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Author Topic: I was shocked to learn...  (Read 97703 times)
Ricardo
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« Reply #15 on: March 21, 2010, 10:20:33 PM »

It seems Cookham is in the headlines for all the wrong reasons:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8578787.stm

Newshound, are you suggesting that the owner was within her rights to do this? So, where do we draw the line? Is it okay for shopkeepers to refuse to sell their goods to gay couples? Or, indeed, anyone whose lifestyle they disagree with? Why not just go the whole hog and ban them from the village entirely? After all, as you might say ' a homosexual couple should be prepared to accept the fact that not all people necessarily accept homosexuality in their village'. What next? Ban fat people? Adulterers? Ginger people? And your comment about their 'electioneering' is laughable. The quote mentioned in all the press has come from a single source. He has not told 'anyone that would listen' that he is a Lib Dem councillor. He has told ONE person, and this has simply been repeated by the other media outlets, over which they have no control.

Darth Vader, the point is that, under law, she is NOT entitled to refuse 'these people'. Of course, she is entitled to her beliefs, but they do not put her above the law of the land.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 10:22:13 PM by Ricardo » Logged
Cat
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Posts: 114


« Reply #16 on: March 21, 2010, 10:36:07 PM »

After World War 11, the following lines were written by Pastor Martin Niemoller

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didnít speak up because I was a Protestant.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."

Pastor Martin Niemoller '46
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Bagheera
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Posts: 435

e tenebris lux


« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2010, 10:57:58 PM »

What next? Ban fat people? Adulterers? Ginger people?

Christians with deep held religious convictions?

It may be inconvenient but that argument works both ways, Ricardo.

Tolerance has such bad manners - it insists on being indiscriminate! 
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aj
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Posts: 57


« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2010, 11:02:58 PM »

Apart from the yahoo link, this story has now appeared both on the BBC website and on the Guardian's page, and probably is likely to appear in the print edition tomorrow, I would guess.
This might give Ms. Wilkinson an idea of just how seriously this sort of thing is taken these days.

Ms. Wilkinson has apparently said, according to the Guardian that 'these people'... 'are organised', implying that some kind of media campaign has been launched to vilify her. By implication, the widespread press coverage is the work of this mysterious group, rather than a natural expression of public revulsion over her conduct.

In my opinion, her conduct is simply unacceptable in this day and age. Not because we are living in some kind of politically correct nanny state, but because expressing, as she did, discrimination against people whose sexual orientation she disagrees with, is comparable to walking down the street and hurling epithets at someone from another ethnic group. Or - and I regret to say this - forcing people to wear a Star of David to identify that they were Jewish. I'm not, of course, suggesting that Ms. Wilkinson has ever expressed any such beliefs, but it's crucial for a tolerant, multi-cultural society to understand that ANY discrimination, for ANY reason, MUST be socially unacceptable. It is the very foundation of social responsibility that we treat all races, all creeds, and all sexual preferences equally and without prejudice, regardless of our own personal beliefs.

Perhaps, sixty years ago, this kind of conduct might have been more widespread. But it's 2010. Modern Christianity has long since moved on from seeing the Bible as a literal codification of the rules by which a good Christian should live. The Bible reflects cultural mores that, in turn, were transcribed and reinterpreted by subsequent authors, living in their own unique and differing cultures, and while there are passages which may be seen as condemning homosexuality, there is considerable debate over whether these passages should be interpreted literally.

It is a founding tenet of Christianity that tolerance and love should be shown to one's fellow men (using the term inclusively, as in 'mankind'). As such, I hope that Ms. Wilkinson comes to understand that what she has done is a shameful thing and that - rather than being consistent with 'Christian beliefs' - it is, on the contrary, entirely antithetical to them.

I would like to hope that after due reflection, she might publically apologise for her actions, but in the meantime, I think it has been made quite clear that residents of Cookham are very sorry that this happened, and that we will always offer a warm welcome to any visitors in the future.

« Last Edit: March 21, 2010, 11:14:22 PM by aj » Logged
Bagheera
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Posts: 435

e tenebris lux


« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2010, 11:39:48 PM »

In my opinion, her conduct is simply unacceptable in this day and age.

