In this particular religious climate it takes a unique situation to bring together Christians and Muslims as allies but today a coalition of Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders and members are united in a march outside the House of Lords in Britian to stop what they consider a particularly dangerous and harmful act becoming law. The crisis? This act ensures that homosexuals have to be served in business establishments to the same level as non gays. Yes, now it will no longer be legal to say, “You’re gay, so I’m not serving you in my restaurant.” Or “If you are a lesbian couple, you can’t stay at our hotel” (Ironically, in a phone survey taken two years ago, 60% of small hotels on the isle of Jersey thought it was illegal to rent a room to a gay couple). Now the idea of shops, hotels, restaurants or other businesses having a visual or unstated policy of “heterosexuals only” may seem a bit odd to North Americans, but I can assure you from personal experience that even the mighty Ebay.uk used this policy to delete and refuse listings from gays and lesbians – all perfectly legal.
Some Christians say they are doing this “in love” and apparently the “love” is so overwhelming it crosses religious boundries in trying to make sure that all God’s children are NOT equal. Or could it be another emotion...let’s say, fear? Hmmm, the Lawyer’s Christian Fellowship have given several “disturbing” examples of what lies in the future: “The regulations will also force a Christian family-run hotel or B&B to let out a double room to a transsexual couple”, and “Christian bookshop owners, who currently only stock books on heterosexual marriage, could also be forced to stock books promoting homosexual or transsexual practice”. There are even questions whether hospitals should be required to treat gay patients? Of course, transsexuals are not actually covered in this protection (but Christians seem to be using it as the "fear factor" phrase in case people are okay with gays and lesbians - you know, now that the new Gender law has finally gotten the UK to the same legal level of transsexual rights as...Iran) but since a Bed & Breakfast has to rent a room to Muslims, Athiests, Wiccians, Tree Worshipers, Animists, Followers of Jedi and Satanists, regardless of whether the couple who own it are Christian, I am not sure what extra damage gays will do to their space heater and double bed. Also, the law doesn’t say that gays can REQUIRE content – by say, forcing the local opera house to only play RENT, but that Christian bookstores can no longer say, “We don’t sell to your kind here.” Trust me, from personal experience, gay and lesbians prefer going to gay and lesbian friendly B&B’s anyway; since no law has yet to stop a hefty percentage of British men from getting drunk and start loudly complaining about those damn “shirt-lifters” and those women who just want to be men. Oh the memories, rugby game day, holding hands, drunk men screaming names at us….yes, that green and pleasant land.
There are other concerns that, for instance, a teacher couldn’t tell his pupils that the only real union is between a man and a woman. Now, since same sex civil unions are legal and supposed to be equal under the law, I am not quite sure I see the hardship in not openly being a hypocrite on the government’s dime. The activist group Stonewall are saying this law will to address real present problems, like local GP doctor’s refusing to treat people because of their orientation or schools refusing to stop homophobic bullying. In a bizarre twist, the protestors hope, as a last effort, to hand a petition signed by 10,000 good God fearing Christians to the Queen in hopes of stopping this legislation. The Queen? Do they think this is the Pirates of Penzance and that all the gays and lesbians will go, “the Queen, the Queen, ah yes, we surrender in the name of the Queen.”
What bothers me the most is that 19 years ago, the same rights against discrimination were given to people based on religious belief and since then, Christians in particular have fought to ensure that they are able to say what they wish regarding gays and lesbians. Why now, when only three weeks ago, the deputy mayor of Antrim, Northern Ireland, has said that would not want gay couples in HIS Bed and Breakfast establishment because of his "Christian family" do not the rest of Organized Christianity stand up and USE the rights to speak they fought so hard to preserve? Do they really believe that some of God's children are to be treated as second class human beings, because by standing by while a few thousand claim to speak on the concerns of Christians, they have become complicit supporters. If Christians were really so interested in acting in love toward gays and lesbians, why are they not the first to denounce and distance themselves from an attitude which is openly hypocritical and bigoted. If you want me or any other LGBT person to not believe that the person wearing a cross who says that they wouldn't want their family to eat from plates washed by gays doesn't represent you and your feelings, then you better stand up and say so.
16 hours ago