Grayling OK with barring gay couples from B&Bs


11:56 am - April 4th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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Conservative Home Secretary Chris Grayling is embroiled in a row on homophobia today after being exposed as making bigoted comments by the Observer newspaper.

He is reported as having told a meeting of the Centre for Policy Studies think tank last week:

I think we need to allow people to have their own consciences.

I personally always took the view that, if you look at the case of should a Christian hotel owner have the right to exclude a gay couple from a hotel, I took the view that if it’s a question of somebody who’s doing a B&B in their own home, that individual should have the right to decide who does and who doesn’t come into their own home.

Nothing about gay couples there explicitly. But he goes on to say:

If they are running a hotel on the high street, I really don’t think that it is right in this day and age that a gay couple should walk into a hotel and be turned away because they are a gay couple, and I think that is where the dividing line comes.

The Observer has posted a tape recording of the event when Grayling made those statements.

Darell Goodliffe points out on his blog:

His vote obviously contradicts what he says in the taped remarks which tells us one thing; not that Grayling is in favour of gay rights but actually he was told to vote that way and that is why he did so. Either he was lying in what he said or he was lying when he voted; it’s as simple as that.

Secondly, if it was a member of another faith being bigoted, say, for example, a Muslim I would bet a dollar to a dime that Grayling’s attitude would not be the same.

Other recent examples of Tory homophobia:
Norman Tebbit’s rant against Cameron being ‘too busy saving African homosexuals’

How the Tories abandoned gay rights over Europe

Why are gays trying to assimilate?, asks Tory PPC

Wirral Tory councillor suspended in homophobic row

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Not this one again – suppose it was a Muslim B&B Sunny ? Whose side would you be on then, if a gay couple wanted to stay, and wanted a full english breakfast in the morning ?

It’s an interesting question. At what point are you allowed to discriminate?

At one end of course we’re all entirely entitled to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Being out on the pull doesn’t mean that we’ve got to accept an invitation from someone who doesn’t share our own orientation.

At the other end a sign saying “no pooftahs in this pub” would, I think we’d all agree, be taking discrimination too far (although where that leaves certain gay clubs which restrict heterosexual access I’m not sure).

But where should the line be drawn in between those? Does a gigolo offering services to women have to take male customers?

I’m genuinely interested (rather than simply trolling) to find out where people think that it is acceptable to discriminate on the basis of sexual preferences and where it isn’t.

It can’t be purely on the basis of offering legal goods or services for sale for that would include those offering sex for sale (which is, yes, legal).

This is the third story about Tory homophobia this week. You also note the Tebbit story. And there was also the case of a Tory councillor who referred to gay canvassers as an ‘unusual’ group of ‘limp-wristed boys’:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/merseyside/8595606.stm

@2 I think it come down to what your definition of offering services to “the public” is. IMHO a private business, pub, B&B etc is not a public servivice and is not serving “the public”. It’s serving it’s customers who are both a selected and self selecting group. Otherwise you end up in the ridiculous situation where I could sue my local Ferrari dealer, on the grounds that he “discriminated” against me by refusing to sell me a car because I couldn’t afford it.

Not this one again – suppose it was a Muslim B&B Sunny ?

Jeez – why do people keep raising these stupid comparisons. OF course I’d be against a Muslim couple discriminating. If a Muslim couple said I wasn’t allowed to stay as a non-Muslim, I’d sue too. Does that make you happy?

Ahh the old ” I am a Christian so I can be a tosser ” is all the rage these days on the Right. It has become the get out of jail card to all the knuggle dragging morons.

All you have to do is declare you’re devoted to Jaysus and being a git just comes natural. I can’t wait for a liberal doctor to refuse to treat a right wing git and just watch the right wings heads explode

@1 Matt Munro

As Sunny says @5, of course it would be wrong in those circumstances too. Not accepting bookings from homosexuals is the same as not accepting bookings from muslims, black people, conservatives.

The “IMHO a private business, pub, B&B etc is not a public servivice and is not serving “the public” ” whinge (I wouldn’t dignify it as a defence) just won’t wash. What would be next.. the ice-cream van refusing to serve a muslim girl in a headscarf? Presumably you would think that’s OK since it’s a small busness? Or maybe my local sandwich bar refusing to serve ginger people?

It’s not a question of “political correctness”, it’s discrimination. Anyone who says otherwise is simply condoning discrimination.

“It’s not a question of “political correctness”, it’s discrimination. Anyone who says otherwise is simply condoning discrimination.”

OK, but when is it allowable to discriminate? That’s what’s got to be nailed down. When is it legal (or moral if you prefer) to discriminate?

To take an example in the news recently. The celebrations of civil partnerships in Church property. I’m sure I saw the argument around here that it was only to allow those Churches or denominations which wished to do so to be allowed to do so.

OK. Assume the law passed (I can’t remember). So, is it discrimination by those Churches which do not offer such celebrations?

Well, yes, pertty obviously this is discrimination. But is it legal (or moral) for them to discriminate in this manner?

And what is the dividing line between this legal discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and the illegal kind by the B&B owners?

@8 Tim

My own view is that in the situation you refer to above, it should not be open to religious denominations (or any group) to use what I would see as “special pleading” to exempt them from renting space in a church hall to a gay couple wanting to hire it for a civil partnership, tho perhaps that has more to do with me being an atheist 😉

Let’s not be so tolerant that we tolerate intolerance. Religious belief, however sincerely held, isn’t some “get out of jail” free card allowing zealots to continue discriminating against a group or behaviour they consider godless or sinful.

In the example of the Roman Catholic adoption agencies who want to opt out of placing children with qualified gay couples.. my answer would be simple: stop discriminating, or get out of the business of adoption and leave it to people less bigoted.

Discriminations based on “intrinsic” personal characteristics (i.e. gender, sexuality, race) are wrong. Full stop. Anything else is obscure hair splitting and arguing the toss by people who don’t have the guts to say that they believe in discrimination.

Comparing one’s sexuality or colour with not being able to afford a Ferrari (see #4 above) or with wearing football tops in pubs is actually offensive for human intellect.

@4 Matt Munro

“Otherwise you end up in the ridiculous situation where I could sue my local Ferrari dealer, on the grounds that he “discriminated” against me by refusing to sell me a car because I couldn’t afford it.”

If this is really the best you can do Matt, it’s probably not worth confirming people’s suspicions that you are a troll by only posting after you’ve sat and had more of a think.

@ Tim W

I see it all rather simply and logical instead of this hypocritical rubbish the media, government and pundits want to play with.

I don’t care if you’re a B&B or a seller of tofee’s in a busy high street you are…a BUSINESS.

I’m about to start my own business (doing a part-time MBA etc) and I need to fill in as I’m sure everyone knows some A’s and M’s (articles & m’s etc) that HAVE to go into guideline with the law to were I wish to run my business.

Ok.

Now within those rules, you are supposed to state exactly how you will run said business and if you’re really lawyerly smart or know a lawyer, you can make it pretty vague so that should you wish to change an aspect of your business, you could because it is within that scope.

Now if you’re Christian and running a B&B that WILL NOT allow gays etc because of who they are OR even non married couples as some pr*ck tried to peddle on CIF, then you need to blimming well state it on your A&M, as well as the t’s & c’s.

The t’s & c’s can then be posted on your site OR infront of your B&B because you are actually only serving a sector of society.

That is all. THEY didn’t do this. That woman and her husband are a bunch of hypocritical tw*ts who are mean spirited and get their highs from judging people.

Someone stupidly mentioned going into a Muslim B&B…okay, the same would have to go for them too…UNLESS they state otherwise in their t&c’s.

If a person starts a business wanting to sell nappies to mothers & fathers, she can because she has stated this on her business plan.

But do you really think this nasty piece of work when doing her business plan and plodding along to the bank to get some $’s, actually wrote in her vision ‘to never serve anyone who doesn’t follow the world of god’???

Do you?? Really?? Or do you think she LIED and said ‘me and the hubbie want to make our lovely house into a cute little local b&b for folk who want to experience country life. this means we will be bringing ex amount to the community and dear bank manager in 2 years you can get your ROI because we’re working for the local community by supporting tourism’

Yeah?

Come on guys. This is a non story and absolutely full of bullsh*t.

And yes, I’m p*ssed off because I can’t STAND the way the Right always try and spin something as if they are being ‘fair for all’. Utter rubbish.

So come on, stop with the ‘but would a female customer have to take in a male giggolo’!

Urgh. If she said this in her business plan then yes!

Interestingly enough, I’ve given you all something.

If you EVER want to start your own business read about ALL the business regulations in this country AND also make sure that you make your A&M as vague as possible so you can discriminate and not be held against it!

Simple.

Well, yes, except everyones articles and memorandum of association always include the catch all phrase “and any such other matters that the Directors might see fit” and the like.

You can do absolutely anything you damn well like under the standard off the shelf stuff.

14. Matt Munro

@ 5 Why “of course” though – you, and LC generally, defend, often to the point of absurdity, any minorities rights against the evil white/chritian/male majority. When faced with a position in which two of those groups are irreducibly opposed to each other, I’m interested how which one you would accomodate at the expense of the other.

15. Matt Munro

@ 10 But Islam isn’t “intrisnsic”, nor is christainity, or any other religion. Religious discrimination is ok by you then ?

16. Matt Munro

@ 7 “The management reserve the right to refuse admission”. A private business is just that. It would be wrong for a PUBLIC service – a school, hospital etc to selectively educate or treat but not an ince cream van.