Which you are entitled to but that doesn't mean she is not entitled to hers too.


expressing, as she did, discrimination against people whose sexual orientation she disagrees with, is comparable to walking down the street and hurling epithets at someone from another ethnic group. Or - and I regret to say this - forcing people to wear a Star of David to identify that they were Jewish.

As far as I can tell it was all done privately.  It was Ricardo's friends who chose to make it public.


it's crucial for a tolerant, multi-cultural society to understand that ANY discrimination, for ANY reason, MUST be socially unacceptable. It is the very foundation of social responsibility that we treat all races, all creeds, and all sexual preferences equally and without prejudice, regardless of our own personal beliefs.

Unless they happen to be evangelical Christians - in which case they are bigots with no rights whatsoever?

I was going to say I was playing Devils advocate here but perhaps that is not the right term.

My concern is that we may be telling ourselves we are now tolerant when in reality we have merely substituted old intolerances with new ones.

« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 12:53:24 AM by Bagheera » Logged
Bertie
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« Reply #20 on: March 22, 2010, 01:16:23 AM »

This is how it is being reported in the gentlemens' local press..

http://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/Home/Gay-couple-turned-away-from-BB-19307.xnf?BodyFormat=0&


It is perhaps a little unfortunate that the B&B's website offers a 'warm and friendly welcome to all guests.' Maybe now would be an opportune moment to alter that slightly.

My wife's cousin is gay, and sometimes brings his partner when he comes to stay. Both are extremely welcome in our house and always will be, but I do understand that not all people would feel the same.   I won't condemn anyone for not thinking as I do, just as I hope they'd offer me the same courtesy.
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Showem
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Posts: 365


« Reply #21 on: March 22, 2010, 08:28:22 AM »

Bagheera, it was not done privately. A B&B is a business, open to the public. This isn't her refusing to let them stay in her private home, this is her refusing to let them stay in her business. That makes it public.

And I think it's a bit unfair to say we are intolerant to religious beliefs. Anyone can believe what they like as far as I'm concerned, but not when those beliefs negatively affect others. What if it wasn't a gay couple, but a couple of different races. Would you still be saying she has every right to refuse them accommodation? Sorry, you haven't said that exactly, but I'm not quite sure why you are defending her actions.
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Bagheera
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Posts: 435

e tenebris lux


« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2010, 09:42:35 AM »

A B&B is a business, open to the public. This isn't her refusing to let them stay in her private home, this is her refusing to let them stay in her business. That makes it public.

I disagree.  Although she is running a B&B, it is still her private home.

That was not what I meant, though.  My point is that this all happened outside the drive, presumably with nobody else around. She was not the one who went to the press.

Anyone can believe what they like as far as I'm concerned, but not when those beliefs negatively affect others.

But that is too simplistic.

Because, for reasons of conscience, she is unable to permit this couple to stay, your beliefs now negatively affect her ability to earn an income.

That is what happens when people start insisting on asserting "rights" and say "my rights trump yours".

If we insist on confrontation then it is only a small step to conflict and then everybody loses.

Why can people not live and let live?

Sometimes it is necessary for people to agree to differ and that it is best that they do not do business with one another if necessary.


I'm not quite sure why you are defending her actions

I am defending the right to conscientious objection.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 09:57:29 AM by Bagheera » Logged
Ricardo
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« Reply #23 on: March 22, 2010, 10:15:42 AM »

So, Bagheera, they should have simply accepted that they're not welcome here and driven home quietly? Would you have been happy with that? How many times do you think that would happen before Cookham ground to a halt?

'Sorry, you can't stay here/shop here/see a play here because you are gay/black/a muslim and that might offend someone's sensibilities.'

I certainly wouldn't want to live in a village like that.

