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Dame Louise Casey: 'religious conservatism' is often 'anti-equalities'

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Tim Dieppe discusses comments made by Dame Louise Casey this week, equating 'religious conservatism' with being 'anti-equality'. Tim explains that this understanding of equality threatens Christian freedom to express the belief that marriage should be exclusively between one man and one woman. He says that this 'discrimination' "is necessary for marriage in law to have any meaning at all."

Dame Louise Casey published her review into integration in our society last month which made for some alarming reading. Her policy suggestions included an oath to British values for holders of public office, and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has said he is attracted to this idea. We are concerned that this could constitute a bar to Christians from public office as 'equality' is interpreted as supporting same-sex 'marriage'.

This week, Dame Louise Casey gave oral evidence to the Communities and Local Government Committee. She made very clear how she understands 'equality' in response to a question about schools (Q29):

"More importantly, when does a teacher running a secular school say: "No, it's fine for you not to do theatre," or music or those sorts of thing? When is that okay? I do not really have any view on which religion it is that it is promoting those sorts of views, but they are not okay, in the same way that it is not okay for Catholic schools to be homophobic and anti-gay marriage. That is not okay either—it is not how we bring children up in this country. It is often veiled as religious conservatism, and I have a problem with the expression "religious conservatism", because often it can be anti-equalities. We have got to be careful that people can choose, obviously, to live the lives that they want to live, but that they cannot condemn others for living differently. That is a grey line, and the more we can talk about it the better. That is the most important thing: that people are able to talk about it, and that these head teachers are not left feeling isolated and alone when they are having those conversations."

Here she clearly expresses that she has a problem with "religious conservatism" because she thinks it is often "anti-equalities". By Dame Louise Casey's definition, then, saying that marriage is between a man and a woman is anti-equalities. For her, an oath to 'equality' should indeed bar people from office who hold a traditional view of marriage. She thinks Catholic schools should not be allowed to teach that marriage is between a man and a woman. She sees that as "condemning others for living differently". At the same time, she claims that it is important that "people are able to talk about it." The effect of what she wants to enforce is actually a silencing of anyone who disagrees with state doctrine on marriage. Anyone who expresses a traditional view of marriage should not be allowed in public office or to teach in schools. This is the intolerance of Dame Louise Casey's oath.

Dame Louise Casey doesn't seem to realise that any view of marriage is discriminatory. With the law as it stands you can't marry your cat or your dog or your car or your tree. Neither can you marry your father, your sister, or multiple people. Those who may wish to do so are being discriminated against by the law. Such discrimination is necessary for marriage in law to have any meaning at all. Dame Louise Casey herself holds a discriminatory view of marriage. Does that mean she is 'anti-equality'?

We warned previously that the 'British value' of 'equality' has already been used to oppress Christians in various ways. Just yesterday, a court heard how the NHS has discriminated against Richard Page because of his belief that it is  in the best interests of a child to have a married mother and father. If you haven't already, we would encourage you to take five minutes to email your MP to express your concern about the introduction of an oath to British  values for public office. 

Related Links: 
Integration tsar Dame Louise Casey has a problem with 'religious conservatism' (Archbishop Cranmer) 
What's wrong with a British values oath? 
Tell your MP that the 'British values oath' needs to be scrapped 
Employment Tribunal Judge: Richard Page's case is 'crying out to be heard' 
Solutions for a segregated society: The Casey review and what to do about it 
Dame Louise Casey: Replacing one form of intolerance with another (Grassroots Conservatives) 
Communities and Local Government Committee: Oral evidence: Integration Review, HC 881 (Parliament)