone, offended yes, but sadly this is the norm. The phone has been put down on me by curiously enough, female reception staff and
was politely told to go away! not very professional but this how life is for those of us decent law abiding , hardworking folk who just happen to be gay (formerly the adjective for "beautiful").

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to express my views on this subject.

Yours Sincerely

Matthew Godwin.

  • 19.
  • At 02:36 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Mark Knoop wrote:

Ollie (comment #4) repeats the myth that church and state are divided (perhaps he is thinking of the USA?). Actually, the Anglican church occupies an elevated position of actual power, in that its Bishops hold seats in the House of Lords.

  • 20.
  • At 02:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • richard wrote:

The perverse attitudes to homosexuals are of course based on ignorance. Why so many still believe that this orientation is a choice I don't know. It is genetic through and through.

And why so many religious still associate homosexuality with sex is a mystery to me. It's all about relationships and what on earth is wrong with that?

The Govt. is completely correct to attack discrimination of any sort.

  • 21.
  • At 02:38 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • stuart wrote:

I remember watching Nick Broomfield's controversial HIS BIG WHITE SELF and listening to JP Meyer describe why black people were a different race to white people and justifying it by tracing origins of races down from the lineage of Noah. A view i feel he fundamentally believed and felt religion backed up and explained.

Being black my views are at odds with his...

I'm with Peter Tatchell's view that they simply extend to gay people the same rights that had been granted to people of different faiths in 1998.

Also in accordance with the Board of Deputies of British Jews who have distanced themselves from the protest, saying the regulations would "provide a further platform to combat discrimination in this country".

The thing that puzzles me is why this is even a story.

I'm not convinced we are about to see hordes of militant homosexuals having civil partnerships and then hiring out religious buildings just to upset the sensibilities of Christians / other god fearing groups of people.

Have I missed something here?

I disagree with the notion that any ideology should be allow to be a defense for any form of descrimination.

  • 22.
  • At 02:39 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Mike wrote:

It's quite common - at least in my experience - for obviously straight men to be turned down at gay pubs and clubs.

You wouldn't like it...not your kind of music tonight lads...wrong kind of shoes..

You get the picture.

The delicious irony is - in London's Soho at least - you can be refused admittence to Heaven for not being homosexual enough!

I wonder if the legislation will make a difference?

  • 23.
  • At 02:40 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Craig Walker wrote:

How do people have enough time to participate in such pointless exercises! It's just typical that all these religions can only unite to attack another group of people.

  • 24.
  • At 02:41 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • CB wrote:

Will christian hoteliers also turn away adulterers? unmarried couples? the infidel? How will they check the moral credentials of their guests? How do they know what's going on in the bedrooms they let?
If two people occupy a hotel room for which they have paid and leave that room having caused no damage or disturbance to people or property, then what they do in that room is nobody's business but their own. And whatever lurid fantasies exist in the sweaty, prurient imaginations of bigots should, for all our sakes, remain there.

  • 25.
  • At 02:43 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Sheila Malone wrote:

I am not here as a local but I would like to say as an American we also have a lot of controversy over gay rights. I live in the State of Maine and we have twice passed State legislation establishing gay rights because after the first time there was enough support to have it put back on the ballot, and in the second vote it was defeated. That was not the end of it as it came up again a few years later and was passed again into law. Now there is a huge uprising against gay rights and the opposition is all set to have it again removed from law. I happen to be straight and I also happen to believe all people should have exactly the same rights. No one should be allowed to discriminate gay or straight, everyone is equal under the law period!

  • 26.
  • At 02:43 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Marcia F. Havrilla wrote:

We all hve something called "FREE WILL" and we are indeed free to exercise our choices. What one does or does not do is one's prerogative only, as long as one is not breaking the law, and as far as I am concerned the right of choosing a love partner, be it in the same or different gender, is not dictated by any law. There are so many other "divine laws" being broken daily that one can only wonder if it is really God who is condemning/condoning the "righteous" to speak and act in His/Hers name or if it is just human conceit taking over those unleashing their inflexible bigotry onto people who just want to live and love in peace.

  • 27.
  • At 02:47 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Rita Ada wrote:

God loves us all unconditionally, gay, straight, bi, lesbian and any others. It is important that that message is highlighted at this time. What we Christians disagree with is the fact that the gay movement and the not so clever government we have are trying to infringe on our doctrine and beliefs. Religion is a matter of choice and free will. The right for Homosexulas to lead the lifestyle they want without infringements is one we uphold,truly. The basis of our protest is that they should also try and respect our rights to practice our religion according its doctrine.

  • 28.
  • At 02:49 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Andrew Ritchie wrote:

As a liberal Christian I find myself split on this issue. On the one hand I believe any Religious Dogma concerning homosexuality to be the word of early church fathers/religious leaders and not the word of God. I myself have many firnds who are gay and worship with them every sunday so I would not support these people outside parliament on those grounds. However in the same way I feel it is unfair to discriminate people because of their sexuality I also believe it is wrong for any government to force people to compromise their beliefs so I do not support the governemnt either. It is a difficult question and one that neither religious groups nor the government seem to have come up with an acceptable answer to

  • 29.
  • At 02:49 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • P W Watson wrote:

Discrimination is that which allows a man to tell the difference between water and bleach or hydrochloric acid. If homosexuals want the law made so that those of us who view their "lifestyles" as an abberation or even a perversion of nature, to be silenced or punished, then they are as bad as the nazis and communists who legislated against freedom of thought. The writer Alain Besancon in his book "The Falsification of Good" covers the matter well. When it becomes a crime to believe something is wrong and a private individual can't choose how he runs his own business and when religious believers are told by the State that they cannot follow their beliefs, then the Antichrist is here.

  • 30.
  • At 02:56 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Peter Jarvis wrote:

Whilst I am not 'Anti Gay' I do believe that the religious groups have as much right to live and abide by there beliefs including gay issues. Surely the faiths have as much right to there beliefs as the gay groups

  • 31.
  • At 02:56 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Barry Reed wrote:

As I see it if you are a normal heterosexual male or female you have no rights. If a hotel does not like the look of you you can be barred as you could in pubs or restaurants.
However it would appear Gays can and do litterally get away with murder.
When I was in Brighton several years ago there on open display in some shops, restaurants and some pubs were, (in my view porographic) postcard sized close up photographs of a penis inserted into someones anus and this for people to take away, and at a height for small children to look at and put in their pockets!
We went to the local police station and complined but were told it was educational!
If this was a photograph of a man and woman, the police would have issued prosecutions within second!
That's equality?

  • 32.
  • At 02:56 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Jon Bentley wrote:

Christians are not in favour of discriminating against anyone, we just want to have the right to be able to express a view.
It now seems that in our politically correct society it is OK to express any view, except the view that you think somebody else is wrong.
If a free society allows someone to express the view that homosexuality is good & right, then that same society should also allow someone else to express a view to the contrary, and live by that view. That’s not homophobia, it’s just consistency.
If the Labour party does not want to hire out one of its buildings for a Tory function is that discrimination or just living out what you believe? If you feel strongly about an issue then it’s reasonable not to hire out a building to a group that believe the opposite and wish to promote that opposite view on your premises.
If a church decides not to hire out it’s premises to a group that is deciding to hold a pro-gay rally then why should the law forbid that? The church (and everybody else) should be allowed to have an opinion and live by it. That is not discrimination. Similarly Stonewall should be equally entitled to decline hiring out it’s premises to anti-gay groups.

  • 33.
  • At 02:57 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Steve Meese wrote:

Personally I think this is an appaling law to introduce and I have to ask why this tiny minority of people have (seemingly), such clout with Tony Blairs government when there are so many really important issues that need to be dealt with???

  • 34.
  • At 03:09 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • D Radford wrote:

Human rights must always take precedence over superstitious beliefs.

  • 35.
  • At 03:09 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Chris wrote:

Given that more people have been prosecuted, killed, and hated in the name of god, for once, just once can’t we learn to live with each other and show respect?

Many of society’s problems and current world issues are due to lack of respect for one another, especially around the Middle East and terrorism which gets fuelled by religious hatred.

Let’s learn to live in peace.

Surely being at least respectful to others does not offend any ones religion even if you don’t agree with it, in fact its shame we even have to bring laws like this in to ensure it happens and gives protection when it doesn’t.

  • 36.
  • At 03:11 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Les Bright wrote:

It's often suggested - perhaps with good reason - that government wants to intervene too much and too often in our private lives. But frankly government seems disinterested by comparison with the behaviour of some moralists who claim to only be interested in preserving their strongly held personal views. It rarely occurs to me to ask someone what god they worship (or avoid) and even less so to enquire as to their favourite sexual position, and preferred partner: same sex/ paid for/ someone else's partner and so on.
These regulations wouldn't be necessary if there wasn't already evidence to suggest that discrimination exists. But on the other hand if regulations actually worked we would by now have eliminated racism, and that's clearly not the case....
If the problem is as suggested that B&Bs discriminate could we not ask the tourist boards to ask proprietors to answer simple questions like "are you a bigot?" or "do you need to know bedroom habits?" and then require them to hang prominent signs outside stating: the owners of this B&B are bigots and prefer not to do business with anyone who differs from their view of the world.

  • 37.
  • At 03:13 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Lucy wrote:

No forms of prejudice are more serious than others. Homophobia is just as damaging to individuals - and society - as racism and sexism, and all should be equal in terms of the legislative measures to tackle them. Should individuals wish to go into business for commercial gain, they should no more be able to exempt
themselves from anti-discrimination legislation than they should be entitled to exempt themselves from health and safety laws of which they might disapprove. Everyone, regardless of their religious belief, should have to comply with the law.
It is a sensible and moderate proposal which seeks to prevent people from unequal and unfair treatment.It will give lesbians and gay people in in the UK exactly the same rights as were granted in 1998 to people and protections on the grounds of their religious beliefs.
Wasn't it Jesus (a prophet also respected by Muslims and the Jewsish) told us not to judge others. (Matthew 7:1).

  • 38.
  • At 03:15 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • David Barden wrote:

Well, at least they all agree on something.

After the law has been past, they might get together and find other issues they agree on – however unlikely this would be.

As a sort of moral relativist (and true Gentile, Heathen and Infidel), I am happy that they direct their hatred at a very strong group of people. I ‘m sure they can take it in their stride; coming out to ones parents, friends and other family is hard enough. Having a load of religious nuts (some with beads and dresses, others with funny hats and with some lying on the floor) shouting about how they should be allowed to discriminate against gays shouldn’t really bother them – it’s not as if they are going to succeed.

