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Single Equality Bill will not force churches to hire inclusively

Following the Pope Benedict XVI’s comments that the Equality Bill ran contrary to "natural law" and restricted the freedom of religious communities, the government has confirmed it will not be pursuing clarification of a clause meant to remind religious organisations to hire inclusively.

The clarification aimed to remind religious organisations that the religious exemption to equality laws only applied to religious posts such as Vicar or Imam, and not non-religious posts. Although a clause already exists within laws passed in 2003, it is believed that many religious organisations are ignoring it and applying the exemption widely to all posts.
Speaking to the times Equalities Minister Harriet Harman confirmed she would not be bringing the amendment back when it is passed through the House of Commons, she commented:
“Religious organisations can decide themselves how to do that. However, when it comes to non-religious jobs, those organisations must comply with the law. We thought that it would be helpful for everyone involved to clarify the law, and that is what the amendment ... aimed to do. That amendment was rejected, so the law remains as it was.”
It's thought the actions of the government are a climb down in an effort to avoid confrontation with religious organisations. Furthermore there is limited time to enact the bill making the a governments position on fighting for the clarification weak. At this late stage its unlikey any key elements of the bill will be changed with the government rushing to pass the bill into law before the general election.
Posted by

Asif Yusuf


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