Today's protest against sexual orientation regulations
London – 21 March 2007
"This protest is an attempt to preserve the right of religious
organisations to discriminate against lesbian and gay people. It is a
dishonourable protest in support of a dishonourable cause - homophobic
discrimination," said Peter Tatchell of the gay human rights group
He was commenting on today's planned protest outside parliament by
religious fundamentalists. They are opposing the new sexual
orientation regulations that will protect lesbian and gay people
against discrimination. A Conservative member of the House of Lords,
Baroness O’Cathain, will today attempt to rescind the regulations.
"If the zealots succeed in overturning the new regulations church
schools will be able to expel gay pupils; faith-based nursing homes
will be allowed to refuse gay patients; and religious charities like
night-shelters will be free to turn away homeless gay people,” added
"The opponents of the sexual orientation regulations are promoting a
highly selective and homophobic interpretation of religious morality.
"They are singling out homosexuality from all other so-called 'sins',
and demanding the right, on religious grounds, to discriminate against
gay people. But they are not campaigning for the right to discriminate
against other 'sinners', such as adulterers, unwed mothers, or even
thieves, murderers or rapists – only gays.
“The government's new regulations merely extend to gay people the
anti-discrimination laws that already protect women, black, disabled
and religious people.
"These fundamentalists are demanding that religious organisations
should be exempt from the law. They want to permit religious doctors,
schools, hoteliers and charities to turn away gay people – in the name
of 'freedom of religion'.
“Today's protest is the latest attempt to import into Britain the
dishonest, dirty ticks of US Christian fundamentalism.
"The protest leaders claim the sexual orientation regulations will
'curtail freedom of religious belief and expression'; alleging that
believers who condemn gay sex as a sin will face criminal charges.
This is nonsense. The regulations do not concern beliefs or opinions.
"Another lie put about by the fundamentalists is that the regulations
would force all schools, including faith schools, to 'promote
homosexuality'. As Lord Rooker pointed out, this is untrue. The
regulations are not about the content of the school curriculum.
"These falsehoods are typical of the many 'Big Lies' on which the
religious fundamentalist campaign is based. It has succeeded in
frightening many Christians, who have now rallied to the ignoble cause
of homophobic discrimination. They have been hoodwinked, said Mr
Further information: Peter Tatchell 020 7403 1790