Christian News from Scotland

News stories from Scotland and beyond

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Government proposes 'homophobic hatred law'

The Second Reading of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill took place in the Westminster Parliament on Monday 8 October. As expected the Government made a statement on a proposed 'homophobic hatred law' with Jack Straw saying that they wanted to see this offence added to the Bill.

Mr Straw said that the 'starting point' for the drafting of the new offence would be the existing religious hatred law which contains substantial protections for free speech. However politicians can often change their minds and the impact of a new law will depend on its precise wording and not on ministerial reassurances.

Jack Straw indicated that Christians had already spoken to him about their concerns and Christian objections to this new law were widely reported in the UK national press.

Details of the news coverage can be found on the Christianinstitute website.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Police accused of religious discrimination

A Roman Catholic couple have accused Strathclyde Police of discriminating against them on religious grounds.

The claim comes after the UK's second largest police force chose to lump married couples in the same group as civil partners in the bureaucracy's electronic personnel records.

Lucille and Frank McQuade from Motherwell complained after their status as civilian employees of the police force was changed from married to married/civil partnership.

The couple, who have been married for 26 years, told a Glasgow employment tribunal that they had deeply held religious beliefs as Christians as to the sanctity of marriage and found their description as married/civil partners offensive causing injury to their feelings as married persons.

Mr McQuade argued that Strathclyde Police has deliberately omitted to consider the genuine religious sensitivities of employees with the same religious beliefs as themselves and added that the police could have implemented a system to accommodate the legal requirements to recognise the legal status of civil partnership without encroaching on the rights of married persons for whom marriage has a deep religious significance.

He argued marriage and civil partnerships were separate and distinct from each other and referred to a Stonewall Parliamentary Briefing which stated "Civil partnership is a separate legal structure, designed for same sex couples. There was no overlap in any way with heterosexual marriage: the two are mutually exclusive."

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Kirk Urges Peaceful Change in Burma

In 2004, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland condemned the wide-spread human rights abuses, forced labour and cultural genocide of ethnic minority groups in Burma and urged the British Government to continue to use all diplomatic means and resources at its disposal to bring a return of democratic government in Burma and to discourage western companies from investing and operating there.

Morag Mylne, Convener of the Kirk’s Church and Society Council, expressed sadness at the lack of progress in relation to restoring a democratic government to Burma. Together with the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, The Right Reverend Sheilagh Kesting, she asked for prayers for the people of Burma and for a peaceful and speedy restoration of democracy to their country.