Here is a timely and somewhat controversial issue for everyone to chew over. The attached link refers to a case in England where a couple refused to allow a same-sex couple to share a room together in their hotel, citing that they didn’t allow unmarried couples/same-sex partners to sleep together in their hotel. The appeals court in the UK today upheld the ruling that this was discriminatory action and that “when offering a service, people cannot use their beliefs – religious or otherwise – to discriminate against others”.
This is timely because we are seeing the same issues surfacing once more in the USA where Catholic hospitals and organisations are furious about the fact that they have to provide health plans to their employees that provide birth control. Note that the law doesn’t make people use it, just that it has to be available. Why? Because some people who work for an organization may not be Catholic and may want to use it. You can’t discriminate in employment by law with regard to religion (hiring/firing) as I understand it, so why should the employer be allowed to discriminate through the back door once the people are working?
It is a tough one in some ways. I understand that people may hold strong religious views, but discriminating against someone is still wrong. No one is saying you can’t have your beliefs. You just can’t use them to inflict damage or harm on someone else. That seems reasonable, right? But it seems that where religion is involved, organisation and people want to have it both ways. Would I be allowed to refuse a Catholic service in my business? You can just imagine the shit storm that would stir up….. The bible has a dubious record on race too, so should religious organisations be able to discriminate on race too? These are serious questions, though in my mind they are easy to solve. Discrimination is wrong. If you don’t want to have to offer a service to everyone, then you can choose not to offer the service to anyone; you can’t slice and dice it to suit your beliefs!
Now why is this so hard?