There’s nothing to stop a Muslim running an ice cream van, or a ginger person from opening a sandwich bar is there ?

The chap above summed this site up wonderfully – there is a certain type of person the left who takes the view that the rights of a particular minority group are more important than anything else in society, including rights of majority groups. No one is suggesting that minority interests/rights are ignored or trampled on, but there are more important things in society. It’s about time society stopped pandering to the various bodies (gay rights groups, for example) that are allowed on the BBC and Sky to say whatever they want, and politicians allow these groups to dictate the agenda. These interest groups do a great job at furthering their cause, but is that necessarily of benefit to the masses?

@16 Matt Munro

“There’s nothing to stop a Muslim running an ice cream van, or a ginger person from opening a sandwich bar is there ?”

More obfuscation as we’d expect from your previous posts. The issue is that it would be just as discriminatory for a muslim running an ice cream van to refuse to serve women who were not wearing a headscarf, or a ginger person running a sandwich bar to refuse to serve anyone who wasn’t ginger.

Trying to say that people should be able to discriminate because it’s not public service isn’t an argument, it’s apartheid.

#17
“there are more important things in society.”
And who decides the scale of priorities?
I’m sure to a homosexual man, the reality of being frequently marginalised, insulted, threatened or discriminated is quite a big priority/worry as regards is quality of life not to mention basic rights to exist in peace.

#15
The law refers to religious beliefs (and, expressly, also lack of belief as well – as stated by the Equality Act 2006) as a fundamental right against which no discrimination is to be tolerated.

As for the statement you mention :
the management reserve the right to refuse admission“, that’s fine, but the law prohibits that you do so on the grounds of race, religion, disability or sexuality. It’s that simple.

If you don’t fancy rowdy football geezers on your premises, or pissed up people it is your right to turn them down. But that’s a whole different issue.

@16: “There’s nothing to stop a Muslim running an ice cream van, or a ginger person from opening a sandwich bar is there ?”

Along one of the bus routes I used to take to get to what used to be my favourite supermarket until I starting having to make regular queries about the prices on my bills at the checkouts, there was a sandwich bar under the name – in big lettering: Edward II.

For any remotely familiar with the history about Edward II and the reputedly spectacular means of his demise in 1327, this was an extraordinary name for a sandwich bar:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_II_of_England

Whatever fates intervened, the said sandwich bar closed even before the onset of the recent financial crisis and reopened thereafter under an Irish name.

Check this out:

According to a Unionist chap who had hoped to be the Conservative and Unionist candidate for the South Antrim constituency, the Conservatives are “hypocrites”.

He’d been deemed unsuitable for the South Antrim candidacy after he’d made similar remarks to Chris Grayling’s over same-sex guests in a B&B.

Incidentally, good point made by Peter Tatchell: does David Cameron agree with Chris Grayling on this?

@ Claude

When I used to live in Manchester before any football matches with Man City or Utd.

ALL the pubs would be closed. My ex was aaalways in the pubs and a bit of a ‘geezer’ and he put up with quite a bit but fair enough. It was an unsaid thing. They were really, really intimidating angry and nasty.

@ Bob b

What does that mean? James Joyce hated the Irish but they celebrate James Joyce day.

@ Ian

Poor you. Are you okay? Do you need a carer? How do you cope with life being constantly victimised?

How Ian? How?

The Left started Wars. Bush is actually a lefty, ignore that neo right rubbish. The Left is all for going into other countries and stealing their minerals, oils. It’s called Free Trade but damn, don’t you dare put your nasty dirty hands in my country. But lemme come into yours.

So left started slavery.

In fact I can go on and on about why we’re in the reason we’re in. It’s because of the left.

Or not.

I don’t know what is so confusing here, if you don’t want any f*gs, n*ggas or anything that would taint your pure and beautiful perfect life, WRITE IT on your site or on the door.

They did it before, no blacks, irish or dogs. At least they had the balls didn’t they Ian?

Which is worse? Writting that on your door, from the get go you know the score…riight? Or what cute Miss Marple the sainted Christian grand mother did?

You come at the door of the Inn and she say p*ss off!

What would Jesus say eh? ‘Im with his lonh ‘air, scruffy robe and hanging out with that working gal Mary of Magdelene. Do you think the inn keeper in ol quaint town in blighty would’ve turned ‘im away? Or iz dad, Joseph!?

Hmmm….the mind bogles!

Aren’t we fascinating. Us human beings. Lovely people we are.

@17

These interest groups do a great job at furthering their cause, but is that necessarily of benefit to the masses?

Are “the masses” never gay, black, disabled, Muslim, Christian, Jewish, trandgender, or lesbian then..?

Or did you mean to write “white straight people” when you said “masses”?

25. Matt Munro

@ 17 “It’s about time society stopped pandering to the various bodies (gay rights groups, for example) that are allowed on the BBC and Sky to say whatever they want, and politicians allow these groups to dictate the agenda”.

You forgot cyclist and vegetarians.

17

Shorter troll. ” why can’t I just be allowed to be an asshole”

The question that must be hovering on everybody’s lips is about whether the reign of Edward II and his spectacular demise will be in a new national history curriculum for schools if there’s a Conservative government.

The engaging aspect is that his son, Edward III, is widely held to be one of the most illustrious monarchs of the middle ages, not least because he started the hundred years of wars with France. With current Middle East fashions for reclaiming the territories of historic kingdoms – surely Blair, as peace envoy to the region, must be instrumental in this – I’m wondering if we are going to make a historic claim to a chunk of France, surely sufficient reason for renewing the Trident missile submarines?

“Shorter troll. ” why can’t I just be allowed to be an asshole””

Quite Sally. Why should it be any business of the law if we’re assholes or not? This is entirely something that can be left to society itself isn’t it?

29. Matt Munro

Sally – I wasn’t being sarcastic. There are a large and growing number of pressure groups with various agendas who dominate the media, have a voice out of all proportion to their actual numbers and take a disproportionate share of what are supposed to be public resources. Most of them are populated and led by white, middle class men. I’m not how anyone on the left can actually defend that.

#28
“Why should it be any business of the law if we’re assholes or not? This is entirely something that can be left to society itself isn’t it?
That’s right. Dig up the pitchforks, everybody.

#29
Those pesky cyclists and vegetarians. Don’t they dominate the media and all…

31. Matt Munro

@ 30 They have effectively annexed an awful lot of (publicly funded) road here in Bristol. Most of which is, of course empty, most of the time, while the majority are crammed and jammed into whats left, but hey live and let live (not)…… .

Matt,
how dare they!

. “Why should it be any business of the law if we’re assholes or not? This is entirely something that can be left to society itself isn’t it?”

Tim Rand has, in one sentence , demonstrated the idiocy of his own beliefs.

Twat munro I was not replying to you. The clue was number 17, which is not you.

See this is why the right hates political correctness. Because it stops them from being the tossers that they really are.

In the real world , no mater how hard we try or we face legislation to make us who we are and what we are permitted to believe in, differences will always exist, whether that be differences of opinion, colour acceptance, religious differences , the list is endless.However bigotry exists in all cultures, we have the cast system in India which is transposed to the UK, we have religious faction bigotry as in the Islamic World, we have mysogeny as in a patriarchal society what we dont appear to have is the acceptance that diversity has its positive and negative sides the two run parallel and will never meet unless legislation enforces it upon us and sadly there is enough evidence that this does not work.

I believe that here in the UK with so much interference and media intrusion into every part of our lives it will simply lead to more hatred and not less for all members of society. Maybe the correct model is the one from France and that we must learn that not everything is good just because legislation states it to be !

There are many laws within the UK that have been enacted to protect women yet in some cultures practices continue which are illegal yet due to what they are the media say nothing, I would like to see a fairer hand in how the media use the paying public and stop having Governments continue to use legislation that creates criminals by enforcing us all to believe that no one is different !

35. Charlieman

I think this is one of those cases where the law should pronounce against discrimination by small service providers (hair dressers, B&B owners, small shop keepers etc). But enforcement of the law should be very, very light handed.

There are two “rights” considerations: the right to purchase a publicly offered service and the right to choose whether to provide their service to a particular person. To me, it is ridiculous that any code of values would encourage discrimination on the basis of religion, nationality, colour or sexuality. But if somebody is daft enough to hold those beliefs, it would be ill mannered of me to compel them to provide a service against their will. And on comfort grounds, would you really want to stay in a B&B where the owners resented your presence?

Liberalism isn’t about a set of rights, one of which over rules another. Most of the time, liberalism is a reminder of social responsibility and good manners. Rights often get in the way of good manners so we don’t enforce them rigidly (and, no, that does not mean that we should have shown good manners to Mr Hitler). We all give up “rights” on a daily basis, such as our place in the bus queue.

When the USSR collapsed, a Russian trawler broke down and ended up in Lerwick harbour. No funds were sent to fix the boat or feed the crew, so one of the seamen went shoplifting unsuccessfully. The Magistrate’s judgement was liberal: the seaman was fined a nominal sum which was set aside (a response to the property owner’s rights) and members of the court informally organised comfort for the crew (a response to the rights of the seamen).

36. Charlieman

@34 Karen: “There are many laws within the UK that have been enacted to protect women yet in some cultures practices continue which are illegal yet due to what they are the media say nothing…”

Practices such as female slavery, enforced marriage and enforced female circumcision (is there a more accurate expression?) have been publicised for years. They have also been illegal under UK law for years — you don’t need an explicit law to prosecute for any of them. The absence is/was law enforcement (I interpret that to include non-English language support services indirectly) which will drive cultural change.

37. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

Quite Sally. Why should it be any business of the law if we’re assholes or not? This is entirely something that can be left to society itself isn’t it?

That’d be very nice if there weren’t externalities to rampant stupidity that affect everyone.

i’m as gay as the next man but to be honest, these are some vague muttered comments which to be honest are fairly mainstream. who cares,

The whole thing about being allowed to be an asshole is whether it effects other people. If You, Tim, want to jump out of a window I would not stop you, In fact I would urge you to do it, because the world certainly would not miss your idiotic ramblings. However, if you land on top of some one then it becomes more problematic. You are effecting other people.

And that is the problem here. If you want to be a asshole then fine ,but don’t do it to other people. If I travel to a hotel and then the asswipe behind the desk decides she does not like my face then that effects me. If they don’t want to run a B&B then they should do something else.

40. Charlieman

@29 Matt Munro: “There are a large and growing number of pressure groups with various agendas who dominate the media, have a voice out of all proportion to their actual numbers and take a disproportionate share of what are supposed to be public resources. Most of them are populated and led by white, middle class men.”

The Taxpayers’ (sic) Alliance?

41. Matt Munro

@ 40 I was thinking more of the “We must all eat only lettuce and travel only by bicycle and recycle every day” brigade, but most of them probably don’t pay much tax anyway.

Can you name a single policy influenced by the TPA, lovely people as I’m sure they are ? I can name several influnced by the cycling vegetabalists.

Sorry 34 I do not understand what you are saying and yes with female mutilation specific laws were introduced for the effective prosecution of that offence. In reality do we really need cultural change to such an extent that the values of the majority will always be undermined?
IMO the B and B owners here are not offering a truly public service they are in fact offering a limited service that one can enjoy at a cost. The two are very different, let us look at the Police not entering the homes of suspected terrorists with K9 teams as dogs are not welcome in some Muslim homes especially black ones, let us also look at The Muslim Council of Britain and its continual failures to condemn murder hatred and its failure to act democratically for all Muslims within the UK. Let us now look at how Jewish women have to wear wigs in society due to male pressure, lets look at Sharia Law and how that makes women 2nd class and ubnequal. The Reality is no matter what culture you are from ALL have biggotted values are anti semetic , all are spurging hatred in a variety of forms and the laws cannot protect us all at all of the time, moreover it will make society less cohesive if we continue to hype up single acts of intolerance.

should be @36 to charlieman !!!

I shouldn’t wonder if they mounted a Blue Plaque on that B&B place which refused a gay couple a bed for the night.

Dearest Sally:

“You are effecting other people.”

It’s “affecting”.

“because the world certainly would not miss your idiotic ramblings.”

Ahem, cough, cough.

“And that is the problem here. If you want to be a asshole then fine ,but don’t do it to other people. If I travel to a hotel and then the asswipe behind the desk decides she does not like my face then that effects me. If they don’t want to run a B&B then they should do something else.”

And that’s exactly the question I ask upthread.

“At what point are you allowed to discriminate?”

We all agree that you’re allowed to discriminate sometimes. We also all agree that you’re not allowed to discriminate at others. What I’m interested in finding out is when may you and when may you not. By your standards, not mine.

“Affecting other people” (note, affecting, not having an effect on other people) isn’t a good enough distinction. For, as I’ve also noted above, offering sex for sale but then refusing to offer homo sex while being willing to offer hetero sex is indeed discrimination in offering a legal service for sale on the grounds of the sexuality of the purchaser.

What actually is the hard and fast rule here?

Or should it actually work as I would prefer? You can make any discrimination you like but you’ve got to put up with the fact that everyone else in the wider society will discriminate against you on the basis of those choices about discrimination you make?

I certainly wouldn’t use a B&B that was known to discriminate against gays…can’t stand Christianists anyway. Just as I wouldn’t drink in a pub that banned gays, or foreigners, or darkies, or whatever. Nor buy meat from a butcher, patronise a chippie, or…..

And the vast majority of us fellow Brits would have exactly the same reaction. No, not going there, they’re, well, to use the Great Brit Phrase, “not fair”.

Those very few who would deliberately patronise a business precisely because of that discrimination, shit, let’em get on with it, sad little fuckers that they are.

@9.

“Let’s not be so tolerant that we tolerate intolerance.”

One of the marks of a free society is exactly that, that the law tolerates intolerance. That doesn’t mean that “society” must, we can all show our disaproval of intolerance. But tolerance does indeed mean exactly that. That we allow other people to organise their lives as they wish, even if we find their wishes to be distastesful. Repugnant even.

It’s actually what it means to be “liberal”. That I don’t approve of their way of life, that I actually find it repugnant, but I’ll defend others’ right to live as they wish just as I hope they would defend mine.

Up to, of course, the boundary that JS Mill laid out. My right to do as I wish, to swing my fist, ends where your nose begins.

@ Tim W

Ok what’s up. I get your not a team player and would be happy living in your own world being wonderfully ‘rich’ as long as you don’t have to care or spend taxes on anyone.

So what? What do you want? Sally has mentioned that you don’t give a f*ck. And you don’t. So…what is YOUR problem? That we, EVERYONE is wrong in the world because we’re not like YOU and not give a f*ck.

Is empathy so frigging remote to you that it might as well be a poison from space?

I mean what gives? Are you happy? Do you think that women who spends her life judging others would be your best friend? Or you don’t care?

“We all agree that you’re allowed to discriminate sometimes. We also all agree that you’re not allowed to discriminate at others. What I’m interested in finding out is when may you and when may you not. By your standards, not mine.”

So the underdog is discriminatory?

So if I’ve been raped-my fault as women-and I’ve had the shit kicked out of me-my fault for being dark skinned-if I act our like Sally, which you and I know means eff all in this capitalistic world we live in, I am also the…enemy. The powerless enemy?

You don’t care. I don’t care.

As long as I can sleep at night for not being all about myself, then I’m okay. 🙂

I would be very interested to know if these so called devout Christians open their B&B on a Sunday. Bearing in mind that Sunday is the Sabbath and all that. But then as we know these Christians do like to adopt a sort of pick and mix to which part of the bible they choose to adhere too.

Bit like the ludicrous Dr Carey, who has suddenly decided to take on the case of the sanctity of marriage. Which is a bit odd since he was quite happy to marry the divorced and adulterous Prince Charlie boy of useless and is just fine with him becoming the head of the Church of England. Or all those Christians who opposed Sunday trading and then went out and bought shares in the various retail giants.

But nothing drives them quite as insane as the fear of they Gay.

Weird thing about it is that he’s so obsessed with gays. He’s basically only saying that hotels should be standardised compared to home-run B&Bs, but he’s reached for gay people to illustrate his point. It could have been homophobia, or it could have been an observation that homophobia exists.

I’m not willing to jump in and condemn them on such shaky ground, frankly. He’s guilty of being an ignorant, privileged, rich white guy, but not immediately of being a gay-basher. IMO, obviously.

How many posters actually bothered to read the article in the Guardian before venting their spleen upon each other and anyone within range?
Two men booked a night at a B&B run by a Christian couple asking for a double room without stating that it was for two men
When she saw them “the landlady apologised for turning them away and she returned their deposit and was in no way abusive, the couple said.” because she did not have another room available so that they could sleep in separate beds.
As a result she was harassed by the couples’ contacts prior to the publicity provided by the Guardian which reports her as saying:
“These people are very organised and we have already been inundated with abusive calls and emails. It is really sad that people act like that.”
Is there any proposal that the “gay community” be prosecuted for this example of aggravated harassment (aggravated because it is inspired by religious persecution)?
Grayling said, in answer to a question, that his personal view was that someone offering B&B in their own house should be allowed to turn away people that they did not want to sleep under their roof. That view does not amount to homophobia any more than a general rule banning dogs in a B&B run by the servants of the house’s cats amounts to hatred of blind men and women.

#49

Why do you think the landlady had a problem with them both sleeping in a double bed? If they had been siblings, do you think she would’ve had the same problem? Equally, if they’d been gay and she’d offered a twin room, would that have stopped them having sex if they’d been horny? Her problem was that they were gay, nothing more and nothing less. Let’s not pretend it’s about anything else.

@49 I happen to agree with you and I also listened to the taped conversation.
TRouble is with most subjects people make comment on, they NEVER ever listen to the facts or only read a few lines. Its like those who use forums etc they read only a snippet then rant and rage , in reality all this proves is they cannot actually read (a full article )

http://www.gay-blackpool.co.uk/index.htm

“Situated in a prominent position and close to the Blackpool Gay Scene, Blackpool North Railway Station, the town centre and all the major attractions, the gay owned Highbank Guest House is the ideal venue for those people who are looking for good quality economical gay accommodation set in perfect surroundings. We do not accept Stag & Hen groups.

The Highbank Guest House is close to all the gay and gay friendly venues, including: the Flamingo, Taboo, Flying Handbag, FG2, Funny Girls, Mardi Gras, Pepe’s, Roxy’s, Trades Bar, Cruz Bar, Acqua Sauna, Wet Wet Wet Sauna, and the Honeycombe Sauna, with the New Road Inn only a short walk further”.

Note the reference to “good quality economical gay accommodation”. Is it not tantamount to discrimination to advertise oneself as a resource of particular interest to only one section of a community? Is it permissible to advertise oneself as “good quality economical straight accommodation”? Level playing fields and all that.