Anyway, I consider myself tolerant and more than willing to let them have their views and protest about it.

I accept their rights, and I expect them to understand that I believe that Jesus was probably homosexual himself (or did he really have kids with that Mary woman?) and that Mohamed did spread religion by violence and his contact with god is as believable as the Mormons’ and their gold plates.

Let them have their 5 mins. Sooner or later, education will rubbish most of the main religious belief systems.

Then we will have peace.

  • 39.
  • At 03:21 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Dr Russell J Berry wrote:

To be a Christian means acknowledging Jesus Christ as God and Saviour as well as trying to live by the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love. Those entering into an unholy and blasphemous alliance of hate with those who deny Christ and who discriminate against all who are not Muslims are apostates from the Christian religion and would do well to become fully fledged Muslims themselves.

  • 40.
  • At 03:26 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • mbabazi emmanuel wrote:

To me everybody has a right to do what he\she wants as longer as it does not affect his neighbour.The gays similary have a Right to associate with the gay partners without being discriminated.For example if your son does not eat Fish it doesnt mean that it is a crime.If youre not a gay that should not force you to hate gays.Discrimating against them is not a solution whatsoever, instead those advocating for it should allow some kind of Education not discrimation.

  • 41.
  • At 03:26 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Fasil wrote:

In my country Ethiopian being gay is not officially activity but some mens comes from western countries being gay and now in ethiopian specially in cities being a gay is expanded . But the religious fathers against it all the time and also in my belief it is an immoral act it againsts human nature, so we should avoid it but in my belief discrimination and stigma is not a solution

  • 42.
  • At 03:28 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Matt wrote:

""Christians are not in favour of discriminating against anyone, we just want to have the right to be able to express a view.""

That view being that Christians should be able to discriminate against someone?

  • 43.
  • At 03:31 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Roger wrote:

I usually don't bother booking in a non-gay friendly hotel. Now imagine what would be the reaction of Jews, Christians and Muslins if they were turn down when booking an hotel room or access a public servive because of their religious beliefs?

The issue is not right to live according to one's religious beliefs versus sexual orientation but of discrination in provision of goods and services.

Business engaged in such trade can not discriminate their customers for whatever reasons without going against basic human rights.

  • 44.
  • At 03:35 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Mike Derriman wrote:

A load of Rowlocks

  • 45.
  • At 03:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • eva michalopoulou wrote:

The EU is a democratic, secular block of countries. As such, it has to safeguard its 500 plus years of secular history, continue at present, and take us into the future as a society based on the rule of law and property rights with each and every "citizen" equal in hers/his rights and obligations. Since when does any religion, religious orientation and religious groups with their agendas enter in any democratic debate and seek to form or influence policy? Please.

  • 46.
  • At 03:39 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Jeff Fernandez wrote:

This obviously shows that religion has no answers or degree of flexibility to change and adapt to a modern world.

There are gay people since the world began and some religious intolerance towards this concept is a reason not to follow anything that is based from it.

Sexuality is part of the modern fabric of society and if they ( Religious bigots) do not like it and exclude someone on the basis of sexual orientation they should be fined. As the law will state.

We are a deomcrary after all.

I am straight for the record ( Or was the last time I was lucky)


  • 47.
  • At 03:44 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Malcolm wrote:

As a gay man, living in a civil partnership, I have every sympathy with the the religious business owner who wishes to deny me service on religious grounds. However, I do not wish to experience the embarrassment of rejection.

I suggest that business should be allowed to apply for an exemption which can be published in directories and so forth. This will also mean that I can withhold my business card order from a printer who won't print gay social club flyers, and my daughter's wedding (yes I have a daughter) from the owner of a hotel who wishes to deny me a double bed. Fair's fair.

  • 48.
  • At 03:50 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Bernard Walker wrote:

This is great news! Next time some guesthouse or hotel doesn't want to give me a room because I turned up on a motornike I can say that I am homosexual and they are discriminating against me. If my girlfriend is with me I'll say that she is a lesbian and they are discriminating against her as well.

  • 49.
  • At 03:51 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Amy Ana Maria wrote:

I am with the 40 nmb.,and i am proud to be a normal human being. I am also proud to have been fighting for me COMPLETELY and 4 an ENTIRE COMPLETE VERY NORMAL ME after a terrible accident, years ago.
I am asking you all now, whoever you are and whatever you think about these 2 replies:
Me, I have fought for the abnormality and i'll do it forever. Have you? Would you? Could you?

  • 50.
  • At 03:52 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • B. P. Sltzbck wrote:

It's too easy to judge legislation which one has not actually read in entirety. To say that legislation is 'anti gay and lebian' is not the same as saying that the same legislation is supportive of the traditional family in preference to other domestic arrangements, so the outlook depends upon whether you persoanl ox is being fed or gored.

The Old Testament provides specific pnishment for 'he who lies with a man as with a woman', but seems to neglect the lesbian issue, so my outlook is: You have the free will ability to live any domestic arrangement you find amenable to your own inclinations, so long as that life does not include the use of aggressive physical force upon another. We must all bear in mind that one day we all must answer for our our observance or neglect of the ten commandments, and abstention from, or committing, any or all of the seven deadly sins. Live peacefully as you see fit, but reckoning is ahead, so look to you best spiritual interests.

  • 51.
  • At 03:53 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • towcestarian wrote:

Peter Jarvis:
"Whilst I am not 'Anti Gay' I do believe that the religious groups have as much right to live and abide by there beliefs including gay issues. Surely the faiths have as much right to there beliefs as the gay groups"

Funny, I thought homosexuality was a sexual orientation not a belief. But yes, everyone should have the right to have whatever crackpot beliefs they want to have. Anything less is a move towards the Orwellian Thought Police.

And, whilst I am not 'Anti-Religion' (well actually I am), I believe that all religious bigots should spend a few evening tucked up in bed with Richard Dawkins fine book "The God Delusion". It'll take their minds off all those "unnatural people" doing all those "unnatural acts".

  • 52.
  • At 03:54 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Michelle Martin wrote:

I am not gay and I was brought up in a strict Catholic family - however the under lying message was alway - "love and forgiveness and to treat others as you would like to be treated yourself".

What makes Christians, Muslims and Jews believe their way of thinking is correct and exclusive? Why should hetrosexual love be worth more than Gay love?

People condemn that which they are afraid of, it's a very old belief but still persists to this day.Jews, Muslims and Christians have been the victims of persecution. Does that give them the right to persecute others?

  • 53.
  • At 03:56 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • dj wrote:

Since you are asking.....

These groups give religion a bad name. I know people with "faith" as they call it, are not all bigots... But why protest at legislation like this.......? It's beyond me.

  • 54.
  • At 04:00 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Amy Ana Maria wrote:

• At 03:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
• eva michalopoulou wrote:
“The EU is a democratic, secular block of countries. As such, it has to safeguard its 500 plus years of secular history, continue at present, and take us into the future as a society based on the rule of law and property rights with each and every "citizen" equal in hers/his rights and obligations. Since when does any religion, religious orientation and religious groups with their agendas enter in any democratic debate and seek to form or influence policy? Please.”

I am with this nmb.,and i am proud to be a normal human being. I am also proud to have been fighting for me COMPLETELY and 4 an ENTIRE COMPLETE VERY NORMAL ME after a terrible accident, years ago.
I am asking you all now, whoever you are and whatever you think about these 2 replies:
Me, I have fought for the abnormality and i'll do it forever. Have you? Would you? Could you?

  • 55.
  • At 04:02 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Dan wrote:

Oh please people. Either we are all allowed to express our views or we impose limits.

The latter can be abused by those in power, the former can't. If the law of the land isn't broken (and both Jewish and Islamic scripture support the law of the land) then give it a rest.

A country's laws have been developed and adapted over thousands of years through experience of existing in changing cultural and climatic circumstances. They weren't picked out of the accumulated (and varied) laws beloved of bronze age primitive desert dwellers by the Roman Emperors of Constantinople in the first millennium. Christian laws were. The original religious laws were so varied it took a number of discussions for those men to decide which were right and which were wrong. Men decided - historical and undisputed fact. Men change them (see the Vatican's discovery that purgatory doesn't exist!) not God. Don't hide behind God, you choose the laws. If you are religious you have to acknowledge a little 'hot bum love' seems trivial beside that the whole creation thing.

  • 56.
  • At 04:19 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Roy wrote:

If these protestors think it is fair for, say, a Jewish Hotlier to refuse a bed to a gay couple, Im sure if the tables were turned, and they were refused a bed purely for being Jewish by a gay hotelier they would think differently!! It can't be one rule for one.....

  • 57.
  • At 04:22 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Ernie wrote:

It's about time the government stopped bringing out laws that the vast majority of people do not want or need.

As a Christian I do not agree with the gay way of life, but if they wish to carry on this style of living I would not attempt to stop them. I have known quite a few in my life and have been friends with some of them.

What I do object to is the government forcing chuches to be used for gay marriages, and forcing christians to choose either their job (as in Social Workers)or made to leave. Registars can perform civil marriages which I would not oject to if the government decides there is a need arises, but how can a church, mosque or a synagogue when their holy books difer to Mr Blair's opinion.

Jews and Moslems have joined Christians in protesting about the proposed regulation.

Gays and Lesbians must realise that their way of life goes against the Koran, Bible and the Torah, and nothing they do will make if it different.

Perhaps when he reties this year is the PM going to make himself Archbishop, Mullah and Rabbi for whole of the UK?

It's about time poltians realise that you can never mix poltics and religion.

The only people that will cause most of the problems will be the Gay Rights movement, who are alike to the Animal Rights movement.

  • 58.
  • At 04:24 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Amy Ana Maria wrote:

MMy impulsivity(i have been agressive twds. these "sexual minorities" made me not-clear and straight/ right in my comments, as i usually am:
Here is my real opinion on this: (i am 4 Mrs. Eva M., but against her opinions, as i trully believe the difference between the sexual orientations is mainly an educatiuonal fact.
• 45.
• At 03:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
• eva michalopoulou wrote:
“The EU is a democratic, secular block of countries. As such, it has to safeguard its 500 plus years of secular history, continue at present, and take us into the future as a society based on the rule of law and property rights with each and every "citizen" equal in hers/his rights and obligations. Since when does any religion, religious orientation and religious groups with their agendas enter in any democratic debate and seek to form or influence policy? Please.”

