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Parliamentary questions
6 January 2010
by Konrad Szymański (ECR)
to the Commission

 Subject: Religious freedom and new anti-discrimination law in the United Kingdom
 Answer in writing 

According to the Catholic News Agency (Nov. 26, 2009), ‘the European Union has compelled the British Government to remove religious freedom exemptions from an anti-discrimination bill. The move will forbid church bodies from declining to employ homosexual staff’.

According to the Observer, the National Secular Society had argued that the exemptions went further than was permitted under an EU directive and created ‘illegal discrimination against homosexuals’.

The prior law allowed religious groups to refuse to employ homosexuals ‘so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion's followers.’

The British Government is now redrafting anti-discrimination laws to allow religious organisations to decline to employ homosexuals only if their job involves actively promoting or practising a religion for more than 51 % of their time.

Is it true, that the acquis communautaire requires the Member States to adopt anti-discriminatory laws like that?

Is religious freedom granted if evangelical churches cannot be sure that they can employ practising evangelicals with respect to sexual ethics?

 OJ C 10 E, 14/01/2011
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