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Old 18th November 2012, 11:21 AM   #161
DreamingNaiad
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
That does not work for me as he may be attending a certain church which regards homosexuality as deviant behavouir. So would he now have to keep his religion a secret or else risk the sack? What would happen if a co worker saw him going into his church and then told others? Would he get the sack for attending the church? Or should the co-worker who saw and told be the one to get the sack?
The problem is that for this to have come to the attention of his boss his coworkers must have been on his FB. So it's not that he was going about his business and someone saw him. It was more like him telling his colleagues his views and being reported as they caused discomfort.

It also doesn't seem wise for someone working in the housing dept to believe a group of people should be denied rights.

I still don't even know what he meant by 'equality too far'. Should there be limits on equality? Is equality bad?
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Old 18th November 2012, 12:38 PM   #162
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I supposed by equality too far he means that he may find himself having others views imposed on him.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:24 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Dancing David View Post
I thought full kosher/halal required a knife?
All slaughtering is done with a knife. The only question is whether your local Muslims and Jews are okay with the animal being stunned first.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:24 PM   #164
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
I supposed by equality too far he means that he may find himself having others views imposed on him.
Maybe. But it wouldn't really affect him. He works in housing. If he was issuing marriage licences he might have a point (although I would still tell him to suck it up or quit).

Right now his views are being imposed on others (due to the lack of gay marriage, which does affect people) and he seems fine with that. So he's still not making much sense.

It would be interesting to know if this was part of a pattern of behaviour. But I suppose the court will have looked at his previous reprimands to check.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:27 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
All slaughtering is done with a knife. The only question is whether your local Muslims and Jews are okay with the animal being stunned first.
Yeah, all the blood has to be drained. From what I hear though stunning doesn't really get rid of any unpleasantness. All it does is paralyse the animal iirc.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:29 PM   #166
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
It also doesn't seem wise for someone working in the housing dept to believe a group of people should be denied rights.

Given his opinion currently aligns with the law, I don't see how you could possibly argue his opinion is inappropriate. You're essentially demoting someone for agreeing with the law. That's absurd.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:32 PM   #167
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Yeah, all the blood has to be drained. From what I hear though stunning doesn't really get rid of any unpleasantness. All it does is paralyse the animal iirc.

Yup. It renders them unconscious, but it doesn't kill them. They're still killed by either a cut to the throat or an incision near the heart, and they die from loss of blood.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:36 PM   #168
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Given his opinion currently aligns with the law, I don't see how you could possibly argue his opinion is inappropriate. You're essentially demoting someone for agreeing with the law. That's absurd.
Furthermore, even if gay marriage was lawful, that does not mean people are no longer allowed to voice disagreement with it.

So long as someone who says being gay is wrong also tolerates gay people and respects their rights I have no issue and it is wrong to suppress their freedom of speech.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:42 PM   #169
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Originally Posted by Rat View Post

I actually have no problem at all with putting the Christian churches in line with the other religions and having them perform whatever ritual they consider necessary, and then register the marriage to make it official. It seems odd to me now, notwithstanding the religious past of Britain, that this isn't already the case.
I think that is the case.
The actual marriage is the signing of the register and issuing of the certificate.
The ceremony, whether performed by a registrar or the archbishop of Canterbury is just a ceremony.
If the ceremony is performed, but not registered, you are not married.
If the register is signed and a certificate issued without a ceremony, you are married.
Everyone likes a bit of a show, so even registrars ham it up a bit, but I'm pretty sure if you say "Cut this to the absolute legal necessity." You could be in and out in under ten minutes.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:45 PM   #170
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Nb, You have to love a thread that discusses marriage and ritual slaughter side by side.
It seems oddly apt.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:46 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
Given his opinion currently aligns with the law, I don't see how you could possibly argue his opinion is inappropriate. You're essentially demoting someone for agreeing with the law. That's absurd.
The law doesn't actually say there shouldn't be gay marriage. It is just a non-issue. There are no laws for or against it.

I don't think he should have been sacked. I think his boss should have had a quiet word with him and mentioned that if it got around that these were his views, people could accuse him of bias. So to watch his back and keep it out of the workplace.