I am with this nmb.,and i am proud to be a normal human being. I am also proud to have been fighting for me COMPLETELY and 4 an ENTIRE COMPLETE VERY NORMAL ME after a terrible accident, years ago.
I am asking you all now, whoever you are and whatever you may think about these 2 replies:
• Me, I have fought for the At 03:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
• eva michalopoulou wrote:
“The EU is a democratic, secular block of countries. As such, it has to safeguard its 500 plus years of secular history, continue at present, and take us into the future as a society based on the rule of law and property rights with each and every "citizen" equal in hers/his rights and obligations. Since when does any religion, religious orientation and religious groups with their agendas enter in any democratic debate and seek to form or influence policy? Please.”

Amy Ana Maria:
I am with this nmb., and i am proud to be a normal human being. I am also proud to have been fighting for me COMPLETELY and 4 an ENTIRE COMPLETE VERY NORMAL ME after a terrible accident, years ago.
I am asking you all now, whoever you may be and whatever you may think about these 2 replies:
Me, I have fought against the abnormality and i'll do it forever. Have you? Would you? Could you?

  • 59.
  • At 04:27 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Amy Ana Maria wrote:

• 45.
• At 03:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
• eva michalopoulou wrote:
“The EU is a democratic, secular block of countries. As such, it has to safeguard its 500 plus years of secular history, continue at present, and take us into the future as a society based on the rule of law and property rights with each and every "citizen" equal in hers/his rights and obligations. Since when does any religion, religious orientation and religious groups with their agendas enter in any democratic debate and seek to form or influence policy? Please.”

I am with this nmb., and i am proud to be a normal human being. I am also proud to have been fighting for me COMPLETELY and 4 an ENTIRE COMPLETE VERY NORMAL ME after a terrible accident, years ago.
I am asking you all now, whoever you are and whatever you may think about these 2 replies:
Me, I have fought against the abnormality and i'll do it forever. Have you? Would you? Could you?
My impulsivity(i have been agressive twds. these "sexual minorities" made me not-clear and straight/ right in my comments, as i usually am:
Here is my real opinion on this: (i am 4 Mrs. Eva M., but against her opinions, as i trully believe the difference between the sexual orientations is mainly an educatiuonal fact.
• 45.

  • 60.
  • At 04:30 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Simon James George wrote:

eva michalopoulou wrote:
"The EU is a democratic, secular block of countries. As such, it has to safeguard its 500 plus years of secular history"


eva michalopoulou wrote:
"Since when does any religion, religious orientation and religious groups with their agendas enter in any democratic debate and seek to form or influence policy? Please."

Christianity, for the last 1,682 years to the present day ever since the council of Nicea in 325AD when Constantine who adopted Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire defined Christianities core beliefs. It has been one of if not the dominant influences in EU law and society.

If you do not believe me, ask a Muslim whether he/she regards EU law as influenced by a particular religous viewpoint. Alternatively learn some history.

  • 61.
  • At 04:32 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • William Luff wrote:

I have been extremely lucky to be able to live as an openly gay man in a very happy partnership of seven years experiencing no discrimination at all. Part of this I believe is due to the fact I live and work in the media in London. However a large part of that is also due to legislation that has been passed over the past ten years which has progressively de-stigmatised homosexuality. All three great monotheistic religions are full of messages of love and peace yet factions of them persist in seeing sin everywhere and victimising people who do not subscribe to their particular interpretation of faith. Both my parents are Anglican priests and they are extremely open and welcoming to my sexuality, however the ignorant, zealous and hateful rhetoric that many religious groups indulge in regarding homosexuality is an utter disgrace to their God, and based on centuries'-old texts which were filtered through the social mores and prejudices of their earthly writers rather than the divine laws of God, Allah or Yahweh. My relationship is incredibly loving, based on monogamy, trust and stability, and although I am agnostic, I believe it reflects and glorifies the love of a Creator and is something sacred. Those who preach that homosexuality is a sin or a perversion seem to be those who have no experience of homosexual people, believing us to have been forged in the fires of Hell. If they indulged in rational debate, rather than hatred and prejudice, they would realise that homosexuality is a perfectly natural state for those of us who are born that way and it is a minimal part of our lives. We are exactly the same as everyone else, our sexual orientation is merely different - yet still 'God-given'. It's wonderful to see religions working together, but when they do so purely to propagate discrimination, victimisation and fear then they don't do God's work at all. Quite the opposite.

  • 62.
  • At 04:34 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Amy Ana Maria wrote:

The abnormality comes with the education. I am against an education which promotes the abnormality.(the same-sex experiences).

  • 63.
  • At 04:35 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Jacqueline Marcotty wrote:

I'm a Belgian girl, and here, in our so small country - sometimes despised by England! - marriage between gay was established years ago.

How can such reactions (anti-gay) still exist in England which, if my memory serves me well, Voltaire already called THE country of freedem?

Wake up, England!

  • 64.
  • At 04:36 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Tim Smith wrote:

Isn't the question about freedom of belief? If so, why should the belief that homosexuality be good for society be forced on those who don't believe it? So far as I know, no-one has yet proved homosexuality is either a genetic condition or an illness. In which case, in a society that beieves in innocence before proof of guilt, would a church denying a service because of someone's lifestyle choice or belief rather than their basic human rights be guilty of anything? How would the Prosecution Service currently prove that? Would we expect to prosecute a church who wouldn't accept a booking for it's hall from the local witches coven that believed in the power of Satan and wanted to detroy all the church stood for? Of course not because it is a clash of beliefs. Prove that homosexuality is a genetic or medical condition then maybe we can accept the legislation - until then the burdon of proof is on the government not the church. Why make even more people (who for instance happen to do most of the charitable work in this country) into criminals. Disagree with them - but put them in jail - really?

  • 65.
  • At 04:42 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Amy Ana Maria wrote:

I WILL forever be against an education which promotes the abnormality(the same-sex relationships). The countries used to differentiate btw. them by this "normality" concept.. Should we let the abnormality become normal? Please..

  • 66.
  • At 04:51 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • J Wilson wrote:

I have to admit to feeling uneasy in the presence of gay people I can't explain why but I feel intimidated.
I feel sickened when I see Males cavorting in public and I would not allow them access to my home or business to display or promote their persuasion.

I would never harm or treat them with any disrespect but I have a firm line which I will not cross as long as they they respect me.

I'm not sure if this called being Homofobic but if it is then so be it.
I feel outraged that our freedom of expression and speech has been washed away to allow the moral codes we so cherish to be blown away. Again the silent majority of this country have to endure ever more punitive regulations for the benefit of the few.

  • 67.
  • At 04:54 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Amy Ana Maria wrote:

I WILL forever be against an education which promotes the abnormality(the same-sex relationships). The countries used to differentiate btw. them by this "normality" concept.. Should we let the abnormality become normal? Please..

  • 68.
  • At 05:12 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Annette wrote:

There's another, much overlooked and ignored, side to the homosexual rights issue. Why should the rights of heterosexuals and those who object genuinely on religious or moral grounds not be treated at least as equally to homosexuals? Their argument is just as valid and, at the moment, the bias seems to be all one way.

  • 69.
  • At 05:13 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Mr T M Sheehan wrote:

I thought I was living in England.

When in Rome do what the Roman's do.
Don't this happen in England.
Would you take a couple of minutes,
and tell me what to expect as when i asked they just say we are not obliged to tell you.

  • 70.
  • At 05:21 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Melanie wrote:

We are beginning to have to do everything the state legislates against - if people with families who have small guest houses and B&Bs do not wish to have gays and lesbians, why should they be forced to accept them? Why not have a register of those places that are happy to have everyone and anyone(I would guess that there must be gay hotels throughout the world that do not wish heterosexuals, yes?) and those that cater to particular groups based on sexual preferences. What I do not understand is why the gay and lesbian lobby are wanting official approval - you cannot make all people think the same way or we might as well be robots. What I am very tired of is who cares about who they sleep with anyway - I just wish their shouting would stop about how everyone must accept all their demands.

  • 71.
  • At 05:23 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Stephen Roberts wrote:

I suppport the right of practicing members of religious groups to defend their beliefs against claims by individual gays and / or single sex couples to rights which intrude on and offend their religious beliefs.
For example a Christian landlord of a bed and breakfast house should be within his rights to refuse a room to a gay couple.
I accept there are bound to be very difficult cases where no obvious answer presents. However, I would always lean towards protecting the rights of the religious groups. Let common sense prevail, it has served us well in the past. Let gays leave those who have sincere beliefs alone. There is room enough if both sides mind their own business.
I am one of those fuddies who has had enough of the unending demands for political correctness and the exponential growth of human rights and the insistence of a minority to ram them down my throat.

  • 72.
  • At 05:26 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Roy wrote:

I'm glad I'm straight, or am I? It won't be long before Straight people are diagnosed as being in denial.
Christian religious belief is that sex between anyone other than a husband and wife is a sin, not just between people of the same sex. It's a sin to have sex with your neighbours husband or wife and some hostelries would want to exclude you if they knew you were committing this sin. So what! That's their choice surely. All this legislation is getting us into a quagmire but that's just what some people want to live in.
It's hard living within the rules and it seems very attractive to throw the rulebook away and start again. But it will eventually become apparent that our ancestors weren't as stupid and bigoted as some people think. The human race has been around a long time, do you think they have not gone through all this before? It will all end in tears, bloody tears.

  • 73.
  • At 05:36 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Gino wrote:

All I can say, its a great way of heading back to medieval times and this kind of torch lit homophobia cannot be accepted in this society

As gay people we deserve equal rights, as for religion let them have their faith, as for involvement within the state they should have none

the church and state should be seperated

If we are ALL not carefull this will result in an amazing and rather unsual form of world war 3 and yet again religion is behind it.

We grow up being brainwashed with religion and "god forbid" anything is said about that, but to slander the gay community, state we are a virus and should not be accepted in society is ok to say because of a religious belief is laughable.

  • 74.
  • At 05:44 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • John Barker wrote:

I am not gay, but I have been an athiest for at least forty years, throughout which time I have had to suffer the fascism of organised religion. Every year I have to grit my teeth and suffer Christmas. Christians and Muslims feel they have the absolute right to dictate to the rest of us what is moral, all the time persecuting and slaughtering non believers, sexually abusing women and children, and generally defiling my planet.
These laws appear to me to be civilised and progressive. Anything that seeks to reduce prejudice can only be good.
My message to the religious stormtroopers outside Parliament? Tough! Live with it!