I’ve taken a snapshot of the page. I’ve got a feeling it might disappear soon.

Note the blatant stagandhenophoia.

@52 Trofim

Your post adds nothing to the debate. It would only be relevant as a comparison if the B&B in Blackpool stipulated that it didn’t accept heterosexuals. It’s not about level playing fields, so your comparison isn’t valid.

The stag an hen part ban is a red-herring too. They’re not being discriminated against.

If you’re going to contribute to the issue at hand, at least try and make it relevant.

This is not irrelevant. This place advertises “good quality economical gay accommodation”. Is that not discriminatory? Is this not semantically equivalent to saying “we prefer gays to straights”? Is it acceptable to advertise oneself as “good quality economical accommodation for straight people”? I rather think there would be an outcry if such a place were to turn.

tim f
Why do you NOT have a problem with the elderly lady being inundated with abusive e-mails and ‘phone calls?

tim f
Also, back again to “read the original” she wasn’t thinking of offering them a twin-bedded room but two separate rooms. Her problem was not about them being gay but about gays sleeping together under her roof. I might vainly have hoped that you would actually read the original before replying inaccurately.

John 77

You should move to China. I’m sure there is a factory that splits hairs.

And that is what you are doing. Usual right wing trick of most of the trolls on here.

@45 Tim

“One of the marks of a free society is exactly that, that the law tolerates intolerance. That doesn’t mean that “society” must, we can all show our disaproval of intolerance. But tolerance does indeed mean exactly that. That we allow other people to organise their lives as they wish, even if we find their wishes to be distastesful. Repugnant even.”

Yes, it’s more a matter of where to draw the line. I doubt many people have an issue with some measure of tolerating views we find objectionable. I suppose the majority of us “agree” with the BNP being legal, however much we deplore it as a party, and disagree with it’s policies…. but how far down that road would you be prepared to go? No doubt many people agree with Grayling, but then many people also agreed with signs saying “No Blacks” or “No Irish”.

I’m not sure your J S Mill adage really helps in this case. Stopping the B&B owner’s discriminating against homosexuals is, in the view of lots of people, more important than their Chritian beliefs, particularly when it comes to running a B&B!

I’m amazed at the absence of critical comment about this news of discrimination against young men:

“Provisional figures, showing university entrance for 2008-09, show that 51% of young women entered higher education – up from 49% the previous year. The overall figures also show an all-time high of 45% going to university, including 40% of young men.”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/8596504.stm

@55 John 77

“tim f
Why do you NOT have a problem with the elderly lady being inundated with abusive e-mails and ‘phone calls?”

There’s no excuse for them being abusive, but her actions are objectionable to plenty of people, certainly on a par with trying to discriminate against any other group her religious fundamentalism tells her are evil. She has no business operatinga B&B if she is prepared to turn people away on the basis of their sexuality, full stop.

“There’s no excuse for them being abusive, but her actions are objectionable to plenty of people, certainly on a par with trying to discriminate against any other group her religious fundamentalism tells her are evil. She has no business operatinga B&B if she is prepared to turn people away on the basis of their sexuality, full stop.”

And I’m arguing exactly the other way around. People have every right to make their views known to her and the law has no right to ban her actions.

@56 – John 77

Again, it’s none of her business what people do in bed under her roof in a general sense, but it’s even worse for her to try and prescribe it when she’s expecting to be paid for providing the room. If her problem wasn’t with them being gay, just that they weren’t allowed to sleep together, or have sex (whether by ensuring there were 2 beds, as if that’s work, or by being in seperate rooms), presumably as a Christian she’d have the same issue with un-married stright couples sleeping together under her roof?

Heterosexual people wouldn’t tolerate being asked if they were married before being given a double room.. its’ 2010, not 1910!

Tim is right, this isn’t about her rights being infringed because of her “quaint” religious beliefs, it’s about the fact she believes being gay is wrong, and thinks she should be able to enforce her bigotry on others.

@54 trofim

It’s not advertising itself as gay only, so your point still isn’t relevant. It’s likely they have done it on the principle that saying it is gay owned, and gay accommodation means gay people won’t be faced with the kind of bigotry and discrimination exhibited by the woman in the case referred to in the OP.

Gay-friendly would probably have been a better choice of words, but unless they were/are discriminating against straight people in the same way as the woman in the B&B in question, it’s not the same thing at all.

@61 Tim

“People have every right to make their views known to her and the law has no right to ban her actions.”

So you believe that because it’s her own house, she has the right to operate a B&B and refuse to accept bookings from gay men? Waht other groups would you be happy for people to discriminate against then?

65. Matt Munro

“Tim is right, this isn’t about her rights being infringed because of her “quaint” religious beliefs, it’s about the fact she believes being gay is wrong, and thinks she should be able to enforce her bigotry on others.”

This keeps coming back to the same point: One person’s “bigotry” is another persons “spiritual beleif”. A highly divisive contradiction which my hypothetical example of the Muslim B&B owner and the gay guests was designed to tease out. People just keep ducking it. Given that rights are a zero sum game (something the left struggle to accept) with any system of legally enforcable “rights” you inevitably reach a position where one persons/groups rights are more protected than anothers.

@65 Matt Munro

I’m not ducking the issue. It isn’t acceptable for anyone to exclude gay guests whatever their chosen system of spirituality is, or indeed if it has nothing to do with spirituality, it’s just that “they don’t like poofs”. Why are we always expected to pander to the religious, and tip toe around them in case it’s offensive to their riduculous belief systems, which are generally applied inconsistantly, changed depending on what suits them that year/century/on who they are preaching at.

There will alway be judgements to be made. In this instance discouraging rank discrimination deserves more protection than some old dear’s adherence to a religious dogma.

Galen 10
“There’s no excuse for them being abusive, but …”
You ARE excusing them.
For the record, I agree that she should have closed down her B&B (or sold it) when the law was passed forbidding her to discriminate against gays because that indirectly forbade her not to discriminate against unmarried heterosexual couples, a far larger potential problem for her.
However, when faced with an instance of one couple being told to find somewhere else to sleep and a case of persecution you condone the latter because, in your view, she is bigoted.
I have a problem with both but a much bigger problem with the latter which is why I originally mentioned this.

Sorry “forbade her not to discriminate” should read “forbade her to discriminate”

“Waht other groups would you be happy for people to discriminate against then?”

This is exactly the question I asked up thread.

We all believe that some discrimination is allowed. The interesting question is, how much?

Surely a business should be allowed to refuse service to whoever it wants. The ethics of intolerance are irrelevant here – she owns the business and can decide what she does with it.

If it were a state institution then this would be different. But it’s not. We live in a society where people can use their private property however they like. That’s just the way it goes.

sally
Why? So that I could be locked up like every other dissident who fails to agree on every single topic with The Party?
Since when was the truth the exclusive province of right-wing trolls?
As I mostly attack New Labour from the left, I wonder how you define “right-wing”.

“Surely a business should be allowed to refuse service to whoever it wants. The ethics of intolerance are irrelevant here – she owns the business and can decide what she does with it.”

You have to be very stupid to believe that pile of poo. Use your 1 brain cell to think about where this will lead.

Better trolls please. These ones are so stupid.

Surely a business should be allowed to refuse service to whoever it wants. The ethics of intolerance are irrelevant here – she owns the business and can decide what she does with it.

Except that you wouldn’t apply the same line of thinking to health & safety requirements or hygiene standards regarding how they store and prepare food, etc…She owns the business and can decide what she does with it, right?

This is why the right wants as much as possible to have everything in the private sector with very little regulation. Because you then kill off any form of organised democracy. The country will effectively be run by a small group of predominately white, middle class, right of centre people who will use their power to impose their beliefs on every body else.

Of course the magic freedom word will be used. Ie their freedom to act as assholes, and your freedom to go somewhere else. But Once the major players get to play asshole as well….. good luck with your so called choice.

Gwyn
“We live in a society where people can use their private property however they like. That’s just the way it goes.”
No, we don’t
There have, in fact, been restrictions for more than a century. This thread is all about just one of the restrictions (plus a competition between “sally” and “rantersparadise” to see who can be more offensive to anyone who raises a query – sorry, galen 10, you’re an also-ran).

76. WhatNext?!

Some entities are allowed to discriminate (for example, Catholic priests have to be male). Grayling was talking about where the line should be drawn, and this is a question that will become more relevant as society changes.

The current threads and comments on LibCon suggest that the way to prevent the Conservatives winning the election is to find possible examples of possible homophobia amongst its supporters. As homophobia is on a permanent decrease regardless, I can’t see it myself.

“Some entities are allowed to discriminate (for example, Catholic priests have to be male).” Another religion no less. It seems that beliveing in the cloud man allows you to be a tosser these days. It is the get out of jail of the moron.

No the current threads on here are just showing that beneath the Cameron plastic green wash the tories have not changed at all. They are still the nasty party full of far right wing knuggle draggers.

78. Matt Munro

@ 66 Galen – I think you are resorting to sterotype. Not all christians are old, or female and there are many non-christian religions that have a less than accepting attitude towards gays. There are also, of course, gay christians. My point still stands, in some cultures what you describe as “rank discrimination” is seen as perfectly acceptable cultural practice, even if it’s not explicitly reinforced by religious belifs. Religion is neither a necessary nor a sufficient basis for discrimiation, and
I can think of several regimes which persecuted gays, without any reference to religion. What you are calling judgement/flexibility could also be called, at best, arbitrary justice, at worst, tyranny.