I don't even think he should've been reprimanded. It's his opinion and as long as he didn't post it on work time there is no problem. Let him look as intolerant as he wants.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:53 PM   #172
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
I think that is the case.
The actual marriage is the signing of the register and issuing of the certificate.
The ceremony, whether performed by a registrar or the archbishop of Canterbury is just a ceremony.
If the ceremony is performed, but not registered, you are not married.
If the register is signed and a certificate issued without a ceremony, you are married.
Everyone likes a bit of a show, so even registrars ham it up a bit, but I'm pretty sure if you say "Cut this to the absolute legal necessity." You could be in and out in under ten minutes.
It would make more sense if officiants of every religion had the same powers. From what I understand though only Christianity allows for an all-in-one service. Legal and spiritual. Everyone else has to split it up.
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Old 18th November 2012, 01:56 PM   #173
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
The problem is that for this to have come to the attention of his boss his coworkers must have been on his FB. So it's not that he was going about his business and someone saw him. It was more like him telling his colleagues his views and being reported as they caused discomfort.
Yes, it would appear that is what happened...

Quote:
The saga began when Smith posted a BBC article on his Facebook page about gay marriage, with the comment "an equality too far".

Work colleagues posted below, enquiring if Smith supported gay marriage or not. He replied: "I don’t understand why people who have no faith and don’t believe in Christ would want to get hitched in church"
The fact that work colleagues were sufficiently motivated to make those comments on his Facebook page suggests that he was also 'discussing' the issue at work. From my own experience with fundamentalists, I know how disruptive that can be.

Quote:
That's quite an assumption you've leaped to there...
Not an assumption, but a good guess IMO (Bet: a choice made by consideration of probabilities).
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Old 18th November 2012, 02:12 PM   #174
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
That's pretty much what I was thinking. If you can be sacked for saying you don't like the colour blue, if your employer happens to think you ought to like the colour blue, we'd better all turn off our internet connections right now.

Rolfe.
At-will employment is not as arbitrary as you make it out to be. There is such a thing as wrongful termination, and people do sue their former employer and win.
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Old 18th November 2012, 02:14 PM   #175
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Quote:
He replied: "I don’t understand why people who have no faith and don’t believe in Christ would want to get hitched in church"
Well, he's not too smart, that's for sure.
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Old 18th November 2012, 02:28 PM   #176
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
It would make more sense if officiants of every religion had the same powers. From what I understand though only Christianity allows for an all-in-one service. Legal and spiritual. Everyone else has to split it up.
It would make sense to me if none of them were involved in any way.
But I'm not sure "sense" and "marriage" have that much in common anyway.

ETA I don't know about religious but non Christian weddings in Britain. Never been to one. I had supposed they were legally the same as Xian ones, ie at some point, the couple and witnesses sign a form of registration. Someone then takes that to the registry office. This may not be the case, bit I can't imagine it's beyond the wit of non Xians to have worked out a way to streamline the process so the ceremonial and legal bits get done together or nearly so.

Last edited by Soapy Sam; 18th November 2012 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 18th November 2012, 02:38 PM   #177
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
If we didn't have the situation as it is at present, then I don't think anyone would be agitating to change it. However, we are where we are. Your reasons for wanting to deprive churches and synagogues of the right to perform legal marriage ceremonies seem entirely ideological and based merely on a desire for tidiness. Or a desire to impose your own belief system on others.

Rolfe.
If 'making sure everyone is treated the same and nobody gets a special preference' is ideological then count me in!

I think its entirely fair to say that if churches are not prepared to marry certain people then maybe they aren't suitable organisations to be granted the right to marry any people.
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Old 19th November 2012, 07:27 AM   #178
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Since when did expressing the opinion that same-sex weddings in church are not something you favour become something worthy of being sacked over?

I'm seriously unclear in what way this opinion was related to his job anyway.

I look forward to the day I can attend the first same-sex wedding in my local church. I'm not holding my breath though, because I know a lot of people are very uncomfortable with the idea. The thought that these people could lose their jobs for saying so is absolutely horrifying.

Rolfe.
First, congrats on presenting a pretty damned fair and reasonable argument throughout your participation to this thread. Good on you, and damned uncommon.

