My Response to the Daily HateMail

A Victory for Britain’s Quiet Majority

Britain’s acceptance of those from different racial, social or religious backgrounds has long been an attractive aspect of our national character.

But this culture of tolerance has come under pressure from politicians and the courts, who have put the often stridently expressed demands of minorities ahead of the rights of the majority.

No case has so clearly illustrated this as that of Lillian Ladele, the registrar whose Christian beliefs – beliefs incidentally that in the broader sense shaped the DNA of this country – led her to refuse to perform same-sex civil partnerships.

The Mail supports the right to undertake civil partnerships, but not to force others to participate in ceremonies with which they may profoundly disagree.

But Miss Ladele’s bosses at Islington council, always ready to leap to the defence of the gay community, concluded that she was prejudiced, and insisted that she change her mind.

So she took them to an employment tribunal and – to the amazement of all those who have given up on the ability of our legal system to stand up for ordinary Britons – she won.

The tribunal concluded that Miss Ladele had been discriminated against, that the council had allowed the rights of homosexuals to trump her religious beliefs, and that it was utterly wrong.

The battle is far from over. Islington may appeal against the judgment. And we should never underestimate the sheer zeal of the commissars of political correctness to get their way.

I remember the Daily HateMail in the 80s, stirring up hate against ‘loonies’ and the ‘left’, as though standing up for, promoting and funding equality was only something which those with diseased minds would do. This paper has never accepted difference. They have railed incessantly against gay people, asylum seekers, foreigners and others, and in addition to their Nazi-supporting past have run appalling, personal campaigns against politicians such as Ken Livingstone who have had the temerity to stand up to them.

Their claim that the case against Lillian Ladele was a demand by a ‘strident’ minority against the ‘rights’ of the majority is an outright deceit. Noone has suggested for a moment that gay rights should trump those of straight people or even the religious – that would be ridiculous because they are not fundamentally in opposition to one another. However the stridently religious believe that gay people are not equal – Lillian Ladele said she couldn’t fulfil her job description for gay people because of her ‘religious beliefs’. To allow belief as an excuse for enforcing in equality would be as dangerous as it is monstrous. In effect she demanded an opt out from the social norms which we are all now bound by, but against which the Daily HateMail continues to campaign. Her religion is not fundamentally opposed to gay people or homosexuality, whatever hysterical theists like Iris Robinson would have you believe, and to enshrine such an opt out under the law would be to misrepresent even her religion.

The HateMail suggests that this is ‘political correctness’, as if a local council standing up for equality before the law (and Ladele’s job description was bound by at least two laws) were something undesirable. It makes no difference whether or not the council could fulfil its remit to provide civil partnerships without her – the argument was whether or not the stridently religious could get special treatment in employment, treatment which allowed them to discriminate in the world of work, based merely on belief and not on the law which is supposed to apply to the rational majority. That Lillian Ladele has (for now) succeeded is a slap in the face for the real majority, who are not in any way connected to the bigoted, small-minded, xenophobic and hateful DNA of the country which the HateMail thinks it appeals to.

Bigotry is not a ‘right’ held by the majority, whatever else the tabloid would have you believe; Iris Robinson didn’t have this right, nor does Lillian Ladele. Thankfully our thoughts can’t (yet) be controlled, but we do not have the ‘right’ to impose our darker thoughts on those different to us, or those whom we dislike or disapprove of, at least not in the world of work. The law has, in this instance, said that belief trumps the rule of law, that Islington Council was wrong, despite having equality policies which Lillian Ladele was bound by, and laws governing the conduct of her job, to enforce her job description for all, not just some. It’s an outrageous decision, based on a flawed interpretation of the law, and it must be challenged for all our sakes.

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9 responses to “My Response to the Daily HateMail

  1. Unbelievable!

    All the other apparent sins in her book and she has to pick homosexuality to make her filthy point. Don’t they all. These wretched mind-fucked fundamentalists are really starting to get on my nerves.

    What precedent does this set?

    I think this will be struck out at a higher level. It can’t be allowed to stay and I think there are going to be some very strong legal challenges.

    The vileness and sheer hatred from some Christians is staggering. This needs fighting vigorously.

  2. I have wrote about her on my blog too adding the daily mails report to it. She is another one who should be ashamed of herself. Why doesn’t she go and work in a Christian book shop or be a nun! If she was against animal cruelty would she work in a lab that tests products on animals ? Of course she wouldn’t. Its time she got a job were she actually does what shes getting paid to do!

  3. What Lillian Ladele was definitely not doing was questioning the equality of gays. She never once claimed in her work that they had not right to Civil Partnerships. In her conscience it was wrong so she tried to find a way around the position, and it worked until Islington Council stepped in. Again with that infantile approach which is so charecterisitic of the Gay Movement she was not according to them exercing consciience but showing hate and prejudice. But this will not do no matter how much rhetoric and hate is poured at her. Conscience is a very private thing and the right of one to follow his or her conscience has been part of Brighish history since donkeys years. Conscienctious objectors in war, have been recognised. The right of other faith movements to follow their beliefs and practices hqs been recognised. Peopple of conscience have always accepted the right of others to disagree with them. Not so Stonewall and the Gay movement. If you do not approve of homosexuality then you are full of hate. In actual fact there is very little homophobia around. People do not hate or fear homosesuals they feel sorry for them. #WE saw in the Sun in a poll that 96% of people disagreed with homosexuals adopting children. The majority were ignored. I can only conclude from the Gay reasoning that 96% of people hate gays. I thnk it is time the Gay movement sorted itself out.