  • 75.
  • At 05:47 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Ozoda Muminova wrote:

Is Newsnight any different from religious institutions in its portrayal of gay people? The Church sees only sex in gay identity, so it seems does whoever placed a picture of two naked men engaged in sexual foreplay, looking at their... hmmm!

  • 76.
  • At 05:50 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Bill Bulley wrote:

Politician are altering God's law. Politicians initially were sworn in to the office to uphold the law not to change it. The law as it stands has not offended the gays people so why change it.

  • 77.
  • At 05:58 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Ozoda Muminova wrote:

Amy Ana Maria posted 5 messages, all screaming: 'I'm against homosexuality' - that's what you do when you are in minority. Whilst homosexual people seldom feel like a minority in modern England, homophobes - increasingly do, as do religious people (consult recent ICM poll).

  • 78.
  • At 05:59 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Cecil Allen Brown wrote:

Having read the proposed legislation I am appauled at the wording, any simpleton could write a legal decument with as many holes in it as is in this proposal. Those who have written it have not fully considered the FULL application of this dictum.
I am not opposed, as a born again Christian in opposition to protecting my fellow citizens of UK, but this legal jargon should be prop[erly written

  • 79.
  • At 06:09 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Defeated By Women wrote:

For women every venue is a fee earning advertising experience...

Ever since mars venus with all the discrimination seems like every woman's venue is a gay venue!!

It is cos they want to be weak and vulneralbe with women ..

...rather than strong with a man...

...we were discriminated against for being adult male autonomous conquesting exhibitionists ACEs...showmen who like company and are proud to take advantage...

..but for women every venue is a fee earning advertising experience...

..anyway we found it was the world we loved and we're fans of what we could create for it together...

  • 80.
  • At 06:09 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Cecil Allen Brown wrote:

I am appauled at the wording of this legislation, there are many aspects that have not been considered in its wording. I am not opposed, as a born again Christian to protecting my fellow citizens, but the FULL IMPORT OF THE WORDING HAVE NOT BEEN APPRECIATED!!

  • 81.
  • At 06:29 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Bongo wrote:

This strikes me as yet another piece of unecessary and ill-considered legislation produced by this government. Like so many laws passed during thelast few years, this one is full of ambiguity and, apparently, worrying to many people in possible interpretations that could effect their right to choose.
New Labour has spent much of its time in power falling over its own feet while keeping its head firmly in the clouds of impossible idealism and sound-bite-speak.
We do not need yet another ban on freedom of thought and speech imposed by a legislature that has lost its way in a mire of nannyism.

  • 82.
  • At 06:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Juan wrote:

Im not a homosexual, but im a human being. Every homosexual is a human being, and has the basic fundamental right, to not be persecuted because of a rational life decision. If the good book says love god and love your neighbor, then focus more on that, than pin the sin on the donkey. Religious fanaticals are guilty of worse sins than having sex with the same sex everyday. How about the mass slaughter of the indigenous all over the world. How about wars fought in the name "of" and millions of thousands killed innocently over the past 5000 some years. Some say its human nature, some say its a nessecary evil. But if Christian Muslim Jews Hindu and Buhdist too fight in the name "of" Than they have to look in the mirror about what sins there guilty of. Its another form of governmetnal oppression. Make laws alienating a minority and generate income from ther persecution. Its bull shiiit and they need to love god, and not hate gays.

  • 83.
  • At 07:02 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Religiously Bi-arsed? wrote:

"Ofcourse Jesus was an homosexual... that's why they had him crucified"!...that's what some say..

But He was looking for a virgin bride and they had run out..him being away in Egypt and all...

and had to love himself like a woman to cheer up...

Ofcourse He tried to get it on with Mary Madoglene..but she and her men wouldn't have him... after he slept with a prostitute.. and had to pay her the money that would have been her dowry... then he got so drunk at her marriage in caanan he had to buy new wine ...and run out of any money to pay for he blackmailed Judas for wanting sex with him and judas committed suicide... it was judas's father who had jesus crucified and jesus weren't homo he was just struggling to get the money to have one..a woman...trajic ain't it...

So we need a religion don't we so we get well lead and well laid...and i ain't religiously bi-arsed or just ask saytown

  • 84.
  • At 07:05 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • nicole wrote:

Protecting the rights of those who happen to be gay is the same as any other law that was established to protect a minority and to provide help against those who are bigoted.
The same number of people protested long ago, when laws to allow blacks and women the vote and or ensure equal protections were being debated. How is this different? It's different because closed minded religious people eat pork on friday, cheat on their wifes, etc., while proclaiming gays are evil and should have no protections or rights because a few minor passages can be read to say that the bible says it's "wrong".
Don't you know the lord says it's ok to hate and discriminate in an al-la cart fasion.
I wish people would grow up.

  • 85.
  • At 07:26 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • EdEKit wrote:

I am straining my memory, not particularly good at the best of times, but so far I cannot come up with one example of granting a right to someone else that has denied that same right to me. Even if I grant you the right to dot me on the chin, I still have the right to do the same to you, as soon as I regain consciousness.

32. At 02:56 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Peter Jarvis wrote:
Whilst I am not 'Anti Gay' I do believe that the religious groups have as much right to live and abide by there beliefs including gay issues. Surely the faiths have as much right to there beliefs as the gay groups

Dear Newsnight,

Peter Jarvis has missed the point:

Religious groups may abide by their beliefs, but as far as I was aware (although the current government often makes me question this), we live in a very pro-human rights society and one where equality comes first. Thus, religious folk can have their beliefs, but absolutely not on the condition that they may reject LBGT people because of their sexuality. As I mentioned in the first few posts, it is akin to saying because you're black you can not join faith X. So relgion can believe what it wants, but that has to be restricted when it (A) discriminates in a way contrary to the HRA 1998; (B) in a nasty way. Religion is about loving and accepting - tell the Evangelicals et al this please.


  • 87.
  • At 07:37 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • K Woods wrote:

Nothing to report re discrimination in goods and services, but I did send a complaint to Newsnight about the homophobic nonsense Damian Grammaticus was allowed to broadcast by way of a report on gay life and Moscow and didn't receive the courtesy of even an acknowledgement from Newsnight. Many thanks, then.

83. At 06:29 PM on 09 Jan 2007, Bongo wrote:
We do not need yet another ban on freedom of thought and speech imposed by a legislature that has lost its way in a mire of nannyism

Dear Newsnight,

Bongo appears also to have missed the point: what is at issue here is freedom to live freely from arbitrary discrimination and freedom of speech.

In the instant case, the ONLY option to choose is to prevent people from being arbitrarily discriminated against. It is hardly a ban on freedom of thought/expression/speech - it is merely a curtailing of the discriminatory elements of relgion that do not promote tolerance. Also it is a step in the right direction to allow gay people to live their lives freely and untroubled.

This piece of legislation is not "nannyism" - in fact, it is probably one of the only good pieces to have passed throught the Commons during Labour's rein. Shock horror.

  • 89.
  • At 07:50 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • thomas taylor wrote:

it is correct that people's beliefs be respected. However they must offer a service equally and not discriminate. If you choose to run a hotel it should be equal to all. I work in the health service and although I may not like all proceedures I cannot pick and choose and would certainly not choose who I treated anyway. If you work in the prison service you probably would find that some of the crimes commited were abhorent you would however treat all the prisoners equally and keep your beliefs private. If you cannot treat all people equally surely you must ask yourself if you are in the right job. In other words if you don't like the heat get out of the kitchen

  • 90.
  • At 07:54 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Jon wrote:

It has always been a source of great sadness to me that my religion is so very opposed to homosexuality. It is in the Bible and i cant deny that, but i believe that before we start condemning people for what many of them believe is something innate to themselves we focus on other far worse "sins".

I would rather we concentrated on stamping out hatred, brutality and tyranny in this poor world of ours. Hatred of homosexuality is not going to sort out any of this world's problems.

Having said that i would be sad if non-religious people who dont understand how important peoples' religions are to them used state machinery to impose atheist views on the populace, just as i would be sad if the state forced any particular religion on the people.

  • 91.
  • At 08:02 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Emjay See wrote:

Why should one group receive different treatment or expect contradictory benefits for the way they live, why can’t they be treated equally without additional laws? I’m a Christian and I do not need to say what religion I am unless I wish to do so. I’m separated, so what, I don’t see the need to advertise my way of life and perhaps if fewer people declared or displayed what they were or were not it might be a happier and more tolerant place. My family have both Muslims and Hindus amongst them, no one asks why. ES

  • 92.
  • At 08:10 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Jacqueline Marcotty wrote:

I've just quickly cross-read the coms.

Even with the best will, I do not understand all that fuss. I know several christians, honest and sincere christians, who are homosexual. Of course, in Belgium, they are allowed to marry and have what religious people call a "normal life", and the same RIGHTS as all of us, hetero.They behave more honestly in their daily life than a lot of other citizens.Some of them adopt orphans kids. Only several further generations will be entitled to judge whether a two mothers/two fathers family is non- balanced.But in the meantime, we consider that the kids have love, education (I repeat: education, yes).

Now, perhaps the following will be cancelled by a moderator, but I'll see: some priests - and, here again, SINCERE priests - who are also homosexual. Only your Gods may judge them, not you. These people must have the same rights as all human beings in our countries.There are neither murderers nor .paedophilians

For you, all religious people, isn't love (in all its meanings, it's not only sex!) what your Gods ask you to share and give?

Why always mix everything! Tolerance, tolerance...

I hope this text is readable, my mother tongue is not English.

  • 93.
  • At 08:10 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • richardson wrote:

Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's, and to God that which is God's

  • 94.
  • At 08:27 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • daclamat wrote:

I'm not gay. I'm not attracted by what I imagine gays do. But. The three monotheistic cults have done more harm to humanity than any gays could possibly do. It seems that the Roman Catholic Church is in the forefront of the opposition. Well, this weekend has seen the debacle of the future ex-Archbishop of Warsaw. Of course he didn't want to harm the Church. Merely gave the kind of information that saw Solidarnosc supporters beaten to death. A few weeks ago cardinals and bishops gave the murderous Pinochet a send off to his heavenly reward. And a poor Italian, Welby, was denied burial. No connection of course, except in the mind of people who feel that the RC clergy abuse their authority while forgeting they have long since lost all credibility.

  • 95.
  • At 08:28 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Martha E. Mazatan wrote:

I am a very religious Mexican catholic woman but in spite of it, I believe that everybody can do and decide freely in life. In other words, each one should mind their own business!

