Christian groups challenge equality legislation
Seven Christian groups in Northern Ireland were this afternoon granted leave to apply for a judicial review of the new equality legislation, which becomes operation on 1 January 2007. This legislation will outlaw discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the provision of goods, facilities and services in Northern Ireland. The groups argue that the government's eight-week consultation was flawed: it took place during the summer, last year, and did not provide sufficient time to consider the proposed legislation.
The government provides an online database of those 373 individuals and groups who submitted written responses to the consultation on the new legislation, enabling the public to read individual submissions. The analysis of those submissions by the Office of the First and Deputy First Minister is published online here. Mr Justice Deeny will hear the case on Thursday.