  4. John,
    While I agree that she hasn’t been homophobic, from what I read of the case, she was employed in a job that necessitated her performing Civil Partnerships. Fair enough, she doesn’t approve of that, and I have no problem with her disagreeing with as that is her choice. However, in her position she should have expected to be asked to perform these. Were she employed as a minister of the church, in whichever faith she believes, then she would be able to refuse under the category of religious objection. Working for a council, however, she should not have been able to do this because the council is not, or should not be, a religious organisation.

    To my mind here, the question of homophobia is actually not an issue, but the issue should be where the boundary lies in which you can refuse to do something because of religious beliefs.

    Should I, in my current work, refuse to deal with churches or other religious organisations because I disagree with their points of view and I am an atheist? I wouldn’t, as it would be impractical and also I’m not going to jeopardise my position to do so. If I really objected to doing things like that then I would most likely not put myself in a professional position where I would be required to.

    I’m not sure what the poll about queer families adopting has to do with the point here, but I do wonder what the questions asked were to cover that, and the numbers of people.

    Where the problem lies in equality is in cases where people can refuse due to religious objections yet try to take advantage of situations where religion isn’t taken into account. Take, for example, the case of a B&B owner in the Scottish Highlands who refused accommodation to a gay male couple.

  5. Dave, the European Court of Human have clarified that protection for people with a belief shouldn’t be exclusive to those who believe in a God. They say anyone with a ‘similar philosophical belief’ should be treated the same in law, and in that respect I think you’re totally within your rights to refuse to deal with Christians in your work if they go against the grain of your belief – in this case atheism. I know you don’t really want to lower yourself and act so childishly as Lillian Ladele did, but I’m just highlighted how very silly this decision was and what this precedent could lead to.

  6. John said…”Conscience is a very private thing and the right of one to follow his or her conscience has been part of Brighish history since donkeys years”

    But when it’s used so selectively against one group of society one wonders if it’s really, deep down, based on hate and personal prejudice. Indeed, did Lillian Ladele refuse to carry out her official work duties with anyone else who had supposedly sinned? Her objection was because we are sinners in the eyes of the lord so why hasn’t she mentioned any other sinners like adulterers for example? One could claim that Christians say we’re all sinners so seemingly there are tiers of severity where sins are concerned? And isn’t it funny that the sin of choice for these kind of Christian crusades is nearly always homosexuality.

  7. John said…”Peopple of conscience have always accepted the right of others to disagree with them”

    But can’t you see that when a disagreement is based upon something which by it’s very nature cannot be examined it becomes very dangerous to offer protection in law. Furthermore, to disagree with something is far less severer than taking action to prevent it. This case hasn’t just highlighted this woman’s simple disagreement – it’s shown she’s also intolerant and wants to impose her disagreement.

  8. @ John:

    What on Earth is this ‘Gay Movement’ of which you speak? Oh right you mean the government, implementing legislation to guarantee equality before the law, which includes the provision of goods and services. It’s irrelevant that her objection to officiating civil partnerships made no difference to the council’s ability to provide the service – she as an employee of the council is bound by the same requirement as her employment. Not questioning the equality of ‘gays’? Really? So her ‘religious views’ meant she was in fact prepared to serve everyone equally?

    For that matter let’s take the issue of ‘conscience’. Are you really trying to equate conscientious objection to fighting in war to ‘conscientious objection’ by a civil registrar against civil partnerships? That isn’t comparing like with like – the latter use of the term is a smokescreen to legitimise prejudice. Just because that prejudice is legitimised after a fashion by her religion doesn’t make it right, or indeed socially acceptable. If you don’t ‘approve’ (whatever that means) of homosexuality you aren’t necessarily full of hate but it does make you homophobic, because you are castigating individuals based on difference which a) isn’t anything to do with you and b) doesn’t determine their quality as a human being. Having that thought is entirely legitimate, as well it should be, but using it as a tool in the workplace is not under the law, which makes this ruling so foolish.

    In all honesty I think a poll about gay adoption in the Sun could readily be ignored considering the huge bias against gay people by the tabloid’s owner and no doubt the means by which the poll would have been conducted. Get me the same result by official pollsters with at least a presumption of no bias, and more than on one occasion, and you may have a more meaningful result. The rest of the argument you put sort of falls apart without that as a central plank.

  9. William Whitehead

    How about this as a situation to put to Miss Ladele? It’s not been much reported but she has a child born out of wedlock, ie was illegitimate. She would presumably condone any council employee withholding, say, child benefit to her on the basis of her biblical immorality, then. Indeed according to her own private misgivings she should be denied any council benefit or services, as she is a sinner. How about a conscientious dustman refusing to collect her rubbish? Or how about the bible-bashing bus-driver ejecting her on discovering her procreational mishap? What a nonsense. How dare she bring her bigotry into the secular workplace. What a spineless tribunal- I wonder who was on it and what their agendas were?

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