Friday, March 16, 2012

Equality - except for Christians?

You might find it hard to believe.

Nadia Eweida, a British Airways check-in clerk, was instructed to remove a small cross she wore at work (despite the fact that Muslims were apparently allowed to wear hijabs and Sikhs to wear karas and turbans). Shirley Chaplin, an Exeter hospital nurse, was asked to remove a cross she had worn around her neck for years.

Having got no satisfaction in British courts, both are going to the European Court of Human Rights because they want to establish the right of Christians to wear symbols of their faith at work.

They are supported by the British Government's own equality quango, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which argues that workers should have legal protection if they want to display a token of their faith at work.

But Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone - the same Lynne Featherstone who is insisting that UK law is to be altered to allow same-sex marriage - has instructed Government lawyers to ask the European human rights judges to dismiss the claims, arguing that in neither case is there any suggestion that the wearing of a cross is "a generally recognised form of practising the Christian faith, still less one that is regarded as a requirement of the faith."

This within days of a report that the joint committee considering the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill is likely to recommend that bishops should lose their seats in the House of Lords.

Time for Christians - not just some Christians - to stand up for who they are?