Lord Justice Munby and Mr Justice Beatson made the remarks when ruling on the case of a Christian couple who were told that they could not be foster carers because of their view that homosexuality is wrong.
The judges underlined that, in the case of fostering arrangements at least, the right of homosexuals to equality “should take precedence” over the right of Christians to manifest their beliefs and moral values.
In a ruling with potentially wide-ranging implications, the judges said Britain was a “largely secular”, multi-cultural country in which the laws of the realm “do not include Christianity”.
[…]The ruling in the case of Owen and Eunice Johns, from Derby, is the latest in a series of judgments in which Christians have been defeated in the courts for breaching equality laws by manifesting their beliefs on homosexuality.
[…]In their ruling yesterday, the judges complained that it was not yet “well understood” that British society was largely secular and that the law has no place for Christianity.
“Although historically this country is part of the Christian West, and although it has an established church which is Christian, there have been enormous changes in the social and religious life of our country over the last century,” they said.
It was a “paradox” that society has become simultaneously both increasingly secular and increasingly diverse in religious affiliation, they said.
“We sit as secular judges serving a multicultural community of many faiths. We are sworn (we quote the judicial oath) to ‘do right to all manner of people after the laws and usages of this realm, without fear or favour, affection or ill will’.”
The judges acknowledged that there was a “tension” in the case of Mr and Mrs Johns between the rights of individuals to maintain their religious beliefs and the rights of homosexual people to live free from discrimination.
However, when fostering regulations were taken into account, “the equality provisions concerning sexual orientation should take precedence” over religious rights, they said.
The world becomes a more evil place when Christians are forced to retreat into the shadows by the fascist state. I wonder if the two defendants voted for the Labor government that brought in these anti-Christian changes? I hope that they did not vote for the Labor Party, because it is a fearful thing to be your own executioner.
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