@ 74 “The country will effectively be run by a small group of predominately white, middle class, right of centre people who will use their power to impose their beliefs on every body else.

Yes sally, it’s called “democracy”…………………..

79. Matt Munro

@ 72 “You have to be very stupid to believe that pile of poo. Use your 1 brain cell to think about where this will lead”.

I think it would lead to a diverse market serving a diverse society – what could be more nu labour than that ??

@ 67 John

Errrm.. no, I explicitly said I don’t condone abuse,… which of the words didn’t you understand? You trying to say I condone it just shows that you are either being willfully trollish, or simply not reading carefully enough.

People who find her position objectionable are quite within their rights to tell her so, the thing is it shouldn’t have gotten to that stage because what she did shouldn’t be legal anyway. If she feels persecuted, perhaps she shouldn’t have acted the way she did in the first place.

You are trying to defend the indefensible, in just the same way no doubt that people tried to defend those who wanted the right to post “no-blacks” notices after race discrimination legislation was passed. That wasn’t acceptable then, this isn’t acceptable now.. and Grayling’s intervention only goes to show how little “Caring” Conservatism has actually progressed from it’s roots.

@69 Tim

You say: “We all believe that some discrimination is allowed. The interesting question is, how much?”

Stop avoiding the question and answer it. You are obviously sanguine about this woman being able to discriminate against homosexuals because the B&B is her property. I think your view on that is is wrong headed, but feel free to tell us what other groups you’d be happy to see banned from B&B’s around the land, and on what basis.

@ 70 Gwyn

“Surely a business should be allowed to refuse service to whoever it wants.” : Jews perhaps..? Members of the Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club? Trombone players? Good luck arguing this one in court…..

“The ethics of intolerance are irrelevant here – she owns the business and can decide what she does with it.”: If she kept her intolerance to herself, and wasn’t harming anyone, this MIGHT be plausible. She is discriminating against someone on the basis of their sexuality. It is the same as if she were doing it on the basis of race or physical disability. She shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind her made up belief system to avoid it.

@78 Matt

I’m not resorting to stereo-type. Not all christians would act in the way this woman did, and I’d have no problem with them holding views I personally find despicable, as long as they don’t then try to use these beliefs in a way that harms or infringes the rights of others.

And yes.. before all the apologists for such discrimination start, I DO believe there are some absolutes, and that it is absolutely valid for us as a society to make a judgement that the rights of people not to discriminated against e.g. as in this case, outweigh the rights of this woman not to accept gay guests as part of her business.

It’s not arbitrary justice or tyranny, it’s not pandering to religious fundamentalists.

@ 80
which of the words didn’t you understand?
“but”!!!!
If you do not condone abuse you should NOT say “but her actions are objectionable to plenty of people, certainly on a par with trying to discriminate against any other group her religious fundamentalism tells her are evil. She has no business operatinga B&B if she is prepared to turn people away on the basis of their sexuality, full stop.”
That sounds like an excuse.
You should say words to the effect – I object to her views, whether or not they have a religious basis, nevertheless the abuse to which she has been subjected is totally immoral and unacceptable and I ask all gays and sympathisers to treat those who disagree with us with the same courtesy with which we want them to treat us.

If the trolls who haven’t listened to the tape or read the Guardian article are so keen to attack me, why not the on the potential discrimination against Guide Dogs?

@84 John

Are you being deliberatel crass..or just trolling for fun?

I do not, REPEAT do NOT condone anyone abusing the woman. I object to her views, and I have no problem with people telling her of the fact without abusing her. She runs a business, so presumably her details are (or were?) public. If lots of gay people contacted her to complain, I have absolutely no issue wth it, but would unhesitatingly condemn anyone being abusive or offensive to her. It’s not an excuse, and it’s not condoning abuse. You saying it does, doesn’t make it so.

She ought to be prepared to defend her belief if she’s so convinced it’s right.. I mean it’s the word of God right..?

@78
Yes sally, it’s called “democracy”

Hello??? I don’t know where this crap comes from but all polls increasingly indicate that a CLEAR majority of Britons support full equal rights for same-sex couple. So, if we’re purely talking in terms of majority/minority, I’m afraid your view is on the back foot big time, mate.

Of course you will always get the Big-White-Man-Littlejohn-type peddling the myth that, no, we’re being told what to do by a minority. But that’s pure bollox, if you pardon my Belgian.

For the record …I don’t recall the Tories being so glib on “majority” when foxhunting (abhorred by 75% of the population) is debated…

88. Matt Munro

@ 87 But democracy has nothing to do with what polls say. Polls show most people in favour of capital punishement, immgration restrictions and much tougher sentencing, none of which are on the statute. Conversely a number of other policies (the adoption of multi-culturalism, the immediate adoption of EU immigration policy and the early release of prisoners) heve NEVER been put to the vote and polls show many people don’t support them.

The point about a democracy is that elected representatives pass laws on your behalf, and if enough people don’t like those laws, then the law makers get voted out of office. It has nothing to do with poll results for very obvious reasons. Of course we’re “being told what to do by a minority” as is anyone who lives in practically any political system I can think of – it’s the ability to determine who that minority are that’s important.

#88
Exactly. You should say that to yourself and all those who keep blabbering on that “the views of a minority” are being imposed upon the majority.

You’re basically answering your own point. In which case I don’t understand what you are trying to prove.

The point about a democracy is that elected representatives pass laws on your behalf.“.

The Equality Act 2007 is a case in point. It was debated and then democratically approved. End of.

90. WhatNext?!

@ Sally 77:

Well, the current government has not banned discrimination by religious groups during it’s 13 years in power: do they drag knuggles too? You can’t say that homophobia is or has been restricted to the right: it just doesn’t stand up. (You could certainly claim that the Conservative party has been more hypocritical on the subject than Labour, and that the current Labour government has earned credit in this regard. However, this is not the same thing; I wouldn’t have wanted to have been a pooof at a 70s TUC conference).

It’s a difficult question, or at least it is for the government. If discrimination is to be allowed in some cases, at what point do you draw the line? The B&B incident also revolves around religious convictions.

The question is this: if religions are allowed to discriminate on the basis of their beliefs, why can’t individuals as well? The No Blacks, No Irish connection doesn’t come into it as nobody is allowed to discriminate on this basis.

Re: 82.

“Jews perhaps..? Members of the Glasgow Rangers Supporters Club? Trombone players? Good luck arguing this one in court…..”

Well sure, let’s see how far she would get trying to make a profit by not serving Jews.

Honestly, you’re arguing from the heart and that’s fine, but you’ve got to take a breath occasionally and be realistic about the world we live in. There’s no shortage of B&Bs that will happily capitalise on being ‘gay friendly’.

@91 Gwyn

It’s not a matter of taking a breath and being realistic.

I don’t understand how your comment “Well sure, let’s see how far she would get trying to make a profit by not serving Jews.” is meant to support your case. It’s not a matter of how amny Jews or homosexuals there are, or that her discriminating against them would be economically suicidal, it’s a moral question that her bigotry is unacceptable, and ought to be illegal.

As for there being no shortage of gay friendly B&B, what kind of answer IS that exacly? You’d be quite happy for the religious minority to exlude those they objected to, so….. presumably sundry other whack jobs to exclude groups they decided to discriminate against? The fact they were a minority doesn’t make it acceptable.

“You’d be quite happy for the religious minority to exlude those they objected to, so….. presumably sundry other whack jobs to exclude groups they decided to discriminate against?”

Yes.

Next question?

@ 93 Tim

Why?

#93
What a scary society we would live in if you were in charge, Tim.

96. Golden Gordon

I do love this argument.
Grayling who, Martin Bright and Cohen adore is only phrasing the view of majority of conservative right wing voters and posters on this this site, eg Gwen and Matt the bigot and the is an important principle involved.
What about if all grocers and shops were anti gay, anti Jewish, anti Muslim or anti afro caribbean and refused to trade with those individuals. Is that right ? Surely if you refuse anybody your goods and services based on their religious, racial or sexual preferences is wrong. Your Nazi right wing creep if you believe any different

Why?

Because freedom and liberty mean allowing others to do as they wish….up to just the point where they either damage someone else or the rights of someone else to exercise their rights to do as they wish.

A business owner refusing to serve someone isn’t a sufficient impingement on the rights of the person not being served nor of sufficient damage to them to over ride the weirdo’s right to be an asshole.

And yes, I really do mean that freedom and liberty include the freedom and liberty to be an asshole.

No, not to incite violence, no, not to directly harm someone, no, not to impinge upon the rights of others. But yes, very definitely the right to be an asshole.

@97 Tim

It’s actually kind of frightening that you honestly beleive this… so on your logic, you’d be quite happy for the scanrio outlined by gordon @ 96 to be reality, or even if not happy, you wouldn’t support moves to put a stop to it?

I find myself somewhat in agreement with Tim Worstall on this (which is also worryingly Enoch Powell’s position), in principle at least. I don’t particularly like the state telling people what to do.

But in practice it seems to have done a lot of good, the attitude changes to race and so on in the last 40 years have been positively effected by the 1968 race relations act, and its possible the equalities bill will do the same.

Of course on this occasion the Woman was in the wrong, she had accepted the booking and she didn’t inform them that her terms and conditions included a “no poofters” clause.

Likewise Grayling is a shit because he is now on the record for voting for something which he explicitly disagrees with.