  • 96.
  • At 08:28 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • ann robinson wrote:

About five years ago i went out for a Christmas night out in Manchester with a mixed party of friends from the Probation Service (all unattached heterosexuals to my knowledge) with a view to exploring the some of the popular venues around the city at the suggestion of one of the male colleaguesie. ie.Rusholme down the curry mile first of all and afterwards for a what was to be a few drinks in the Gay Village. The party consisted of 3 males and 2 females. We entered one gay bar and were immediately met with extremely hostile and peevish stares from the clientel. On approaching the bar the entire party was refused service. The barman told us "There is nothing for you in here tonight, you are not coming in here with those two (myself and my female colleague). I will serve you three (the men) but they can go upstairs. (Upstairs was deserted). Completely changed my impartial view of gay men and upheld to this day.

  • 97.
  • At 09:09 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Aidan Condie wrote:

When the government try to regulate the way we think, it will always end in tears. Things never end up the way the thought police intend.

If Canada and other countries with similar legislation are anything to go by, this legislation will end with the persecution of Christians by militant gays.

Militant gays will turn up demanding service when it may not be appropriate, and on being turned down will then invoke the law. Christians or whoever stands in their way will loose their businesses or worse.

The same will happen on another attempt to control the way we think - the law against religious hatred. It will end up being used by jihadists against passive Christians and Jews (people of the book as the Koran says) who fail to toe the line. This already happens.

The same thing happens with injury claims - the genuine employee or contractor does not claim, the "get rich quick charleton" spends their life trying to claim against a hapless employer.

When will be learn.

  • 98.
  • At 09:21 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Aidan Condie wrote:

Reply to CJ

In Canada there was a Christian couple who kept a hotel and refused to offer a room to any couple without a marriage certificate. This meant adulterers were out, casual sex was out, and yes, gays were out.

So the gays called them for discrimination and closed their hotel for them.

Happy CJ.

  • 99.
  • At 09:23 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • mohammed khumayes wrote:

please wake up,dont mess with the nature or you will pay for the consequences.
man and women are suppose be mating only,any other relation is considered upnormal and should be treated from that angle,not adjust our laws to match it.
those invloved in these relations are sick people and should seek for help or the state should deal with them as sick people.

DONT fool yourselves and admit the pain you are in and the uncertainaty.

  • 100.
  • At 09:41 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Jennifer wrote:

Coming from an atheist, I think there are more important things to worry about or spend energy on. Who a person spends their life with, as long as they are happy really should not be the main concern of strangers. Why should they not be given benefits equal to those of married couples?

  • 101.
  • At 09:44 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Andy Gray wrote:

To deny individuals the right to refuse services to homosexuals is an infringement of human rights. Surely the law, as it stands allows any business or individual to refuse to service the demands of any 'customer'.

  • 102.
  • At 09:47 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Eric Le Boënnec wrote:

Governments have to pass laws to enforce the general will of the community against the sectarian attitude of outdated religious believes. We must remember the fight of the suffragettes for the right of women to vote. We also need laws to fight racism whereas, a few centuries ago, religions said that the prophets are white so those who are not human. This led to accept of slavery as a positive attitude.

The three monotheisms are revealed believes, they said. So whatever is in their books (or derived from) is sacred. To say otherwise is blaspheme. The cult that emerged out of the collided Roman empire decided that the planet was flat. Later, Galileo, following the works of Copernicus, emitted the idea that planet was round. He was sentenced guilty and it took nearly four centuries to get vague excuses from their leader!

So, do not expect a change of mind from any religious believer in a short period of time. So, yes, I support such legislations in principle.

BUT, as the head of state and head of the Anglican church, what is the position of the queen?

  • 103.
  • At 09:56 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Scottee wrote:

Its so sad for a young gay male to look at a large number of people from his city fighting against him having basic equal rights that any other 21yr old has.

maybe when i grow up the world might have come to terms with homosexuals & transgendered people but until then i'll not be able to marry my partner, give blood regardless of my hiv status or have the same rights as some of my peers.

  • 104.
  • At 10:01 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Jo-An M Partridge wrote:

I am dismayed at yet another raft of proposed legislation that appears to infringe on the right of people to live their lives in freedom in a so-called democracy. to deprive a person from their right to work in their chosen field is abhorrent to me.

It is the responsibility of every person to live their lifestyle in a manner which does not hurt or vilify another fellow human being.

However, I have to agree with the comments about the extremes of display by homosexuals in public, just as I dislike the sometimes outrageous display of 'staight' people, particularly women who feel walking round the supermarket half naked enhances their appearance.

In my long life I have been privileged to meet many womderful people including homosexuals who have made valuable contributions to the community.

The world is over legislated as it is, understanding and compassion is what is required, not the heavy hand of the law.

  • 105.
  • At 10:12 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Dodie wrote:

In the seventies if I went to a bed and breakfast with my boyfriend we felt obliged to put ourselves down as MR AND MRS.... and I am sure this still happens today.

May be those religious groups with bed and breakfast establishments could start by only accepting people who are apparently either married.... or in civil partnerships ...

  • 106.
  • At 10:28 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • robotsquid wrote:

I wander if the same people protesting against gay rights today will be outside parliment next week protesting that people who work on sundays should be stoned to death as it states in the bible?

Peoples personal beliefs are one thing even picking and chooseing which parts of the text you want to follow is fine, just dont start trying to use the bits of your religon you choose to adhere to as an excuse to protest laws that will benifit thousands of people in this contry.

  • 107.
  • At 11:06 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • nadia sani wrote:

Aren't there still "gentlemen's" clubs that don't allow female membership? Isn't there discrimination against women despite laws stating that every citizen has the same rights irrespective of sex,race,religion or colour? Does discrimination exist? Yes of course and it always will when a set of people decide that they are "normal" and others are "different/abnormal".

Why do you suppose that a gay/lesbian couple sharing a room in a hotel would do so only to indulge in sex? I don't think that hotels question the sexual activity of a hetrosexual couple booking a room! Couldn't they (gays)simply share a room while travelling?

I do not know the reason for homosexuality. It exists and has been tolerated and practised in all societies of the past. Kings of England in the past weren't very choosy about male or female bed companions,neither were the Muslim rulers. So why pretend that it's scandalous? Scandalous is the obscenity on TV and the Internet where one and all are exposed to the worst peversions and scant respect for the viewers/users.

Frankly those who appear disgusted by public effusions between males should ask themselves why they do not protest at the sex & scantily-clad women on TV used to sell, to present and to propose just any product or show. It's all a question of good taste. Seeing hetrosexual couples go at it shamelessly in public is as bad.
So let us just set some civil limits and regain a sense of proportion by educating ourselves, maybe then laws would not really be necessary to regulate the rights of the minorities.

  • 108.
  • At 11:06 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • jacqui wrote:

All this unrest. Do gay people really want to be gay with all the controversay? In light of the research that shows re gay sheep and the treatment they had wouldn't a gay person prefer to not go through life being shunned etc. If it is a matter of a hormone inbalance etc, why not get treatment just like you would if you had asthma, diabetes, heart problems?

I'm glad the governement won - so **** the bigots who want to deprive others of their basic human rights.

  • 110.
  • At 11:15 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Matt Pepprell wrote:

The law surrounding sexual orientation in regard to provision of services allows the following to occur:

Taxi drivers can refuse your custom because of sexual orientation

Pubs, bars, nightclubs, restaurants, shops and any other place that provides a service does not have to provide a service based on sexual orientation

There are many other examples that I can give. To be against a law that will prevent discrimination is pure discrimination from whoever joins the protest and those who support them.

I am sure that if there was a protest against rights for black people (BNP???) then the general public would be, rigtly so, outraged. The same should occur for this protest.

To conclude, homophobia is akin to racism.

  • 111.
  • At 11:18 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • PM wrote:

I am not sure about this issue of protesting about gays by different religous faith,first thank God they have found a platform to share their hatred,alas to freedom given to them.Hopefully after attending this their hateful match,mullahs will get on with Rabbis,and pope will be more transaparent on the way they perceive moslems.

Just remember,those who hate gays are themselves gay and are always in self denial,they are hungry that they cant come out as the only "gay" in the church,but under secret darkness,they long for the act which they hypocrically forbid,if this is wrong why have we got the issue of a buse of boys in different churches?.

Not gay,but sympathetic to the plight of gays.Mullahs,Rabbis and bishops dont jump in a cheap bandwagon like this.!

  • 112.
  • At 11:23 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Craig Wagstrom wrote:

The entire world continues to be rife with prejudices, bigotry, and hatred of those who are different than ourselves. Gay people are entitled to the same rights as everyone else, both in the church and elsewhere. Perhaps one day the world will be able to overcome their phobia of homosexuality, and accept them as God's people. That we continue to disciminate against them is nothing short of criminal.

  • 113.
  • At 11:39 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Gareth wrote:

I'm disgusted with some of the comments I'm reading on here. I thought this would be a clear cut case of discrimination = wrong.

I can't believe that in 21st Centuary Britain people who we should assume to be 'educated' think its acceptable to deny homosexuals important public services. Should a Christian paramedic refuse a known gay casualty treatment?

Replying to the hypothetical example given before (a muslim printer being allowed to refuse producing gay pride flyers) - what rubbish. He would simply be asked to do his job and would certainly be paid for it. He is not being asked to attend the gay pride of even support it in anyway. Simply provide a service.

The Sexual Orientation Regulations do not ask people to alter their fundemental moral belifes. It is their to protect a marginalised and oppressed section of society.

Being able to discriminate us will not make us go away. I for one promise to become more vocal on the subject should the Sexual Orientation Regulations fall through.

I am glad the Lords had the sense to reject any calls for changes to the EQ(SO)Regulations. Good work.

  • 115.
  • At 11:45 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • SA wrote:

Post 88 finishes by saying:

"Religion is about loving and accepting"

Mine isn't - it's about loving a Person and accepting His ways, not mine, nor society's...

  • 116.
  • At 11:54 PM on 09 Jan 2007,
  • Benedicte qui venit in nomine domine wrote:

It is important to be able to follow leadership in confidence, do what you both and all want trustably, and show you of all the great loves of life...and appreciative of all the abilities around about you and of yourself

It is important to create a reputation you can be proud of, for doing all that you love in the way you can continue to admire yourself for...

Only women have sexuality he-trou or have jobs to do...


