Schedule 26 — Hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation

Part of Orders of the Day – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 6th May 2008.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of David Howarth David Howarth Shadow Solicitor General, Ministry of Justice 8:30 pm, 6th May 2008

Yes, indeed, and 10 per cent. of people go to church, and as the Bishops pointed out in the equivalent debate in another place, about four in 10 people go to carol services.

The argument comes down to the difference between society and state, which if one is a Liberal, one understands, and if one is a Tory, one probably does not. If one is a socialist, one does not understand it at all. The fact that our society is, in majority terms, still Christian is not in itself any sort of argument that the state should adopt a discriminatory stance towards that religion.

The second argument that I have heard might be called the affirmation of identity argument. It is an argument put forward by Christians who feel themselves to be threatened—not people in the position of hon. Members in the House today, who are very confident in their social position and their religious views, but people who feel that their Christianity is somehow threatened by changes in society that they have observed in their own lives.