“It’s actually kind of frightening that you honestly beleive this”

Frightening? What?

That you’ve finally met a liberal? You know, someone who is concerned with liberty, as the word suggests?

“so on your logic, you’d be quite happy for the scanrio outlined by gordon @ 96 to be reality, or even if not happy, you wouldn’t support moves to put a stop to it?”

Well if I know Tim, in the above situation Tim would set up a shop that serves gays, Jews, Muslim and black people, make a killing and put the other guy out of business.

Likewise, I certainly wouldn’t shop at a shop which had that sign in its window (and it would have to, to avoid charges of false advertisements). I’m not sure a Nazi shop would stay open Government censure or no.

@100 Tim

I’ve met many liberals, trust me they wouldn’t be happy to own you as one of their own. What you describe isn’t liberty, and it’s trite to pretend otherwise.

“Well if I know Tim, in the above situation Tim would set up a shop that serves gays, Jews, Muslim and black people, make a killing and put the other guy out of business.”

My mother has always thought that genes can jump a few generations.

For that’s exactly what my great grandfather did in Northern Ireland. When the protestant shopkeepers were being arsey in his little village about Irish Independence and thus not offering the usual terms to the local Catholics (things like accounts and so on, very typical at the time) ggpa was opeing a leftfooter greengrocer, pub, butcher and even petrol station.

104. Matt Munro

@97 “A business owner refusing to serve someone isn’t a sufficient impingement on the rights of the person not being served nor of sufficient damage to them to over ride the weirdo’s right to be an asshole”.

You’ve hit the nail on the head. The “neo-left” (I refuse to call anyone who supports the HRA a liberal) seem to take a very warped interpretation of the harm principle, interpreting harm as meaning:
“I was inconvenienced/not taken seriously/offended/embarrased/my feelings were hurt” all of which are subjective and transient psychological states, which cannot be objectively defined as harm, and which governments therefore have no business legislating against.

Tim where would you have stood on the passage of the 1968 Race Relations Act?

The atmosphere of the time was far more hostile for Blacks in some quarters in the late 1960s than it is for pretty much any group now. I also think the Act is partially but directly responsible for the fact with live in a more tolerant, yes liberal, society now.

Galen 10
“Are you being deliberatel crass..or just trolling for fun?”
Neither – I suspect that you are being naive (or, possibly, stupid)
“but would unhesitatingly condemn anyone being abusive or offensive to her.”
So why had you not done so?
This post started with a condemnation of Chris Grayling for condemning only hotels that rejected gay couples while saying that he thought that individuals running B&Bs should be allowed to choose which customers they accepted, referring to an article in the Guardian that reported that an elderly lady had received a torrent of abuse from email and letters because she asked a gay couple to find somewhere else to sleep.
If you wished to condemn those who were offensive why did you not say words to the effect of – I disagree with her discrimination against unmarried couples but condemn wholeheartedly the abuse aimed at her and call upon all gays and sympathisers to treat those who disagree with us with the same courtesy with which we should wish them to treat us?
I have been turned away by B&Bs more than once when I was wet and muddy – I just walked on to the next: I did not then launch an internet campaign against the B&B owners who turned me away.

#97, 100, 103

Since Tim W is talking about ancestors, I’ll throw my hat into the ring.

The original anti-Jewish laws as passed by Mussolini in the late 1930s in Fascist Italy were doing just what Tim W and Munro are defending.

Amongst other things, Mussolini’s “leggi razziali” just made it possible for shopkeepers and business owners to openly discriminate against a specific group of people – in that case based on religion and ethnicity as the fascists saw it.

But note that those laws were not advocating or promoting violence. They simply made it possible for whoever to discriminate against a specific group. If “liberalism” is what Tim W and Munro are saying, surely there was nothing wrong with that, or was there? That is “freedom” isn’t it, Tim W?

So, would you -back then- have said, (in the name of “Liberalism” of course), that: “A business owner refusing to serve someone isn’t a sufficient impingement on the rights of the person not being served nor of sufficient damage to them to over ride the weirdo’s right to be an asshole. And yes, I really do mean that freedom and liberty include the freedom and liberty to be an asshole”?

“And yes, I really do mean that freedom and liberty include the freedom and liberty to be an asshole. ”

Oh yes the freedom for me but not for thee argument.

90 “Well, the current government has not banned discrimination by religious groups during it’s 13 years in power:”

I get the blame for many things but I am not to blame for govt policy for the last 13 years. Blair and his love of the invisible cloud man was something I hated ,and as it turned out Blair turned out to be nothing more than a silly right wing tory.

The idea of giving religions, (and yes trolls that means all religions including Islam ) the right to opt out of the law and behave like a bunch of thuggish bigots is a big mistake. The latest scandal in the Catholic Church should show the nonsense of treating these people as being somehow more honest and more moral than the rest of us.

“The “neo-left………….” Y A W N

@107 claude

Well said.

Course..you realise with those sort of views, you can’t possibly be aliberal right…cos, well..just cos, that’s not what Tim and his fellow travellers believe…!

claude and others
Classic economic theory states that those that discriminate on the basis of prejudice rather than ability are acting against their own economic interests so that should be an adequate deterrent. However there are enough examples of significant damage done to the victims of prejudice not just to those who are prejudiced to justify government interference to alleviate this.

@106 John

If I needed anyone to put words in my mouth I’d pick someone more erudite than you, trust me.

I didn’t condone anyone abusing the woman who owned the B&B, (which at that point in the thread wasn’t the issue) and when you insisted on clarification I unhesitatingly condemned any such abuse. You are simply trying to divert the discussion.

@ 107 Claude
Unless I missed something, the Doctor Who episode did not include the Doctor telling Shakespeare about laws passed by Mussolini in the 1930s

The owners of the following guest house are explicitly hostile to the idea of having straight people as guests. And whyever not? I would fully support their right to turn me away. It’s their territory. What right have I to compel others to accept me?
Mind you, I have swung both ways in my time. I’m not sure where I would stand for them. I have been unable to find a specifically bisexual B & B, let alone asexual one (nudge nudge, wink wink – age takes its toll, you know.

http://www.guyzhotel.com/

“Please Note

You may bring a guest back to the Hotel but YOU will be responsible for their conduct and behaviour.
Guyz is a GENUINE Gay Hotel.
That means it is a hotel owned and run BY gay people FOR gay people,
but beware there are some straight owned ‘Pink Pound’ friendly Hotels
locally that display the pride flag trying to cash in on gay money,
and it isn’t until you check in that you discover they may be mixed, or even have STAG & HEN parties staying.!!!
If you are specifically looking for a Gay Hotel be sure to ask if it is exclusively gay when booking to avoid possible disappointment ”

And I have to say that sally is wasted here. Surely some after-dinner-speaker agency would welcome her. As it is, I’ve had to direct people to this site in order for the public to experience her.

#111

It baffles me that people cling on to “liberalism” or “classic liberal theory” as if they were the bible or the depositaries of absolute truths that would automatically justify anything full stop.

It is NOT a religion (doing Jeremy Kyle’s voice when he loses his temper) for goodness’ sake!!! It’s not some sort of statutory book that you consult for help!

I thought blind ideology died in 1989. I don’t care if the “liberal scriptures” said A or B or X or Y. If it’s wrong, impractical or unfeasible we should be free to say so.

Not to mention that the word “liberalism” is like a blanket that everybody pulls their direction according to what suits them best that specific moment.

I don’t know the details of the Race Relations Act. So can’t really comment.

But I would argue that race relations in the UK have got very much better over the decades since then, certainly. They were actually pretty good in the 18th early 19th cent too…but that’s another matter (class was what mattered then, not race).

Indeed, I would say that race relations in the UK now are vastly better than they are in the US now…..and the US has had similar laws outlawing racial discrimination as well.

The really marked difference between the two countries as regards race (and I mean now, not the histircal experience of slavery etc) is the inter racial marriage rate. It’s vastly higher here than it is in the US. I haven’t the numbers to hand but the difference truly is staggering amongst say, UK based Afro Caribbeans and US based Afro Americans. Those intermarriage rates are so high here than in another couple of generations there will hardly be a distinct Afro Caribbean population. There will just be a slightly darker hue in the general population, a frizz to the hair and, to coin a Liddlism, a hitherto unknown ability among the English to dance to a beat.

Which is, pretty much, how all previous waves of immigrants to the UK have ended up. No one really notes the difference between Normans, Anglo Saxons or Vikings any more…OK, so it’s been a millennia there. But among my own antecedents there are Hugenots who specifically moved to a Protestant country so as to be able to keep their religion….they would be rather shocked at the marriage to a Catholic Irish girl which explains my own religious background.

Now, while I’m a mix of all four British Isles nations (between myself and my father we’re eligible to play rugby for any of the four….except for a certain lack of talent of course) plus some of that French Hugenot, some Australian and a bit of Spanish/Latin American Indian mix there’s absolutely no one at all who would say that I’m anything other than an Englishman.

And as has happened to all previous waves of immigration I expect it to happen to all future. 1968 Race Relations Act or no such act.

Has the Act helped? As I say above, don’t really know enough about it to know. But as I have commented about sexuality before, I don’t think that it’s the law that has led the way. The last hanging for sodomy was in the 1830s. Attitudes since then have changed and I think it’s the law that has changed after the attitudes, not the other way around. All the way through the downgradings of the “offence” through to virtually no prosecutions to legalisation then the subsequent lowerings of the age of consent to equality now. Civil partnerships and all. I can’t prove it but I am certain that it’s we the people who changed first on this and the lawmakers who grudgingly accepted that we had afterwards.

