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EU Equality Proposal Discriminates against Religious Believers: Romanian Pro-Family Group

LifeSiteNews.com

By Hilary White

ROME, June 4, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The leading pro-family organisation in Romania has warned that the European Union is setting a “dangerous precedent” with efforts to include “sexual orientation” into a new equality directive. “Forcing sexual orientation non-discrimination on religious bodies is discriminatory to religion,” the Alliance of Romania’s Families (AFR, Alianta Familiilor Din Romania) said in a legal brief. The EU’s proposed directive is directly “hostile to religion” and conflicts with freedom of speech protections, they explained.

“The directive will likely have the effect of preventing religious bodies from promoting the authentic biblical view on sexuality or sexual immorality in general and from criticizing it.”

The EU’s Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council is preparing to implement a directive prohibiting “discrimination” on the basis of religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. The proposal came from the EU Commission in 2008 and is part of the effort to consolidate all the European Union’s “equality” measures.

Dr. Peter Costea, AFR president, said the directive is internally contradictory in that the inclusion of sexual orientation itself poses a direct threat to the protection of the rights and liberties of religious believers.

“Religion and sexual orientation are not analogous grounds for non-discrimination,” Costea wrote, “but mutually exclusive in most respects.”

The directive, he said, is poorly thought out and fails to consider the existing conflicts between religious freedom and the goals of the homosexualist movement. “Europe’s religious tradition is largely incompatible with the relatively new notion of sexual orientation non-discrimination,” he said.

Compared to Europe’s well-developed religious and legal moral concepts, the notion of “sexual orientation” is a recent development and is largely undefined in legal terms. It is one “in constant flux without well defined or stable perimeters.”

“Religious doctrine, on the other hand, is largely stable and for most of its adherents it is inflexible on certain fundamental issues, sexual orientation being paramount among them.”

In the UK, similar legislation proposing to unite all of Britain’s existing non-discrimination laws is being criticised by religious liberty watchdogs as a threat to religious liberties. It was revealed this week that the Labour government has paid £35,000 to an anti-religion campaign group, the British Humanist Association, to produce “guidelines” on how the new law will suppress the expression of religious belief in public and in the workplace. Currently, dozens of individual cases are being heard in courts and employment tribunals of Christians who have run afoul of existing “equality” legislation and workplace rules by expressing their religious beliefs in public. 

Costea points out that whereas there is “virtual unanimity” of agreement on the protection of religion, age and disability, sexual orientation is not a comparable category. Age and disability are unavoidable natural conditions, he wrote, and religious belief is a matter of “deep conviction which binds the conscience and most individuals cannot act, or be forced to act or think in opposition to it.”

But a person’s sexual activity, he said, “is a matter of choice.”

The AFR, he wrote, believes “that the law should not protect choices from discrimination especially when such choices amount to nothing more than mere fads.”

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