I was once refused entry to a gay club in Edinburgh on the grounds that I was straight and apparently on my own. Unfortunately for me I'd just been the last member of a large group of people. They refused to go and check my story and threatened me if I didn't leave.Sadly, no-one in my group (it was a big group) noticed I hadn't got in until I'd taken the doorman's advice and left. I was stuck in a strange town with no phone,money or doorkeys as they were all in my jacket which had made it into the club with some one else. This isn't the only time that Ihave been discriminated against for being a white hetro male.

  • 118.
  • At 12:34 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • K. wrote:

this is beyond discussion. who could possibly insist loud out to encourage discrimination based on sexual preference? I am not a gay but this is exactly the same as the discriminations on gender, physical ability, and race. if they dont like people who have different sexual identity, that's all good. no one cares. but if they gather and campaign to hate gays in public, that makes them exactly like racist, sexist, and whatsoever called discriminator. shame on them.

  • 119.
  • At 12:59 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Lui. Jaconelli wrote:

This ' Rights' issue is so one sided it is tragic !
The only part of the population with any rights, is the 'gay' community.

If you are outside the 'gays', what rights do you have to tell someone you believe that they are a self centred bunch who dont give a hoot for the feelings, beliefs and wishes of the vast majority.Go about your business but dont ram it down our throats at EVERY turn,dont expect us to bow to your every whim.

The gay society are dragging civilisation to the edge of the Abyss. 'Marriage' is being ridiculed by the fact that it is a word now used, all too readily in cases of
'partnerships', Marriage is Marriage [man and woman], so, if they must have a union, please do NOT call it MARRIAGE, IT IS NOT MARRIAGE.
Or do we now have to rethink and rewrite the Dictionaries?

How anyone who calls themself Christian, or Jew,or Muslim can be associated with support for such
perversion I cant understand. What faith, or standards or morals or culture,or tradition, do they adhere to?

Where were the consciences of MPs etc. when votes were called for? God save us from such as these.
Party and 'progress' before Faith and Morals. All too prevalent in todays politics. Save/keep you job and to hell with consequencies ! Wonderful intent, is it not.

Makes you proud to think that your elected candidate was involved -- and didnt even hesitate to say AYE.

Would you like to have been brought up in a, Home?, With two mothers? or two fathers? What confusion, what trauma ! What tragedy !

Perhaps there is a very simple remedy,- all gays who wish children should simply disappear into the woods or hills or desert and have children, with no outside interference. Nature [ GOD ] is the great discriminator. Men, Women, black, white, night, day -- Male AND
Female, right and wrong !

Next time you vote -- think well on it. Give it much more attention and
scrutiny than ever before. If not,
our children and grand children will grow up so confused and betrayed by what has come to be accepted as normal,that they will probably wish 'WE' had never been born.


  • 120.
  • At 01:03 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • kris wrote:

this is beyond discussion. who could possibly insist out loud to encourage the discrimination based on sexual preference? I am not gay but I dont think they have the right to campaign to hate gays in public. if they dont like people who have di fferent sexual identity, that is all good. no one cares. but if they gather and campaign to control other people's will, that matters. it's not at all different from racist, sexist and whatsoever called discriminator. you dont speak out loud even if you are a racist otherwise people would regard you as an evil human being. it's the same here. you hate gays and say it in public, you are the discriminator.

  • 121.
  • At 01:37 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Ben Walford wrote:

There would be no issue if this gentleman had refused entry to a homosexual couple in his own home. I wouldn't mind giving him my two cents about tolerance, and why being gay isn't morally wrong, but it would be a private matter. However, as it is the gentleman's business - a bed and breakfast - in question, the matter is different. His business operates in the market, which is constrained by certain public norms, rights and wrongs. As we know with employment and housing laws, the spirit of the statutes governing the market preclude descimination based on group membership. Christian, Jew, gay, straight: whatever.

Luckily we have a secular law which (for the most part) rises above petty sectarian prejudice. The gentleman in question should abide by it. His freedom of conscience remains, as this act of deference does not (can not) change his heart. He's free to think his backwards bigoted thoughts. Lucky we are that many of today's dissenters are the backwards ones. Things would be far worse if they ruled the roost.

  • 122.
  • At 02:13 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Anthony Flanagan wrote:

While we hoist high the flag of Liberalism - taboos will perpetually be targeted... self-discipline and moderation seem 21st Century mantras but self-indulgence is lengths ahead - before the Boredom dragon burns all our bums, maybe we should question the value of religious dogma, step back and just acknowledge that there is a source of Life and It's in everything and equally as precious (Does my rhyme look sick in this ?)

  • 123.
  • At 02:51 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Liam Coughlan wrote:

This debate reflects fears of unintended consequences or dysfunctional outcomes from the law. What is needed is less religious rhetoric from one side, and less feminism from the other.

The volume and complexity of Govt regulations on private sector businesses is potentially choking them. The regulations are intended to protect the public and are a consequence of laws passed by Govt. The private sector business is therefore providing a regulated service, subject to oversight by a multitude of inspection regimes.

In order to preserve some element of personal choice, for business owners and the public, the State should legislate for a third type of business service provider - let's call it the private club. Such a club, be it a pub, hotel, restaurant or whatever would be allowed to disciminate positively or negatively, depending upon market opportunities. For example, a pub-club would be allowed to permit smoking. Employees and customers of such a place would sign an indemnity which would indemnify taxpayers from lawsuits from people who later claim to be effected by smokers. In such a place, drink prices would be higher and standards of ventilation etc would apply.

Restricting business opportunity and personal liberty in order to arrive at the lowest common denominator would result in fewer businesses, less competition, higher prices and poorer service. Let there be Gay Hotels, Gay B&Bs, Christian Hotels, Smoking Pubs and so on. Let them operate alongside existing businesses. It is just as unfair for gays to be refused a bed in a small hotel as it is for a Christian couple running the B&B to face prosecution for turning them down. The answer is choice. Gay friendly places to advertise as such, thus avoiding embarrasment. Smoking pubs to operate beside non-smoking pubs.

This Government has forgotten that the market is usually good at sorting out problems like this. A devout Christian who offers a service target exclusively at fellow worshippers will make money in some places, and lose in others.

  • 124.
  • At 05:48 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • R.K. wrote:

In India, the Gays are completely isolated from the main stream.They have no voting rights,people of same sex can not legally wed and consequently they congregate separately and lead their lives like gypsies do. There has not been sofar any move by both the houses of Parliament to enforce any act to give these unfortunate people basic rights to lead a normal life like any other.

The constitution of India, in its present form, has no provision for Gays, and subsequent Governments during the past 50 years have not thought it fit to give equal rights to Gays to enjoy the fruits of their labours and lead a independent and meaningful lives by getting all the benefits that others are entitled in a democratically ruled country.

Dear Sir/madam,
I believe the gay marriages in modern world is a kind of sudden twist of peculier behaviour of global society and for the time being at least noforce can stop its growth.But religious leaders of every theology have had some kind of resposibilty making people known of its profiles of future when the question comes up with the human excistence.Any kind of discriminations won't be accepted for whole issue is highly bound with personal affairs.

  • 126.
  • At 09:07 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Joe Nkadaani wrote:

Let the world be sober atleast for once. If dogs and animals know their mates and never make a mistake, what more of human beings. Those who are demonstrating have knowledge of how a normal human being should function, so let them demonstrate and make gays into normal human beings.

  • 127.
  • At 09:29 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Laura wrote:

Live and let live

Be you gay, religous, black/white have pink hair or pierced have nipples.

  • 128.
  • At 09:42 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • tricia wrote:

Where in the Bible does it say you can't be in the same room as a homosexual!? Haven't you got more chance of spreading God's word as I thought all religions were supposed to do if you actually come into contact with 'sinners' anyway?

  • 129.
  • At 09:48 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • vikram wrote:

it's a privilage being a one of the billion people who hear bbc & read it every thing in this clear and usefull

  • 130.
  • At 10:42 AM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • WolfBlood wrote:

Is the Government planning to do anything about Socialist organisations, who refuse membership to those who belong to a religion,regardless of the fact that the two groups often share aims?

People should NOT be allowed to discriminate against ANYONE, however, voicing a general opinion is not discrimination. If I say that I don't think people should walk around half naked (male or female!) that is an opinion only. It doesn't mean I'm going to drag the next half-naked person I see into a shop, buy them clothes & force them to wear them!

If the gay community (and others) can say they believe religion is prejudiced and ridiculous, which is their opinion, then religious groups can say they think the gay lifestyle is wrong, which is theirs. People (ALL people) should stop being so jumpy - an opinion, as long as it remains that, is not discrimination. Prejudice possibly. Discrimination no.

  • 131.
  • At 12:07 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Enoughisenough wrote:

What a sorry state of affairs this is!!! Sexuality is not a cant change being gay as much as you could genetically change your eye colour.

If a black person was being discriminated agaisn't in this fashion it would not be tolerated...and rightly so..same issue here.
Relgion is the breaking of our world, always has been always will be.

Religion is just a way for the fanatics to get by with being hateful and nasty ( for some at least) I am an openly gay women who has many open and christian/muslim friends, who are appalled at this.

If I go to a B and B I go as a lesbian and never have had any problems....after all money is money...thats the bottom line really.

If I get discriminated somewhere...I will take my money somewhere else...they lose out in the end.
Homophobia is just ignornace and more no less....wake up religious bigots...accept the possibility that you are being lied to be the religious fugure sad...flock like mentality, with no questions asked about the validity of it.

  • 132.
  • At 12:37 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • solomon wrote:

Hi Newsight I have recived Your message.I feel happy to share my experience about guys.
In Ethiopia there are different religions who strictly oppose homosexuality and the government too.
GUYS in MY region totaly discriminated and lost their acceptance.

  • 133.
  • At 12:41 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Joe Ellison wrote:

I only just came out to my parents and they threw me out onto the street. I have got a job at a strip club but is it worthwhile trying to get back with my parents?

Please Help!!! Gayman in distress!!!

Joe Ellison, email me if you want advice. Read my blog - there is a relevant post on there (vaguley relevant) entitled 'Behind the Facade' - blog is reached by clicking my name!

