UK judge says religious beliefs have no legal standing

A few weeks ago, a councilor named Gary McFarlane was sacked after he┬árefused to assist a gay couple due to his religious convictions. McFarlane then tried to sue his former employer for religious discrimination (yes, the irony burns deep here), which has subsequently created a firestorm of controversy in the UK. In a way, this recent conflict is really a microcosm for the clash between secularism and sectarianism that is raging, which is why Lord Justice John Grant McKenzie Law’s recent ruling comes as a bit of good news. The suit was thrown out, and here is what McKenzie had to say about the whole thing:

[R]eligious faith is necessarily subjective, being incommunicable by any kind of proof or evidence.” He added that to use the law to protect “a position held purely on religious grounds cannot therefore be justified.”

No religious belief, said the judge, can be protected under the law “however long its tradition, however rich its culture.”

Finally, a bit of common sense for once. I think it’s important that religious people start to accept the fact that their personal beliefs are things that they can privately hold, but that society does not need to necessarily agree with. The notion that homosexuality is a sin and against “God’s will” is not a statement of fact, but rather an ancient prejudice that has been allowed to continue thanks to the tireless efforts of religious bigots from around the world. A country is no more obligated to respect this belief than it needs to respect a man’s right to sell his daughter into slavery.

Now, if you guys could just stop jailing people for no fucking reason, that would be great!

Comments (3)

  • avatar


    Actually the judge’s full name is John Grant McKenzie Laws, but his official title is Lord Justice Laws.

    Yes, I know it’s somewhat comedy to have a judge who’s name is ‘Laws’. It’s actually a double funny when the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is called Igor Judge.

    As for the HuffPo article, the judgement (which I’ve read) doesn’t say that Christian beliefs have no legal standing. It states that having a religious belief doesn’t mean you automatically get an opt-out from English law.

  • avatar

    shaun mcneil

    this actually makes me smile

    its great to just hear that this ‘world’ is moving in the right direction

    sounds like UK is getting a little wall of separation between church and state…maybe Hitchens got through to someone with some authority – sorry ‘authority’ from God is zilch

Leave a Comment

Scroll to top