Equality for All (Except Humanists)

The Conservatives (Baroness Warsi and Baroness Morris) have tabled an amendment to the Equality Bill – likely to be debated on Monday of next week – that will result in the removal of the word ‘philosophical’ from the meaning of belief. It would appear that this is a move to ensure that people who have religious faith are made more equal than people who have ‘philosophical’ belief rather than belief in a god or gods.

This would mean that, for example, humanists would not be protected by equality legislation. This runs counter to the objectives of the Bill.

The Government Equalities Office (yes, there is one!) states in its “easy read” description of the bill that “All public bodies must think about treating people from different groups fairly and equally. This is called the public sector Equality Duty.” It then goes on to list the types of groups that should be treated equally such as, “People with a religion or belief, or people without a religion or belief.”

However, the Conservatives, in removing the key word “philosophical” from the Bill draft will ensure that only people of religion will be included. This is bizarre. The fact that the Conservatives are showing this degree of nit-picking in order to overtly exclude people of no faith from the provisions of the Bill seems counter-intuitive.


One Response

  1. My local conservative MP, has received a number of emails from me regarding issues affecting the non-religious community. I have now given up on him given that in his last reply he stated:

    “I believe the Christian foundations of the nation are under threat and that the various Christian denominations need to join forces to meet those threats.”

    His condescending tone really doesn’t serve to engage me as a tax payer or voter. Particularly when I am asking him to take a view on issues of equality and fairness.

    I think your efforts to persuade and engage the rest of your party are to be applauded, but I’m not putting any bets on you having much sway.

    On the positive side I will take some satisfaction when I cast my vote on polling day.

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