Second, you are wrong:

A manager can not always disassociate his private speech from his public speech, and no matter how politely expressed (or even how factually accurate) an utterence might be, it is possible for private speech to negatively impact ones work environment. When that happens it is appropriate for an employer (especially a private employer) to censure the speaker.

Example 1: Manager politely expresses the opinion, at a small after work gathering that includes some of the folks that he manages, that mixed-race couples should not be allowed to marry. Manager is aware that private company forbids management expressing an opinion on subject. Remedy: fire the manager.

Example 2: Army Company Commander, in his own home with invited guests that include his subordinate platoon leaders, expresses the opinion that integrating formerly single gender units has caused more problems than it fixed. Remedy: relieve the commander for poor judgement, even though no strictly prohibited speech had occured.

Example 3: Non-supervisor employee of Walmart rabble rouses other Walmart employees to stage a strike becasue Walmart continues to thwart attempts to unionize. Speech occurs in public, but not at work and not during work hours. Speech is neither polite nor quiet. Remedy: None.

Example 4: Any employee speaks out during debate in his church about whether or not church will perform same-sex marriages. Employee's company publically supports same-sex marriages. Remedy: Fire him. Company should not be compeled to continue to employ workers that do not support the companies culture. No remedy. Employee should be free to participate in the normal operations of a private organization in a private setting without fear of reprisal at work.
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Old 19th November 2012, 08:15 AM   #179
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
I think that is the case.
The actual marriage is the signing of the register and issuing of the certificate.
The ceremony, whether performed by a registrar or the archbishop of Canterbury is just a ceremony.
If the ceremony is performed, but not registered, you are not married.
If the register is signed and a certificate issued without a ceremony, you are married.
Everyone likes a bit of a show, so even registrars ham it up a bit, but I'm pretty sure if you say "Cut this to the absolute legal necessity." You could be in and out in under ten minutes.
Over here, in Holland, that is certainly the case. Just the couple, two witnesses and the registrar, sign the paperwork and you're married. Such "monday morning" marriages are cheaper too than the ones where the registrar prepares a nice speech (visits the couple before, and chats with some friends to have some personal details to include in the speech) and all around makes a bit of a show out of it.

As to the issue whether a religious officiant may act as registrar: I'd say that either you give that option to all religious officiants (contingent upon some basic requirements, that they know their duty as registrar), or to none. But it doesn't make sense to me that only Christian churches have that option.

Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
I don't even think he should've been reprimanded. It's his opinion and as long as he didn't post it on work time there is no problem. Let him look as intolerant as he wants.
On the face of it, the single comment that was quoted on the BBC pages, that he was against Churches being compelled to perform marriages, doesn't sound intolerant to me. I agree with that statement. If a church doesn't want to do that, it's their rules. As a private club, they may discriminate to their heart's content.

Now, the problem you get is that, when gay marriage is introduced, and (Christian) officiants act as registrar, and they (or some of them) refuse to conduct a gay marriage ceremony in church, the state facilitates discrimination. Maybe some kind of compromise can be worked out?

In Holland, we had a somewhat similar situation when gay marriage was introduced. Registrars over here are civil servants who typically have other main duties and do the registrar-bit for fun on the side. The compromise that was worked out was that existing registrars could continue to do that, even if they objected to do gay marriages, provided each municipality had enough registrar to cater to gay marriages. And they wouldn't appoint new registrars with "conscientious objections". That way, the phenomenon simply dies out naturally.
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Old 19th November 2012, 08:40 AM   #180
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Originally Posted by sarge View Post
First, congrats on presenting a pretty damned fair and reasonable argument throughout your participation to this thread. Good on you, and damned uncommon.

Second, you are wrong: [snip quotes of US legal position.]