I would suspect that race works the same way.

“The original anti-Jewish laws as passed by Mussolini in the late 1930s in Fascist Italy were doing just what Tim W and Munro are defending.

Amongst other things, Mussolini’s “leggi razziali” just made it possible for shopkeepers and business owners to openly discriminate against a specific group of people – in that case based on religion and ethnicity as the fascists saw it.”

And the laws in the UK at the time were exactly the same. So what’s this to do with facism?

#116 Tim W
The same question again.
Do you think it was ok for the Italian regime in the 1930s to make it possible (you would say “to grant the freedom”) to discriminate in shops (as well as some workplaces) against people purely in terms of race and religion?

Galen 10
Well, yes, I should pick someone more erudite than me* too
My issue was the abuse of the woman which I consider to be of far greater importance than telling someone to drive on to another B&B/hotel.
Your comments do not yet include the sort of condemnation that I should like to see.
All sorts of waffle, but no “Stop This! ”

*Er, comment from my wife who is, like both my sisters more erudite than I, how do you know how lacking in erudition I am?

“Do you think it was ok for the Italian regime in the 1930s to make it possible (you would say “to grant the freedom”) to discriminate in shops (as well as some workplaces) against people purely in terms of race and religion?”

As I say, as this is what the law was in England at the time, yes.

And before you go the next step no, I don’t think it was OK for the Nazis at the same time to be telling people, purely on the grounds of race or religion, or on pretty much any other grounds that I can think of that would be valid, that people couldn’t own certain property, that it was forfeit to the State, couldn’t live in certain areas, couldn’t work in certain industries or professions and so on.

For I do make that distinction between what discrimination people should have the freedom to make and what the State can.

claude, Mussolini’s Italy enforced segregation and prohibited employment of Jews in particular professions, which is exactly what Tim is against.

#120
I’m afraid it was a gradual slippery slope.
It started out with actively allowing the freedom to discriminate, then it escalated up to what you wrote (enforced segregation) and finally ended up with the concentration camps.

Libertard utopia: pre-1955 Montgomery, Alabama.

But I would argue that race relations in the UK have got very much better over the decades since then, certainly. They were actually pretty good in the 18th early 19th cent too…but that’s another matter (class was what mattered then, not race).

I call bullshit. Slavery was abolished in 1833. How’s that for “race relations”?

124. Charlieman

@116 Tim W: “Those intermarriage rates are so high here than in another couple of generations there will hardly be a distinct Afro Caribbean population. There will just be a slightly darker hue in the general population, a frizz to the hair and, to coin a Liddlism, a hitherto unknown ability among the English to dance to a beat.”

You could make a stronger point, Tim, by pointing at Spain where intermarriage began hundreds of years ago (Muslim era?). “White” Spaniards may only exist in some royal families that have solely married with similar Spanish or other European families.

But Spain is a very racist country, more so than the UK. Thus we cannot assume that intermarriage in the UK will reduce racism in the future; intermarriage is a reflection of current values.

A business owner refusing to serve someone isn’t a sufficient impingement on the rights of the person not being served nor of sufficient damage to them to over ride the weirdo’s right to be an asshole.

I believe they call this an “argument by assertion”.

126. Charlieman

@123 Peter: “I call bullshit. Slavery was abolished in 1833. How’s that for “race relations”?”

There was a Slave Abolition Act in 1833, addressing trade in slaves. However, slavery in the UK was not abolished by that act because it did not exist. Long before, common law had established the status of a free person and the UK acted as a sanctuary to many former slaves.

Most history sites record the “first” immigration of Chinese and Indian people to the UK based on mid 19th century records. We know this to be false because foreign seamen had visited our shores for centuries. Long before that, the Romans were multi-coloured invaders.

And here’s the first(?) non-white MP:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dadabhai_Naoroji

Libertard utopia: pre-1955 Montgomery, Alabama

No, because that’s another example of state enforced segregation.

128. Richard W

126. Charlieman

‘ There was a Slave Abolition Act in 1833, addressing trade in slaves. However, slavery in the UK…’

It is not really accurate to say the UK. Slavery was never recognised in Scots law and Scotland was part of the UK for most of the eighteenth century. The Scottish courts considered any purchased slave who landed in Scotland was freed from perpetual servitude. For example, a legal challenge occurred in 1774 (Joseph Knight). Although a lower court ruled in favour of the slave owner. A higher found that ‘the state of slavery is not recognised by the laws of this kingdom, and is inconsistent with the principles thereof:’

@118 John

You wrote: 1) “My issue was the abuse of the woman which I consider to be of far greater importance than telling someone to drive on to another B&B/hotel.

Your moral compass is faulty. People have a right to complain to the woman about her behaviour, altho as I have said I don’t accept it they have a right to be abusive. I doubt many people would consider the contemptible abuse she suffered as “of far greater importance” however.

2) “Your comments do not yet include the sort of condemnation that I should like to see. All sorts of waffle, but no “Stop This! ” ”

I was quite clear in my condemnation, as the posts above amply demonstrate. You are simply trying to divert attention away from the issue at hand.

3) “Er, comment from my wife who is, like both my sisters more erudite than I, how do you know how lacking in erudition I am?”

Not saying much for the erudition of either your sisters or your spouse frankly given the standard of your general arguments, which is evidence enough of your level. Hopefully they aren’t trolling libertarian nut job’s like their brother/husband.

@119 Tim

“For I do make that distinction between what discrimination people should have the freedom to make and what the State can.”

That’s a real keeper.. so it’s OK for individuals to discriminate, but not the State? So my corner shop, is OK to refuse to serve (for the sake of argument) Tamils, but it would be wrong for the State to sanction it?

It’s simple enough. If you want to run a B&B you need to sign up for equality rules.

Otherwise you don’t get a license.

No?

@131 douglas clark
Makes sense but “they” do not yet issue licences

Galen 10
(i) You have NOT yet condemned the abuse – you have waffled but NOWHERE have you said “stop abusing her”. You have repeatedly invented excuses for the behaviour of the abusers.
Come on – if you have an ounce of honesty you will either say “it is wrong to abuse this woman – stop doing so” or you will admit that you don’t care.
(ii) Which issue at hand?
As far as I can see there are two – (i) should someone running a B&B turn away people on the basis of their ethical views and (ii) should they be persecuted for doing so.
As I have already said, more than once, anyone who wants to discriminate on grounds of sexual orientation should have sold out or closed down years ago.
I am not trying divert attention from the other issue. Maybe there is a third that is only perceptible to someone of your vast erudition that no other commentator has observed, or maybe you are just an arrogant bullshitter who refuses to admit that you are wrong. The standard of my arguments may not meet your highbrow standards as I rely on facts in contrast to your claims about my family’s erudition based on nothing except my ability to read what you actually said:
“If she feels persecuted perhaps she shouldn’t have acted the way she did in the first place”
I have said (a) she should not have done so and (b) that this does not justify her being inundated with abusive emails and letters
You have several times agreed with (a) but NEVER with (b).
If you are so erudite you should be able to read your own posts

You know it is by topics like this that we actually realise that religion is something to be hidden because quite simply IT IS her right to have a faith, IT IS her right to demonstrate this through objections, IT IS her right to say no , just as much as it is their right to be gay. IT IS our right to comment but IT IS NOT our right to judge unless we too can compare how we live our lives to that of hers. All too often today the minority have far too much to say and do it quite forcibly. It is also their right to practice sex in whatever manner the law proscribes but it is not their right to force that down the throats of those whose beliefs challenge their view points.So with that in mind it is the right of the religious to demonstrate their beliefs in a free world and not face the violent reaction seen both here and aimed towards this couple from those who feel just because they are gay they can.
I am of a belief that is far older than all of what you believe yet I also believe in freedom of speech, the right to human compassion and understanding and the right to live your life as you see fit and not be judged by those who are living life through the eyes of the media .

I have read the comments here and I have to ask are most of you sane in the legal sense of the word, this is a discussion about the rights of an individual to refuse entry to their home to a gay couple because they didnt have two beds, this is not a discussion on race or slavery. The B & B owner refused them not because they were gay but because she didnt have two beds naive yes possibly in todays society but evil absolutely NOT.We appear to have forgotten that in these cases the rights of ALL are brought into question not just those whom feel they have the loudest voice. IT IS her right to say NO to anyone whom she believes lives their lives outside of her god, it is also the gay couples right to stay in a premises that is warmly and friendly.Why is it now acceptable for those with the minority view to shout the loudest, why is it now acceptable that ones own beliefs are challenged by that minority?
The laws on equality are poorly written and would not necesarily back either here and we really need to consider that in a very short space of time the gay movement have managed to alter laws and public opinion and rightly so, but, that doesnt give them the right o protest at refusals like this one , that would be a dictate to state that we all must accept their way of life no matter what we believe and that would indeed flout the latest laws on equality, so please think before posting because frankly some of you are starting to sound rather dim!

I found myself thinking about this in the shower, and realised that my libertarian stance on the whole thing was more than a bit privileged and probably kind of ignorant. It’s not like market forces have ever previously resulted in a fair and accepting society for minorities, and yet I proposed as much up above. Whoops.

I feel kind of silly now. Apologies to Galen10 – now that I think about it I’m actually on your side pretty much.

135. You can belittle this act because “they’re only gay”, but you fail to see the point that you can swap “gay” for “black” or any other term of prejudice in the past as people tried to explain away their needless discrimination.

