Our Chairman, Ian, felt compelled to respond to the article “Christians are being forced into the closet” by Rev Kevin Logan, Lancashire Telegraph columnist, commenting on the recent court ruling against B&B owners who refused accommodation to a gay couple:
No Blacks–No Irish–[No Gays]”? … ‘No Thanks’
As Chair of Lancashire Secular Humanist can I throw my support behind Rev Kevin Logan’s opening salvo in his article ‘Christians are being forced into the closet’? [L.T. Fri 28th Jan].
I couldn’t agree more: anybody whose religious belief so limits their ability to interact with the rest of society that it compels them to ignore the law of the land, certainly shouldn’t be opening a B&B in Lancashire – or anywhere else in the UK for that matter.
Neither should they be considering a career as a registrar; or in marriage counselling, where they could conceivably encounter people whose lifestyle is so incompatible with their own narrow view of right & wrong it restricts their ability to provide those services.
I don’t suggest such people should [necessarily] be confined to a closet but I do say they should not be purporting to offer a service accessible to everybody under a deluded misapprehension that they’ll then be allowed to refuse it to ‘some’ on religious grounds.
Don’t misunderstand me. I’m very happy that we live in a country where people are free to follow whatever religious practices their little hearts’ desire. I’m delighted they are permitted to prevent whomever they want from entering the privacy of their own home: but if they put a B&B / Guest House sign outside that home they ‘must’ know that every member of the public has a right to access the services they are offering. [- you’d have thought Christians would appreciate the concept of ‘a bed for the night’ wouldn’t you?].
Similarly, such people certainly should not be compelled to work in marriage guidance or as a registrar: but having freely made such a career choice for themselves they can’t then demand the right to say ‘but I refuse to counsel you or marry you’.
For goodness sake grow up.
Laws forbidding prejudice don’t discriminate against people who are prejudiced – they prevent discrimination against people who are not!
Come on Kevin: being gay isn’t a belief – it isn’t a choice. It may be hard for you to swallow but gay people are a fact of life and as much a part of our society as you and I.
Try to look on the bright side – you could always start searching for a gay couple running a B&B and refusing accommodation to narrow minded, blinkered, homophobic, religious bigots – then you can have your day in court!
Ian Abbott (Chair) Lancashire Secular Humanists