Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Law, Religion and Homosexuality: book launch and talk

Wednesday 18 June 2014, 7.00pm to 8:30pm

Speaker: Dr Paul Johnson, University of York, Dr Robert Vanderbeck, University of Leeds and Terry Sanderson, President of the National Secular Society

Location: Conway Hall, London

Admission: Free with wine reception

  • Why can organised religions lawfully discriminate against people in employment on the grounds of their sexual orientation?
  • Why can religious organisations legally refuse to provide gay men and lesbians with goods and services that are available to other people?
  • How have religious groups contributed to shaping the National Curriculum to exclude explicit reference to homosexuality and same-sex relationships?
  • Why do state-funded schools continue to have a right to teach about same-sex relationships according to their particular ‘religious ethos’?
  • How have anti-gay religious groups helped shape the criminal offence of ‘incitement to hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation’ to make it narrower than the offence outlawing racial hatred?
  • Why are same-sex couples excluded by default from solemnising marriage according to religious rites or in places of worship?
These are some of the questions explored in Law, Religion and Homosexuality, a new book by Paul Johnson and Robert Vanderbeck, which examines the ways that religion continues to shape law relating to sexual orientation in the UK.

The book argues that, despite claims to the contrary, religion continues to exert considerable authority in the legislative processes of the UK and, as a result, frequently limits sexual orientation equality.

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