Gay debate is 'political correctness gone mad'

PUBLISHED: 13:04 27 March 2007 | UPDATED: 11:43 06 May 2010

Protesting about the Equality Act

Protesting about the Equality Act

CHRISTIANS travelled to Westminster to protest against a Bill which aims to stop discrimination against homosexuals. Members of the Redemption Church, based at the Bowes Lyon Centre in St George s Way, Stevenage, gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday l

CHRISTIANS travelled to Westminster to protest against a Bill which aims to stop discrimination against homosexuals.

Members of the Redemption Church, based at the Bowes Lyon Centre in St George's Way, Stevenage, gathered outside Parliament on Wednesday last week as the House of Lords debated the adoption of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007.

The Regulations will be applicable to a wide range of activities. For instance it will be unlawful to:

- refuse a same sex couple a double room in a hotel because this might cause offence to other customers

- refuse to provide a gift registration service for couples planning a civil partnership where such a service is offered to couples planning a wedding

- refuse a child's admission to a school on the grounds of either their or their parents' sexual orientation

- refuse membership of a sports club to an individual on the grounds of their sexual orientation

The House of Lords approved the regulations.

Pastor of Stevenage's Redemption Church, Mark Neale, 43, said: "Essentially the Government has brought it in through the back door and its going to criminalise people's consciences.

"If people want to adopt a homosexual lifestyle then that's their right and privilege but people have the right not to agree with that.

"A lot of people are going to be hurt by this Bill and we don't think that's right. "We wanted to send a message that this is not right but we are not looking for homosexuals to be outlawed.

"The protest was about the right of the individual to have their own opinion. "The Bill is a terrible breach of somebody's freedom.

"I don't care what people's backgrounds are but my advice [to homosexuals] is to change their lifestyles."

A member of the Redemption Church, Charlotte Milburn, 36, said: "I think it's actually quite frightening. This Bill is bordering on the Government telling us what we ought to think and what we should be teaching our children.

"It's not something I would want to teach my daughter because I don't agree with it.

"It's getting close to taking away our freedom of private thought.

"I think its political correctness gone mad."

In a debate in the House of Lords about the regulations earlier this year, Lord Smith of Finsbury said: "It seems to me in my simplistic way that what they [campaigners] are arguing for is quite simply the right to discriminate and the right to harass. And those arguments are being made in the name of Christianity? I find that very difficult to understand."

He added: "I also happen to be a Christian. My Christianity is about being inclusive, not about being exclusive. It is about being accepting of others.


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