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Author Topic: Gay rights v religious rights?  (Read 13251 times)
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« Topic Start: July 14, 2008, 08:00:25 am »

Following on from the Archbishop row, this case has some very awkward  implications.

As she has been discriminated against for her religious beliefs the amount of the award she could be given is unlimited.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7499248.stm
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« Reply #1: July 14, 2008, 08:05:38 am »

As she has been discriminated against for her religious beliefs the amount of the award she could be given is unlimited.

Very bad decision, IMHO. Government employees should never be allowed to refuse to do their job because of religious beliefs that basically allow them to discriminate, only performing their job for some citizens.
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« Reply #2: July 14, 2008, 09:49:30 am »

Very bad decision, IMHO. Government employees should never be allowed to refuse to do their job because of religious beliefs that basically allow them to discriminate, only performing their job for some citizens.

Precisely. If she wants to discriminate in her private affairs, that's one thing; discrimination in the performance of her government duties is another thing entirely. Using the rationale of this decision, members of a white supremacist church who happen to be municipal firefighters would be able to walk away from a burning building if black people lived in it.

In her religious opposition to same-sex unions, Miss Ladele is not without choices: She can get over it, or she can find a new line of work.
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« Reply #3: July 14, 2008, 10:22:41 am »

Very bad decision, IMHO. Government employees should never be allowed to refuse to do their job because of religious beliefs that basically allow them to discriminate, only performing their job for some citizens.

So, you'd would give up your religious beliefs to keep a job? 

You'd give up say a pension that you are 2 years from getting (delaying that pension for 15 years, and no COLA) if your job changed so that it now conflicted with your religiuos beliefs?

Or would you permit govt employees to retire with normal benifits if their job changes to conflict with their religious beliefs?  And if so, how do you prevent people from using the claim for early retirement falsely?

I don't know if these apply, but something to be balanced against.
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« Reply #4: July 14, 2008, 10:43:34 am »

So, you'd would give up your religious beliefs to keep a job? 

I'd go the other way with this, Peter. A person certainly doesn't have to give up their religious beliefs, but they can sure be in a job where the question doesn't come up. In my mind, there is little difference between what's going on here and a pharmacist who decides he won't distribute certain prescribed drugs because it violates his religious beliefs.

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You'd give up say a pension that you are 2 years from getting (delaying that pension for 15 years, and no COLA) if your job changed so that it now conflicted with your religiuos beliefs?

That's really too bad, IMO. While 15 years ago it might not have come up, most job descriptions change over time and at some point a person will have to weigh where they stand in relation to the employer's job description. That's something that happens every day in jobs. Now, can this person negotiate with another employee to take over those duties (obviously the employer is going to have to approve it)? If so, that could probably work. If not, they are no longer performing the job duties as laid out.

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Or would you permit govt employees to retire with normal benifits if their job changes to conflict with their religious beliefs?  And if so, how do you prevent people from using the claim for early retirement falsely?

Why would this be any different than other non-religious situations? Seriously. I realize we view religious choices as human rights, but if they're infringing on a job that is paid for by the taxpayers, I think there is going to have to be a real serious look at this.

No question it's a balancing act, but I don't see much balance here...though there is obviously a lot of information missing from the story. It sounds as if both ends of this thing weren't very well thought out and it ended up in court.

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« Reply #5: July 14, 2008, 10:49:24 am »

Following on from the Archbishop row, this case has some very awkward  implications.

As she has been discriminated against for her religious beliefs the amount of the award she could be given is unlimited.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7499248.stm

I don't know if the UK courts operate as dependently on precedent as US courts do, but this sets a dangerous precedent.  Does this enable a person to kill gay people over religion?  How about engage in verbal harrassment?  Or does this only apply to civil servants?  Or marriage?
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« Reply #6: July 14, 2008, 12:42:54 pm »


No question it's a balancing act, but I don't see much balance here...though there is obviously a lot of information missing from the story. It sounds as if both ends of this thing weren't very well thought out and it ended up in court.



I think I saw another article about this last week.  I think the compromise offered was that another employee in the office would handle the same-sex marriages. 

In a big city, I'd say the clerk would have to either suck it up, get a transfer or such.  There would be plenty of places for them to maintain pay & status that does't involve the issue. 

As for precedent, about all I could see is that new hires know what they are getting into.
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« Reply #7: July 14, 2008, 12:55:22 pm »

I don't know if the UK courts operate as dependently on precedent as US courts do, but this sets a dangerous precedent.  Does this enable a person to kill gay people over religion?

I'm baffled at where you're pulling that from.

Now, I'm not entirely sure about exactly how the laws in the UK apply, but bear in mind there's no official barrier between state and religion.