And you seem to want to have your cake and eat it. How can you 'live and let live' when you are disciminating against a whole section of the community. Or do you mean 'live and let live unless I disagree with you'?
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MLP
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« Reply #24 on: March 22, 2010, 10:41:40 AM »

Banhgeera, I think you are missing the point.  This woman's actions are illegal.  It is, therefore, not "conscientious objection".  It is not even a case of "necessary for people to agree to differ and that it is best that they do not do business with one another if necessary."  Illegal is illegal and if a crime was being committed against you, I am sure you would want the police to act accordingly.
Years ago signs would be placed in B&Bs saying 'No Blacks or Irish'.  Thankfully we have moved on from that blatant discrimintaion and it is now time that we moved on from all forms of discrimination.  If this lady doesn't agree with two men shring a bed, then she should shut up shop as unfortuantely for her the law is quite implicit.  This isn't a case of freedom of speech and defending one's right to have an opinion, it's a case of this woman having broken a law.  You may not agree with that law, but it is a law none the less and one that is there to protect a sizable group of society.  A group of society that live in the village (yes they do), visit the village (again yes) and on a baser note bring revenue into the village.  This woman's 'convictions' are illegal, so stop defending her as it is not her 'right' to turn away a same sex couple and hasn't been since the law changed in 2007. 

On a more personal note, I'm afraid this story doesn't really surprise me.  Before moving to the village two years ago my partner and I popped into one of the village pubs for Sunday lunch to be greeted to openly homophobic remarks between three gentlemen of the village sitting at the bar.  Stupidly, not wanting to cause a fuss nothing was said by us.  It did make us question whether we wanted to continue with the house purchase and move to Cookham.  Thankfully we did as it's a great place to live and not populated by raving bigots!   We do not however, frequent that pub!



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Bagheera
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e tenebris lux


« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2010, 11:19:56 AM »

How can you 'live and let live' when you are disciminating against a whole section of the community. Or do you mean 'live and let live unless I disagree with you'?

You mean "How can you 'live and let live' when you are disciminating against a the gay section of the community".

But your solution is to discriminate against those with deep held religious beliefs.

I realise that it is also the government's solution but that doesn't automatically make it right.
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Bagheera
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Posts: 435

e tenebris lux


« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2010, 11:37:42 AM »

This isn't a case of freedom of speech and defending one's right to have an opinion, it's a case of this woman having broken a law.

Yes she has broken the UK Law and the couple offended can sue her.

But Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights gives her freedom of conscience and she is at liberty, if she and her supporters are at liberty to seek clarification from the ECJ as to whether the UK Law has got the balance wrong - if they want to take it that far.

it's a great place to live and not populated by raving bigots! 

Agreed.  I do not want any bigotry in our village either - but if we attempt to force somebody to act in a way that is anathema to them are we not guilty of it?
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MLP
Guest
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2010, 11:53:00 AM »

If Mr and Mrs Wilkinson do not want gay people in their guest house, that is their choice.  I or no one else can insist they do so.  The law of land, however, states that they may not refuse their services on the basis of somone's sexuality  (http://www.opsi.gov.uk/si/si2007/uksi_20071263_en_1).  If they wish to go to ECJ, that again is entirely their right.  And it is entirely my right to disagree with their decision.  That does not make me or anyone else on this forum who has expreessed their disgust at their decision a bigot.  We are merely expressing our opionions in the same way that you and several others have in defence of the Wilkinsons, albeit under the coverall defence of 'playing devil's advocate'.  Healthy debate is good, discrimination of and supporting any kind against any member of society isn't.
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Bagheera
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e tenebris lux


« Reply #28 on: March 22, 2010, 12:12:22 PM »

Healthy debate is good, discrimination of and supporting any kind against any member of society isn't.

That would be fine if it was clear cut.  The problem is that somebody has to be discriminated against.

You are of the opinion that the discrimination should be against the Wilkinsons - and you have the right to that opinion but it is still discrimination.

It is also the Law - but it is still discrimination.

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CH
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Posts: 227


« Reply #29 on: March 22, 2010, 12:22:22 PM »

I guess what it comes down to (whatever our own personal views on the subject) is that this behaviour is illegal and people cannot just pick and choose the laws that they follow depending on whether they meet with their own beliefs and values.

For instance, some people really like grafitti, but it is against the law and criminal damage.  Would Mrs Wilkinson think it was fine for someone to cover Cookham station with grafitti - would she agree if they said it's their right because they believe it is art and should therefore not be illegal?

There are some people who think that speeding or even more serious crimes should not be against the law but the majority of the country do and so it is legislated against.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2010, 12:24:52 PM by CH » Logged
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