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Equality Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 10:39 am on 9th June 2009.

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Richard Kornicki: My understanding is that the previous legislative provisions did not define the purposes of an organised religion. That is defined in paragraph 2(8) of schedule 9, and it is that definition that effectively narrows the law. That is the change that has been made, as I understand it.

The point that we are trying to make here is that, fundamentally, this goes to the credibility of the post holder in performing their function. The youth worker may have a function that involves supervising teenage children in a church hall, in social activities. That is not formal teaching of religion, but the group may be coming up to their confirmation, and issues of religion will and should arise—issues of morality and of behaviour. It would not be credible for the person holding that post not to be in harmony with the teachings of the Church. The credibility of the function being performed would be at stake in such pastoral, representative roles if the person were not in harmony with the teachings of the Church. That is what we are looking at.