  • 135.
  • At 01:43 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Lesley (Portsmouth) wrote:

I find the protests quite concerning.
I am gay and it worries me that there are people who hold the view which have been well documented in the media recently.
I agree that nobody's rights should be restricted however I think that when you talk about human rights you need to consider whether the particular right is morally acceptable. You could argue that a man in prison has the right to have a child with his wife even though he has been convicted of murder (Which I don't agree with) there are many other examples too numerous to mention here.
I agree with post 132, personally would rather not fund someone who holds these views. I would prefer to know that I am staying or planing to stay in a hotel owned by these people with such a disgusting attitude. As such there is a particular holiday company (named after a shoe) who openly descriminate against same sex partners (they refuse to sell holidays to same gender couples in case we are offending their other "normal" customers) and I would rather not support this company. I would rather my leaflets be printed by someone who doesn't care whether I am gay, female, white, overweight, middle aged, educated. You could discriminate against a number of people on any number of issues.
I feel sorry for these bigots, if their beliefs are true then by discriminating against me and people like me they are not showing the supposedly caring and compasionate side to their faith
(does that mean they burn in hell? thats not for me to say, I don't believe it exists anyway)

  • 136.
  • At 03:13 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • thomas wrote:

the prog are of good quilt and i use to see most of the prog.

  • 137.
  • At 03:38 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

It isn't so much the discrimination in goods and services, as the fear of it. Those who hate can so easily be violent and are always, eventually, irrational. So it is much best avoided. Often you find people are accepting and welcoming, and glad of your custom, but when hostility would be embarrassing, or one would be very vulnerable - such as in accommodation when traveling, or even when renting or buying a home - or when sorting out the effects of subtle discrimination could be really troublesome - such as when buying something expensive where one's order can be deliberately messed up, that's when one wants and needs the legal back-up of such laws. Although proof will be difficult.

But things like booking a double-room and having to insist on not being switched to a twin, in the face of such lies as that there aren't any, as the receptionist gives one partner looks that would kill, miles from home and without any alternative, will no longer happen. Yes, that happened to me. We eventually got a lovely double room with french windows and a four-poster.

Banning such discrimination in the workplace made a big difference, although it still goes on, deviously. We should the right not to live in such fear.

Many being on public record through the civil partnerships register as homosexual made anti-discrimination quite essential.

The shame is that the legislation leaves unprotected those who have changed sex, even though the bigots usually consider that to be just another form of "queer", and children, who can be terribly persecuted by people calling them "queer", or worse, whether they are or not. That's where many learn the fear. The legislation protects only on the grounds of same-sex sexual attraction, so doesn't apply to those too young for that. Fortunately the Home Office are at least pushing for better actual protection against such bullying in and out of schools by police guidelines. But such children and their parents will still have no legal grounds for anti-discrimination action.

I really don't believe that anti-gay demonstration. It was just a publicity-seeking, fear-promoting, membership-growing activity, a quite traditional evangelical ploy. Sexual bigotry is their last big "difference", rallying call, yet Jesus said not a word against homosexuality.

  • 138.
  • At 04:39 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Aladeleke Adewoye Adeleke wrote:

when we are talking of lesbiannism as not been good for our society as human especially for our youth, because of it's phsycological effect and it's ungodliness, then why should we allow gay of a thing to be promoted and reign again in our daily lives. it is absolutely not good for any human being, no matter what may be the the calliber, it has nothing to offer us but destruction. we youth and leaders of tommorrow does not need it.
God has made everything perfect...

  • 139.
  • At 07:06 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Eloise wrote:

Fair enough if you don't agree with homosexuality, but why is it any of your business to try and make homosexual peoples lives difficult?
It is narrowminded ignorance from people who are so pompous they have nothing better to do than try to dictate how people should live their lives.

  • 140.
  • At 07:08 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Eloise wrote:

Fair enough if you don't agree with homosexuality, but why is it any of your business to try and make homosexual peoples lives difficult?
It is narrowminded ignorance from people who are so pompous they have nothing better to do than try to dictate how people should live their lives.

  • 141.
  • At 07:26 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • James wrote:

My boyfriend was injured in a car accident. We had been together 4 years. I was stopped from being with him as he lay dying in hostipal because the doctor who announced he was a born-again Christian said I was forbidden to see him because our relationship was "unnatural".

I had no rights. We were both 23. He died alone. The family collected his body and when I went to the funeral a Catholic priest told me my presence was unwelcome and upsetting to "the" family. Jason had not been in contact with "the" family for 6 years. They threw him out onto the street when they discovered he was gay.

I know that there are good people in the churchs and mosques and synagogues, but this law is not aimmed at them, it is aimmed at those who should not be there in the first place and use "religious belief" as a cloak to conduct themsleves in ways that hurt others.

And that nonsense that being gay is choice. No, it is not. So please stop using that to justify your actions. And please stop quoting bits and pieces from the Bible that support your prejudice while forgetting the rest, as it suits you.

It is not about B&Bs and all these other red herrings. It is about real issues that affect many people daily, still, now, as you read this. And this law will make a difference, it will help stop what is an injustice and perhaps even a crime. Not against man but against the God that so many of you speak so eloqently for.

Perhaps yesterday He spoke through the Lords. Perhaps yesterday He answered the prayers of those who have really been persecuted and hurt.

Christian and Muslim doctors, in my personal experience, for I have seen more that I care to recall, have had the chance to act nobility and honour the hippocratic oath above their beliefs, but consistently too many of them have not. So this law is right, it is necessary because it will stop gross discrimination that exists in our society, that many just have no idea about and others are too blinded by their "beliefs" to understand.

I write this after reading in Hansard what lords Smith and Blood and Lester said in the Lords yesteday. Normally, I would be one of the silent ones, but your words are true, I know (not believe) this because I carry that knowledge in my heart not in my head. I am one of those you speak of. Thank you.

  • 142.
  • At 07:36 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Adam Knowles wrote:

I think the gay community might need to be out there protesting at this Bill, 'alongside' the religious bigots, albeit only physically.

The implications it has for the gay way of life are far-reaching. Time after time I've walked past GAY Bar on Old Compton Street and observed a straight couple getting upset that they're refused entry by the bouncers, who - quite fairly - maintain a strict gay-only policy. This law will take that power away from gay venues and gay people will suffer for it.

I'm no fan of ghettoes and am far from hetero-phobic. But I've resolved that the gay community needs places free of straight influence like fluffy little chicks need to be incubated. Until society grows up and is truly free of discrimination, the minorities need special protection.

While I admit this position appears at first the height of hypocrisy, I don't believe there to be any.

The impact of this new legislation has barely created a ripple about these consequences - and I fear this is a shocking oversight.

  • 143.
  • At 07:58 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • theo wrote:

why not invent a 'gay religion' and claim the same rights as the others?

  • 144.
  • At 09:57 PM on 10 Jan 2007,
  • Trevor wrote:

Business operators have an obligation to provide their services in a way which is compatible with the free-market system this country relies on. They aren't given complete freedom to do as they please. This is because we all depend on them.

Taken to the extreme, imagine how a gay man would live if all businesses refused to serve him. How could be buy groceries? Drive a car? Get a job? A house?

Companies exist firstly to serve the customers, not the owners.

  • 145.
  • At 12:00 AM on 11 Jan 2007,
  • Reverend Sam A. Spencer, American Baptist Churches/USA wrote:

I'm not sure exactly what goods or services would be effected by this proposed legislation, but I think that it is inexcusable in the 21st Century for such public/marketplace discrimination to exist and continue, particularly in generally progressive thinking societies.

  • 146.
  • At 01:59 AM on 11 Jan 2007,
  • Leni Farrer wrote:

I;m neither Gay nor an adherent of an organised religion. I'm simply a human being.

I am fed up with people who divide the HUman race into dvisions, groups,categories etc. etc. Obviously we all have equal right to access goods and services. I am disappointed that any homosexual feels the need for self defence. Treat these self satisfied ones with the contempt they deserve and enjoy life. Most of us see you as normal, ordinary people trying to get on with life.
often disappoints by giving airtime to extremists while ignoring the majority view.Polarised views perhaps create most contraversy but can cause harm to individuals and society in general.When will the media and politicians realise thet the power they wield could be used for the common good rather than fostering the vested interest of one group against another? OK, I know their position and their salaries depend upon division and "debate", but at what cost?
The Christians who feel their right to a freedom of conscience will be infringed by allowing Gay couples th same rights they enjoy should perhaps remember that many wars, past and present, have been declared "Just Wars" by their leaders. We who oppose war and state sponsored Death on a grand scale find little comfort in our conscientious objection.
Care for each other and make love as often as possible even if you are two guys, or gals,sharing a bed. Love is good.

  • 147.
  • At 09:55 AM on 11 Jan 2007,
  • robert wrote:

I am all the more happy at the outcome of the House of Lords debate because I seem to remember that in the Christian faith we traditionally are saddened by the image of Mary and Joseph being turned away from the inn in Bethlehem... But oh yes, I was forgetting, they weren't gay so they should have had a room.

  • 148.
  • At 08:30 PM on 11 Jan 2007,
  • Greg wrote:

My boyfriend and I recently experienced a great deal of difficulty in renting a property. Despite both being professionals in full-time employment, despite having paid for a full reference check and filled in multiple forms, we were still met with hostility under the guise of the landlord not wanting to let their 3 bedroom property to an 'all male party'.

For every moron out there who thinks this stuff doesn't happen, I can assure you it does and on a day-to-day basis. Whether it's a subtle change in attitude, or a blatant refusal of services on the basis of sexuality, it does happen, it shouldn't happen, and there need to be laws in place to stop it happening in the future.

139. At 04:39 PM on 10 Jan 2007, Aladeleke Adewoye Adeleke wrote:
when we are talking of lesbiannism as not been good for our society as human especially for our youth, because of it's phsycological effect and it's ungodliness, then why should we allow gay of a thing to be promoted and reign again in our daily lives. it is absolutely not good for any human being, no matter what may be the the calliber, it has nothing to offer us but destruction. we youth and leaders of tommorrow does not need it.
God has made everything perfect...

Sir, you are clearly deluded. You may believe what you want, but you smack of being a neo-nazi. Do you have any recollection of what the Nazis did to people? Didn't Hitler try to make everything perfect once again?

  • 150.
  • At 10:38 PM on 11 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

theo wrote: "why not invent a 'gay religion' and claim the same rights as the others?"

That's a good suggestion. Sir Ian McKellen and Melissa Etheridge as founding archbishops, perhaps? But the law that is already in place shouldn't need that, and getting people to sign-up when their own actual spiritual beliefs are quite diverse would be a problem. Also the people who preach against homosexuality would probably not accept it, and might even just declare "holy war" against it. And the state in the UK doesn't just accept any group as a religion. A lot of people declared their religion as Jedi on the last national census, but it was disregarded.

