Responding to the judgement against Christian guest-house owners’ conscientious right to refuse homosexuals from sleeping together in their home Peter Tatchell has stated that the religious freedom of believers must be subordinated to others’ rights to buy things.
‘If the court had ruled that the Bull’s were allowed to ban gay couples from sleeping together in the same room, it would have opened the floodgates to a deluge of similar religious-motivated claims for exemption from the equality laws. We could have ended up with some Jewish supermarket workers demanding the right to not handle pork, Muslim restaurant staff refusing to serve alcohol and Christian solicitors declining to represent gay or cohabiting heterosexual couples.’
Peter Tatchell also believes that forcing religious believers to act against their consciences, such as making Jewish, and it follows, Muslim, supermarket workers handle pork, will maintain social cohesion and will preserve harmonious community relations:
‘Businesses would grind to a halt, and social cohesion decline, as religious fundamentalists of all hues claimed the right to discriminate on faith grounds. Our equality laws would soon be in shreds. Discrimination would become rampant again. It would be hugely damaging to harmonious community relations.’
Protect the Pope comment: Here we see in the statements of this ’Human rights’ activist that social cohesion and harmonious community relations mean riding rough shod over the beliefs and consciences of religious believers in order to uphold his right to buy services and things whenever he wants and from whoever he wants. According to Peter Tatchell’s vision of society the rights of consumers supersede the rights to religious believers.
Furthermore, what effect on social cohesion and harmonious community relations does he think forcing observant Jewish or Muslims supermarket workers to handle pork will have ?
Tatchell has a strange understanding of ‘harmonious community relations’ that entails alienating religious believers and trampling on their human right to act according to their consciences, as has happened over the suppression of Catholic adoption agencies.
In his concern to advance social cohesion and harmonious community relations will Peter Tatchell be encouraging his fellow gay activists to bring cases against Muslim guest house owners or does the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s crusade only target Christians? In Peter Tatchell’s world all people are equal but some people are more equal than others.