“that would be a dictate to state that we all must accept their way of life no matter what we believe”

And if I said that I don’t accept (presumably) your belief that you (as a woman, again presumed) have equal rights to men, and that I would rather you didn’t have the vote…you’d be cool with that, right? Because why should you “dictate to state” that we men should accept your way of life?

Hypothetically of course.

Re slavery in England.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somersett%27s_Case

Common Law ruling against it in 1772. Drawing on a case from 1702 where we get the line:

“”as soon as a negro comes to England he is free; one may be a villein in England, but not a slave.””

Often quoted as, but as the entry says, a misquotation:

“”The air of England is too pure for a slave to breathe””

@137 Lee Griffin.
Spot on. You’ve nailed it.

@134 Karen
IT IS her right to have a faith, IT IS her right to demonstrate this through objections, IT IS her right to say no , just as much as it is their right to be gay

Erm…it’s not “your right” to be gay. That’s exactly like saying it’s “your right to be a woman” or “your right to be Greek”.

And this is the problem. Until people like you don’t realise that it doesn’t work like that, that people don’t wake up one morning, go to the supermarket and “choose to be gay”…until that twigs, you will always come up with unfortunate remarks that – in the end- invariably play in the hands of the bullies.

@133 John 77

What is this fixation you have with me not condemning abuse of the woman? I have now done so (in several places above) and yet you refuse to accept that I have. There is no excuse for people abusing anyone, and people should stop abusing her. Your continual refusal to accept that I have made this plain simply makes you look odd.

The issue at hand being that this woman was in the wrong, and your rather odd assertion that people abusing her (which I had, despite your apparent blind spot condemned) were doing something worse than her bigoted discrimination.

I am not for a moment condoning people sending her abusive or threatening emails and letters, but I have absolutely no problem with people sending her emails and letters telling her that she is acting in a way they find objectionable and unacceptable…. what’s wrong with that?

Despite your protestations, I feel you are doing exactly what you disclaim: diverting attention from the real issue by making the woman a victim, and maintaining that because people abused her there was some moral equivalence, and that the poor old dear should be allowed to go on her bigoted, discriminatory way, because it was no place of the state to say who she turned away from her B&B.

People can make their own judgements about the standard of your erudition, just as I did on the basis of the arguments marshalled in your posts, which were specious and diversionary – you are, at best, an apolgist for discrimination.

@136 Gwyn

No need to apoligise. I’m glad that on further consideration you can see the dangers inherent in the libertarian “leave the old dear alone” stance on this issue. A sinner converted is always welcome 😉

@ Karen 134

The fact that your belief system is older than “ours” (by which I assume you mean non-believers in general?) is irrelevant. There are many faiths older than yours, but it doesn’t mean we should accord them more, equal, or indeed ANY respect.

Whether the religious minority like it or not, the majority of people in this country are secular in outlook. There is much about organised religion which can be criticised, just as there are many people of faith to admire. The issue here (which like so many religious people you totally fail to get) is that the secular majority should not have to accept “special pleading” by people of faith, that they be allowed to take actions which are discriminatory.

The couple are totally free to hold to their beliefs in private, to promote them, preach them to the unbeliever – they have no right to discriminate against people in the provision of a service on the grounds of sexuality. The fact that it’s in their own house is immaterial, it’s a business.

@ Karen 135

“that would be a dictate to state that we all must accept their way of life no matter what we believe and that would indeed flout the latest laws on equality, so please think before posting because frankly some of you are starting to sound rather dim!”

It isn’t the people complaining about the discrimination that sound dim Karen. I disagree with your opinion that the B&B owners behaviour wasn’t evil. The fact that she is simply reflecting the (frankly rather peculiar) Christian attitude to sexuality in general is no defence. Discrimination IS evil. As other posters have noted, if she’d refused people on the basis of their race, their religion, their hair colour, their political affiliation.. that wouldn’t be acceptable either.

Nobody is dictating to this woman that she can’t hold her belief, but her right to hold to her faith is not a license to infringe the rights of others.

Galen it is no more peculiar to have a belief that is anti gay as to have a belief in fairies angels and whatever else takes your fancy. This refusal of entry was not evil and to suggest it was is rather foolhardy, is it evil to call Christians Infidels, no, is it often used inappropriately , of course. What is evil is the killing of another by stealth through a misguided belief that you will be whisked away and forever be satiated by vestial virgins.
To state that discrimination in whatever sense is evil is somewhat childlike, it may be inappropriate or naive but seriously it is hardly ever evil. The very nature of a belief that does not accept the belief of another is a right and is in fact laid down in legislation. We as human beings are not robots we have individual set of standards, beliefs and traditions and cultures to undermine that is frankly absurd.

Claude , it is your right to practice being homosexual, its a privilege in todays society that permits this to continue unchallenged . If you fail to understand that then really I am saddened . We all live in a liberal democracy here in the UK, it allows your certain privileges and does not challenge behaviour that to many would be unacceptable, this is how tolerance is built, tolerance isnt a right it is a set of standards that are permitted within a society to allow freedoms, none here is a free person , but we are allowed freedoms within acts of parliament.

Incidently Galen I am not of the Christian faith either. I am not religious either dont presume.
I do however fully understand how tolerance within society was born and how that affects us all, I am also an advocate of human rights for ALL not just those who speak the loudest.

@146 Karen

I wasn’t presuming. I don’t care if you’re a Christian, an atheist or believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster. It’s not a matter of “who speaks loudest” either: if it was as simple as that, the Rev’d Ian Paisley would have been Prime Minister…and THEN where would we be? 😉

I still maintian that discrimination and bigotry (which is what I honestly believe was at work here) IS evil.

Have a look at sagar’s link on the “Supporting the freedom to be a horrible bigot” thread – it’s a thoughtful and compelling argument about why it is wrong to tolerate this kind ob behaviour.

Karen is a freedom for me, but not for thee person.

So many of these people about. Waste of space.

@ 140
Thank you.

I am not an apologist for discrimination. She should have sold or closed down her B&B business when the law was changed so that it became treated as a business not as use of her private house.

“I am not for a moment condoning people sending her abusive or threatening emails and letters, but I have absolutely no problem with people sending her emails and letters telling her that she is acting in a way they find objectionable and unacceptable…. what’s wrong with that?”
The Guardian article doesn’t mention the existence of any non-abusive emails nor does it imply that there were any.

“the poor old dear should be allowed to go on her bigoted, discriminatory way, because it was no place of the state to say who she turned away from her B&B.”
No – see above and earlier posts

@149 John

“The Guardian article doesn’t mention the existence of any non-abusive emails nor does it imply that there were any.”

I don’t quite get your point here? No doubt many of the emails were abusive (and no, before you start, I’m not condoning it), but I’d be surprised if they all were. I’m sure plenty of people are capable of sending non-abusive complaints to the mad old trout.

The post starts with criticising Chris Grayling for a comment that while hotels should not be allowed to turn away gays, owners of B&Bs should be allowed to discriminate and we have been discussing a case featured in The Guardian.
The Guardian (unlike the Daily Mail which apparently ran an article which I have not read) is unsympathetic to Mrs Wilkinson. It reported that she had been inundated by abusive letters and emails. Now if the Daily Mail had said that I should have assumed selective reporting but in The Guardian I should have expected a balanced statement to the effect that there were some reasoned objections – which it did NOT state.
You are arguing, on the basis of your philosophical theory and your erudition that of course there must have been some civilised rational comments, just as you analysed the age of Karen’s religion from her eschewing human sacrifice and my alleged lack of erudition from the superiority of my sisters. I, on the other hand, am working just on the evidence that I have seen.
That is why I get uptight every time you say “but” since, unless there is some evidence that there were some civilised comments, your remarks can be taken as an excuse for their conduct by those who sent abusive e-mails and letters. That is why I kept asking for an unambiguous statement from you: you may not have realised that your comments might be misinterpreted as condoning the abuse but to anyone who lacks your optimistic view, they seemed easy to interpret as doing so.
If anyone had written to her pointing out politely that her position was theologically unsound that might have caused her to rethink: it seems that no-one did so.

@ 151 John77

“That is why I get uptight every time you say “but” since, unless there is some evidence that there were some civilised comments, your remarks can be taken as an excuse for their conduct by those who sent abusive e-mails and letters. That is why I kept asking for an unambiguous statement from you: you may not have realised that your comments might be misinterpreted as condoning the abuse but to anyone who lacks your optimistic view, they seemed easy to interpret as doing so.”

No, my remarks can’t be taken that way, unless you are trying to be wilfully obscurantist. My earlier comments were quite clear that I didn’t think it right for anyone to abuse the woman; I only clarified because you made such an issue about it, which I think any reasonable person would have agreed with me wasn’t really necessary, but a result of you being hyper-sensitive.

The fact the Guardian report didn’t say there were any non-abusive emails, doesn’t mean there were none. It seems a perfectly reasonable inference that there may have been eminently reasonable ones.

The comments about your erudition, and Karen’s religion were a bit tongue in cheek; my post to Karen certainly didn’t (as you state above) analyse the age of her religion from her eschewing human sacrifice.

It’s a pity that your rationality, and basing it only on what you can actually see, still leads you to misinterpret my comments.

@ 152
May I suggest that we should agree to differ as you require no evidence to dismiss the premise upon which I based my original and subsequent posts which means that we are bound to be arguing at cross-purposes.


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