Britain: Blair and his Opus Dei Secretary Ruth Kelly block gay rights

Ruth Kelly cartoon

From British weekly The Observer:

Cabinet split over new rights for gays

· Blair backs Ruth Kelly in church row
· Faith schools seek equality opt-out

Gaby Hinsliff, political editor

Sunday October 15, 2006

The cabinet is in open warfare over new gay rights legislation after Tony Blair and Ruth Kelly, the Communities Secretary, who is a devout Catholic, blocked the plans following protests from religious organisations.

See also here.

“Devout Catholic” is an euphemism.

The real problem is that Ms Kelly is a member of far Right Opus Dei, founded by an ally of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, who had Federico Garcia Lorca, the greatest poet of twentieth century Spain, murdered for being gay, along with many hundreds of thousands of others.

Alan Johnson, the Education Secretary, was so angry with the move that he wrote a letter to Kelly three weeks ago, telling her that the new rights should not be watered down.

The battle between what is being dubbed the government’s ‘Catholic tendency’ and their more liberal colleagues centres on proposals to stop schools, companies and other agencies refusing services to people purely because of their sexuality.

Tony Blair, who sent three of his children to Catholic schools, is said to be anxious about the impact on faith schools and faith-based adoption agencies, which are demanding to be exempt from the law.

Update: here.

Update July 2007: here.


14 thoughts on “Britain: Blair and his Opus Dei Secretary Ruth Kelly block gay rights

  1. The debate over Kelly’s latest folly has many aspects but a wider issue is this: if any person or organization other than a religious one asked to be exempt from this law, most right-thinking people would reject the notion that, just because a law to be passed by a democratically elected govenment does not suit, it’s ok to be exempt. Why then do we even give a second thought to the claim from religous bodies such as the catholics, that they can be exempt just because the law does not match their belief system?
    The answer is the extraordinary respect and special deference we give to certain religous beliefs. Religon is not entitled to any such special treatment, it’s just another, wholly unproven, belief system, like witchcraft, the tooth fairy and father christmas. The sooner we stop treating religon as having some kind of privileged status, the better. People are entitled to believe what they want and to try to persude others, but they are no more entitled to discriminate against anyone than are witches or followers of father christmas.
    As for Kelly, she accepted the position as a minster responsible for promoting equality when she knew she did not believe in that concept and could not possibly do her job – that is rank hypocracy which is, err – a sin. Whatever would the Pope think about that!!!


  2. Hi Roger, thanks for reacting. I’d say that Kelly’s hypocrisy in accepting a ministership responsible for promoting equality, while a member of the dictator Franco-loving far Right Opus Dei, is another example of the general odiousness of Blairism, seen on many issues, from the Iraq war to cash for peerages.


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