The law actually is (under the European Convention on Human Rights, and the Human Rights Act) that there should be freedom of religion, and freedom from religion, and equal rights regardless. Also freedom from discrimination on grounds of religion, or any grounds of birth, and those latter rights have priority over the religious rights. Which is why these cults are preaching so intently their "belief", against the scientific evidence, that nothing they stand against is "inborn". The sexuality of many clearly is, and all might be, and everyone knows sex certainly is, and most of these cults and religions (not least the Vatican) discriminate against women.

They just want freedom to use prejudice as a recruitment tool, to demonstrate their influence and difference, which is why parliament forced upon the government that a law forbidding discrimination against people on grounds of their religion had to be balanced by also providing protection for the largest group not already protected against whom some religions promote discrimination. Then the Minister for the Vatican (Ruth Kelly) delayed the introduction of the latter until after the former, and so we have scenes of hateful people promoting hatred under protection of the law, trying to prevent the latter protection actually being implemented.

There already are many well-established faiths whose beliefs include the welcoming of homosexual people as equal members of their congregation, and celebrating human diversity of such kinds. Unfortunately the religions, or factions within religions, or cults that hold opposite views make more noise, and insist they are right, and have more ruthless adherents. And they tend, more often than not, to be allowed more influence. Despite the irrationality and intimidation, which one would not have thought it was best to reward.

If that had not been the case then parliament would not have exhausted so much time to passing separate, discriminatory legislation for second-class status for same-sex partnerships and those who have changed sex, instead of just opening marriage equally, as other countries have. Then such faiths feed on such victories, trumpeting their "power" and the influence of their "god".

  • 151.
  • At 01:10 AM on 12 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

Here's another example, from another angle. A woman I knew well was manager of a large establishment that had it's own facility for the care of the children of staff. She used it for her own child. Then she discovered that a woman she had thought was an nice, deserving, single mother, who also used the facility, was actually the long-term partner of another woman staff member. Suddenly the couple's infant was considered to be dirty, unruly, and a danger to the other children, although nothing about it had changed. The manager gave orders her own child was never to be near the couple's child. And all sorts of little administrative obstacles were being placed in the way of the couple's coming and going and childcare. They has no idea where the problems were originating, since she was an nice as pie to their faces. I heard all this from the offender, who could see nothing wrong in her behaviour, which she felt was quite in keeping with her christian (Roman Catholic) faith.

  • 152.
  • At 09:50 AM on 12 Jan 2007,
  • Jemma wrote:

James, Post 142.

I agree with everything you said completely only I couldn't have put it as well as you did!

The actions of that doctor were absolutely disgusting, but then, I don't need to tell you that.

You're right, it is because things like this happen that we need this law. Nobody should be kept seperate from the person they love simply because of the "morals" of another person!

Could it be noted that, according to the BBC's Religious Affairs reporter, the "allegation", in the Sexual-Orientation Regulations campaigning, that inn-keepers would no longer be allowed to turn away a "transsexual couple" was simply laughed off as either "bizarre" or said to be false on the grounds that "transsexuals" are excluded from protection?
. . That gave the lie to the government having stated, in the parliamentary debates of the Gender Recognition Act, that "The Government have always intended that once a full gender recognition certificate is issued to an applicant, the person's gender becomes for all purposes the acquired gender." They might have a new birth certificate but, as with those without one, they are still classed by the government and the English courts as "transsexual" and fair game for discrimination in goods and services (although not employment).
. . And it should cause those interested in human rights to recall that in the same debates a government minister asserted that they were acting to protect such people as a young woman, Paula Greenall, the coroner's report upon whose death was reported,3604,1120764,00.html in the national press that week.
. . She was found to have thrown herself in front of a vehicle in despair at her situation, which included the employment impairment resulting from having been forced from school at 14 when teachers found the sight of the very bright child being spat upon by other pupils too disturbing, living with the trauma of having been made to wait by NHS clinics for 9 years to complete her treatment, as her teens and those years when most get an education ran down the drain, of living in an estate flat with smashed and boarded up windows and graffiti daubed walls due to prejudiced neighbours, and police and housing association inaction, and with multiple injuries from encounters with weapons wielded by those neighbours and other yobs.
. . Although there was nothing in the bill then under debate that would have assisted with any of those multiple discriminations, Lord Filkin claimed: "At the heart of the Bill is the Government’s clear view that... it is right to allow people, who — there is clear evidence — profoundly believe that they are of another gender to that of their birth gender, to live their lives in peace and quiet... It is an unfortunate fact that some people behave in that way and cause misery to people who through no fault of their own are living their lives as they believe it to be true and right." But Paula, or a teenager as she once was, could have been greatly helped by the provisions of the regulations passed this week, if only "transsexual people" had not been excluded, at the government's insistence.
. . So people are still free to drive people like Paula to despair. And most will be doing that because they wrongly believe such people are extreme homosexuals, which is why they should have been protected against discrimination intended to harm lesbians and gay men.

  • 154.
  • At 02:23 PM on 12 Jan 2007,
  • colin wrote:

Im a gay man... although I believe that the anti disciminatory law about goods and services is as it should be, and should go ahead... I would just like to say that I have never, nor would want to stay anywhere but a gay hotel!! There are plenty all over the world, and we do not have to listen to primitive bigotry and ignorance in the name of their "faith". Let them have their disgusting attitudes.. it doesnt affect me e one iota!

  • 155.
  • At 04:47 PM on 12 Jan 2007,
  • Klebèr Crüz wrote:

AS the same way gay people want to be respected, we must respect the religious opinion. Most of countries (among Europe and America) claim that they do not have an official religious statement. But that's not true. If so, gay marriage would have already been accepted for the law.

I believe that religion and gay rights must be organized in separated ways. Especially because gay people cannot say that Christian Religions are prejudicial. They have their own beliefs. As the same way I believe that religious laws should be taken apart of the discussion about gay rights.

A country is not supposed to follow a religion. But its habitants. And the way they want to live and be happy must be respected. It's an inalienable right.

  • 156.
  • At 12:49 PM on 13 Jan 2007,
  • Jenny wrote:

colin wrote: "I'm a gay man... I would just like to say that I have never, nor would want to stay anywhere but a gay hotel!! There are plenty all over the world, and we do not have to listen to primitive bigotry and ignorance in the name of their "faith". Let them have their disgusting attitudes.. it doesnt affect me e one iota!"

You may find there are enough "gay" hotels, and applaud you having that freedom, but I can tell you there are very few "lesbian" ones, and that "gay" ones have the reputation of very often being uncomfortable places for "gay women", unfortunately. Whilst some gay men deplore it, others are very anti-women, using such derogatory terms as "fish" for us, or trying tell us how we should dress, or trying to match us up with men, which doesn't - and probably isn't meant to - go down well with women partners.

And "gay" hotels are no place for bisexuals.

I'm glad you feel unaffected by the prejudiced, but there are limits to where you would find that to be the case, and others, more vulnerable than yourself, are badly affected by them.

  • 157.
  • At 09:08 PM on 13 Jan 2007,
  • Hugh Waldock wrote:

Did you know that Freud refers to Homosexual people as being often very talented individuals.

I am sure that gay men would often be cleaner in a room than someone like me for example, that they probably sweat the same other men and lesbians the same as other women, so I don´t see that it´s going to cause them any more work to clean up after a gay or straight couple. This I see as the only arguement against gay people in the same hotel. It only fuels predjudice by people who feel uneasy about sleeping in the same bed as a gay man had slept in, but why? This is a quintessential straight psychological problem.

I slept with my father when I was a child becuase my parents were divorced and my father only had one bed, and apart from having sex I can assure everyone it´s just the same as sleeping with my girlfriend. What a daft piece of legislation, what´s the problem.

  • 158.
  • At 01:33 PM on 16 Jan 2007,
  • janice wrote:

I am an atheist and a lesbian,i don't have religious beliefs of any kind and i think the world would be a better place without religion, most of the conflict in the world is because of religion. However, i would never support a law that gave service providers the right to refuse services and products to a person because they didn't agree with, or had different religious beliefs!

  • 159.
  • At 11:21 PM on 24 Jan 2007,
  • Emma wrote:

I am a Christian and a lesbian. There are so many small issues involved in this. I have no will to make people uncomfortable with their conscience or with God. I know there are people I dont agree with, but I don't generally embark on grand campaigns to make their lives difficult. I don't want other people to have low self worth or difficulty in their lives.

I am actually quite conservative and were I not gay myself I might have been one of the people calling for religious exemption on grounds of conscience. I might have been somebody who doesn't understand sexuality is not a choice. I have tried having boyfriends. This made me drink and become selfish and drift from God. I have tried being single but this made me lonely and withdrawn and i stopped working i nthe community. And so i decided to be me.
So, as a lesbian I have been forced to consider these issues more deeply.

From a personal viewpoint I am not a bad person. I'm not a criminal, or a binge drinker. I work and pay taxes. I contribute to my community through voluntary work and I'm entitled to live without facing discrimination becasue of who I love. As for the whole exemption for adoption agencies... allowing this would be admitting homosexuals are lesser people. I cant believe this is true Nowhere does the God I know teach hate on this scale. The main message of Christianity as I see it is a message of a love so great that God sacrificed his own son for us. For all of us.
I just wish this love could be reflected by religious groups that end up being so vocal in the media.

Hello, my name is Alex, i'm a newbie here. I really do like your resource and really interested in things you discuss here, also would like to enter your community, hope it is possible:-) Cya around, best regards, Alex!

  • 161.
  • At 10:03 AM on 13 Feb 2007,
  • robert, brussels wrote:

* Eva Michalopoulou wrote:

"The EU is a democratic, secular block of countries. As such, it has to safeguard its 500 plus years of secular history, continue at present, and take us into the future as a society based on the rule of law and property rights with each and every "citizen" equal in hers/his rights and obligations."

Unfortunately, the EU remains remarkably silent on those issues where it knows that its member states disagree. On the subject of gay rights, there are remarkable instances of discrimination and even untolerable levels of harassment in countries where the Catholic church has a hold, like Poland, and in the states of the former Soviet Union, like Lithuania.

  • 162.
  • At 12:25 PM on 13 Apr 2008,
  • Grace P. wrote:

okay, i don't understand about all this gay discrimination. i mean, what is wrong with them? NOTHING. they're perfectly normal beings who just have different interests - it's like having person A who likes vanilla while person B prefers chocolate. i believe that most people who object to homosexuality are people who are too narrow-minded and selfish. no offence.

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