Equality commission seeks views on gay vs religious rights cases

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission is holding a brief consultation on how it should advise in four religious rights cases due to come before the European Court of Human Rights.

Two of the cases involve Christian workers who said they could not serve gay people. The commission stated last month that it believes ‘reasonable adjustments’ could be made for religious employees in the same way that disabled people are accommodated in the workplace, such as allowing anti-gay workers to swap shifts to avoid groups of people they dislike.

After strong criticism from Stonewall, Peter Tatchell, trade unions and some MPs, the body appears to have decided not to argue for ‘reasonable adjustments’.

According to a consultation document, the commission will intervene in the cases of Lillian Ladele and Gary McFarlane “on the basis that the domestic courts came to the correct conclusions”.

In a plea for submissions, the body says: “Please let us know if you think the UK tribunals and courts applied the justification test correctly in the cases of Ladele or McFarlane? Please let us have your views on the cases and whether there are specific aspects you think are important.”

Those who want to respond can find out more here.

The consultation closes on September 5th.