As to her choice of job...well, any form of gay marriage in the UK has only been around a couple of years.  Depending on how long she's been in the job, she couldn't be expected to predict that (hell, I thought they'd drag out civil partnership as long as they could, and I still dont anticipate full gay marriage within my lifetime).
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« Reply #8: July 14, 2008, 01:15:35 pm »

I think I saw another article about this last week.  I think the compromise offered was that another employee in the office would handle the same-sex marriages. 

And that wasn't good enough? Then if she doesn't have to grant the licenses and can go to another employee, I have absolutely no sympathy for her. With any luck someone involved over there will appeal this. In the US, I'd say it's an awful decision. In the UK? I've no idea what sort of protections are in place.
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« Reply #9: July 14, 2008, 03:36:00 pm »

So, you'd would give up your religious beliefs to keep a job? 



Not necessarily, but the situaation happened to all the nurses who worked at facilities that started doing abortions, once that became legal.  (now granted most of them had fair warning that their employer was likely to start performing, because certain doctors would just be more likely to do that).  All of a sudden, a nurse who worked for a private practice ob/gyn might be asked to assist or get training to assist, or find another job.  THey had to decide.
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« Reply #10: July 14, 2008, 04:35:26 pm »

Not necessarily, but the situaation happened to all the nurses who worked at facilities that started doing abortions, once that became legal.  (now granted most of them had fair warning that their employer was likely to start performing, because certain doctors would just be more likely to do that).  All of a sudden, a nurse who worked for a private practice ob/gyn might be asked to assist or get training to assist, or find another job.  THey had to decide.

This could be a springboard to a decent thread. 

What religious beliefs do you (not just you Mandrina, but whole list) have that you would quit your long term job over?

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« Reply #11: July 14, 2008, 04:52:35 pm »

What religious beliefs do you (not just you Mandrina, but whole list) have that you would quit your long term job over?

None.  Considering that I'm going into the culinary industry, there really isn't anything religious or morally objectionable that could come up.  Same goes with my (hopefully) potential carrier as a writer. Smiley
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« Reply #12: July 14, 2008, 05:44:02 pm »

So, you'd would give up your religious beliefs to keep a job?

If I cannot perform the duties of the job because of choices I've made, I need to find a new job. If, for example, I become a Fundie Muslims and decide I can't serve any women or any non-Muslims, I need to find a job where I don't have to work with women or non-Muslims, not expect the rest of the world to adapt to my beliefs.

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You'd give up say a pension that you are 2 years from getting (delaying that pension for 15 years, and no COLA) if your job changed so that it now conflicted with your religiuos beliefs?

If the job changed to where I no longer felt comfortable morally performing it (or working for the company if the company's morals changed), yes, I'd quit, pension or not. If keeping the pension were more important, obviously my moral beliefs weren't strong enough to be a real issue anyway.

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Or would you permit govt employees to retire with normal benifits if their job changes to conflict with their religious beliefs?  And if so, how do you prevent people from using the claim for early retirement falsely?

I'd just let them transfer to some other job that did not require them to violate their morals, assuming such a job exists. I don't know about in the UK, but in the US civil service, people transfer between positions all the time for all sorts of reasons.
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« Reply #13: July 14, 2008, 07:30:25 pm »

This could be a springboard to a decent thread. 

What religious beliefs do you (not just you Mandrina, but whole list) have that you would quit your long term job over?



Well, considering I am in nursing, particularly geriatrics, if the laws changed so that I would be expected to assist in active intended euthanasia, I'd be out of there in a heartbeat.  I have administered the last dose of morphine to several patients, but they have all been terminal and death was a side effect of enough morphine to cover the pain and would have been soon anyhow even if they hadn't gotten the shot.  Death was not the goal of the shot.  I would have to think long and hard if it was the patient asking me to administer enough drugs with the intent ofassisted suicide, but I might.

 But I'm not sure it's a religious belief.
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« Reply #14: July 14, 2008, 08:15:23 pm »

None.  Considering that I'm going into the culinary industry, there really isn't anything religious or morally objectionable that could come up.  Same goes with my (hopefully) potential carrier as a writer. Smiley

I think there's a lot that could come up, whether it's an issue to you personally or not.  The first thing that springs to mind is controversial ingredients like veal.  I'd imagine there are several things about the restaurant kitchen environment as a working environment that could be objectionable, from what little I've heard.  In certain places one might object to a pretty, er, face being part of the qualifications for waitresses.  I'd heard that kitchens tend to hire a lot of Mexican immigrants for whatever reason; if this is so, then someone who wanted the Mexican border closed might object to that.  Etc., etc., etc.

And writers...  You could be asked to write any number of things that might be religious or moral problems, or make such changes to your work in order for it to be published, for starters.

I think there are probably potential conflicts in just about any industry.
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