Equality Bill: Lynne Featherstone and Evan Harris act
While it is welcomed in principle the new equality bill preserves too much religious privilege. It imports the exemptions that exist in the current legislation that allow employment discrimination by religious groups (for example in church schools). With more and more public services being contracted-out to a variety of organisations there is increasing concern that where these are religious in nature they are able to discriminate against those who receive the services that they provide.
The Bill is currently in committee stage, where Liberal Democrat members of the committee Lynne Featherstone and Evan Harris have been busy. Among the amendments they are tabling are ones designed to protect employees of religious organisations and users of public services provided by religious institutions from discrimination by religious organisations.