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New report suggests Equality Commission should be abolished

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The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) should be abolished as it does not contribute anything meaningful to Britain, according to a new report from independent think tank Civitas.

The report, written by Jon Gower Davies, argues that the EHRC’s goal of equality is completely impractical, as it assumes that life outcomes be entirely divorced from health limitations, cultural practices and lifestyles.

Davies argues:

“[Trevor] Phillips conceives of humans as existing independently of their birth, their race, their gender, their age, their religion, their belief or their physical competence - his 'list', above: and on such human beings, so conceived, he is able to confer Rights no matter where they live or how or when they were created or what they have done or do.”

“The EHRC review details a vast range of statistical differences between social groups in Britain. However, it makes little attempt to establish what, if anything, is responsible for these differences. Instead, when the differences appear to disadvantage some groups, it is assumed to be the result of Britain's unfairness.”

The report highlights that the EHRC fails to acknowledge the full impact of cultural practices on life outcomes. For example, infant mortality rates for Pakistanis are affected by a somewhat higher prevalence of inter-cousin marriage, which make congenital birth defects more probable. Yet, according to the EHRC, Britain is still regarded as being responsible for such outcomes.

The report also highlights the remarkable pay inequality at the EHRC, whose top layer commissioners are paid £500 a day. Abolishing the EHRC would save the tax payer tens of millions of pounds.

The EHRC and Christians

The EHRC works very closely with Stonewall, the homosexual rights lobby group. It has far-reaching powers to enforce equality duties but the ideology which it promotes has left it open to criticism.

Last year the EHRC intervened in Court against a Christian couple, Owen and Eunice Johns, to stop them from fostering a child on that basis that their Christian views might ‘infect’ the child. The EHRC was later forced to apologise after the comment was exposed in the press.

The EHRC also caused outrage last summer by commissioning a report which recommended that children should be asked if they are homosexual from the age of 11 and that records should be kept of those unsure about or ‘questioning’ their sexuality.

The report was conducted in an effort to encourage teachers, nurses and youth workers to start monitoring the development of young people’s sexual identity.

The report suggested that it is both “practically and ethically” possible to interview children as young as 11 about their sexual orientation, if necessary without parental consent. Some youngsters, the report says, may use categories such as ‘questioning’, ‘queer’, ‘pansexual’, ‘genderqueer’, ‘asexual’, ‘pan-romantic’ and even ‘trisexual’.

EHRC Litigation History

The EHRC has intervened in several cases relating to the clash between Christian belief and homosexual rights. On every single case the EHRC has intervened strongly against religious belief.

The EHRC intervened in Catholic Care (Leeds) v Charity Commission and persuaded the High Court to rule that Catholic Care (Leeds) could not continue to place children for adoption with married couples only. Catholic Care was among a dozen Catholic agencies in England and Wales forced to change their policy towards homosexual people by the equality laws passed in 2007. The others have either closed or cut their links with the Church.

The EHRC also intervened in 2011 against devout Christian guesthouse owners Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who restricted double rooms in their guesthouse (which was also their home) to married couples only. They were sued by civil partners Martyn Hall and Stephen Preddy who were turned down for a double room. The case was funded and supported by the EHRC. The judge ruled against the Bulls and ordered them to pay compensation.


Civitas Press Release


Christian Concern: Religious Freedom

Christian Concern: Sexual Orientation