Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The pope and the right to discriminate

I know it's an obvious gag but someone's got to make it: 

Apparently the Catholic Church is concerned that new employment equality legislation will stop them discriminating against gay, lesbian and transgender people when  appointing clergy and  lay staff -  funny I thought they had being doing some pioneering work in that field for centuries ...

But there is a serious side to this - the extent of Catholic bigotry is evident in the Pope's  denunciation of the legislation as violating 'natural law'. As happened with the adoption by gay couples issue, doubtless the church will claim some sort of special dispensation . 

To accept such an exemption would make a travesty of equality rights -  belief in the supernatural cannot be used as a get-out-of-jail-card: 'Sorry your holiness I thought you were just a common or garden  reactionary old bigot but as I see you claim divine inspiration for your discrimination that's a different matter altogether - carry on'.

2 comments:

Everyones Favourite Comrade said...

I think its one issue if the catholic church does not want to admit gay clergy. If the spiritual beliefs are that bigoted then thats up to them. Although all charitiable status etc should be permanently removed in this case.

The most worrying thing though is how far beyond clergy would this go, admin staff for the church, maintance workers on church propert. Teachers, cooks, cleaners, secretaries in catholic schools, this clearly would be a whole sale attack on the rights of the LGBT community

Journeyman said...

Point taken about the real issue being discrimination against workers in Catholic institutions rather than clergy.

But I can't agree that "if the spiritual beliefs are that bigoted then thats up to them".

The point is we wouldn't accept that in any other context - say the BNP ban on black members - but throw in the word 'spiritual' and suddenly all bets are off.

Bigoted believers are still bigots.