This case was not in the USA.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th November 2012, 10:14 AM   #181
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
That does not work for me as he may be attending a certain church which regards homosexuality as deviant behavouir. So would he now have to keep his religion a secret or else risk the sack? What would happen if a co worker saw him going into his church and then told others? Would he get the sack for attending the church? Or should the co-worker who saw and told be the one to get the sack?
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Old 19th November 2012, 10:15 AM   #182
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Originally Posted by gumboot View Post
All slaughtering is done with a knife. The only question is whether your local Muslims and Jews are okay with the animal being stunned first.
Fair enough
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Old 19th November 2012, 10:17 AM   #183
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Originally Posted by Nessie View Post
Furthermore, even if gay marriage was lawful, that does not mean people are no longer allowed to voice disagreement with it.

So long as someone who says being gay is wrong also tolerates gay people and respects their rights I have no issue and it is wrong to suppress their freedom of speech.
The issue of freedom speech does not apply at work, however in this case there is not a connection of how it impacted his coworkers at work.
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Old 19th November 2012, 10:58 AM   #184
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
This case was not in the USA.

Rolfe.
The deleted portions were expressions of my opinion about how things should be, rather than an attempt to describe how things are. It was country neutral. In England, as well as in the US, an employer should be free to sanction an employee that acts contrary to the goals of the company.
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Old 19th November 2012, 11:17 AM   #185
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In that case, I don't understand why you announced that I was wrong.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th November 2012, 04:49 PM   #186
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You deleted that part too.
It also is an opinion.
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Old 19th November 2012, 04:52 PM   #187
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Adrian Smith had been employed by Trafford Housing Trust for many years. He made a couple of comments on Facebook, and was demoted from his managerial position with a 40% pay cut.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england...ester-20357131




I disagree profoundly with what he said, but he said it politely and reasonably. He said it as privately as one can say something on Facebook, and he didn't say it during working hours. This is taking political correctness way too far, and even gay and lesbian groups are saying that.

Rolfe.
If he said it as a representative of the company, then I could see him losing this case.

However, isn't a company allowed to fire bigots if they want?
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Old 19th November 2012, 05:07 PM   #188
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No, they aren't.

I think the additional evidence indicates that this guy was a narrow-minded zealot. "Bigot" is probably a fair description, taking the totality of what seems to have been going on. However, the actual action he was demoted for was for expressing a perfectly legitimate view which accords with the way the law is at the moment, on a personal Twitter stream.

Would it have been OK if he'd tweeted that he thought it was way past time for churches to start carrying out single-sex marriage ceremonies, and he couldn't wait for it to be legal? That's also a view on a controversial topic, but somehow it seems to be OK if it's the view you happen to hold yourself. Is that it?

The fact is, he won the court decision. And Peter Tatchell supported his right to say what he did, for God's sake.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th November 2012, 05:12 PM   #189
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Originally Posted by Soapy Sam View Post
You deleted that part too.
It also is an opinion.

It read as if he was telling me I was wrong, because the legal position was as he laid out. Which is certainly isn't in England.

I'm really quite surprised by the level of support Americans give to employers who want to control their employees' speech. By their lights, I should have been fired long ago for the things I have said about "organic" farming. Fortunately I'm not in the USA.

If this guy was bringing his personal religious hang-ups into the workplace and causing trouble, then they needed to choose a better example than this to hang a demotion on.

Rolfe.
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Old 19th November 2012, 05:27 PM   #190
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
No, they aren't.

I think the additional evidence indicates that this guy was a narrow-minded zealot. "Bigot" is probably a fair description, taking the totality of what seems to have been going on. However, the actual action he was demoted for was for expressing a perfectly legitimate view which accords with the way the law is at the moment, on a personal Twitter stream.
If I was a business owner, I'd certainly like the freedom to fire a guy if I found out he was a bigot.

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Would it have been OK if he'd tweeted that he thought it was way past time for churches to start carrying out single-sex marriage ceremonies, and he couldn't wait for it to be legal? That's also a view on a controversial topic, but somehow it seems to be OK if it's the view you happen to hold yourself. Is that it?
One position is that of a bigot, the other is not.

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The fact is, he won the court decision. And Peter Tatchell supported his right to say what he did, for God's sake.
Rolfe.
I don't understand the decision. Was his Facebook account hacked, or was it public?
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Old 19th November 2012, 05:32 PM   #191
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
If I was a business owner, I'd certainly like the freedom to fire a guy if I found out he was a bigot.

Don't move out of the USA, then.

Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
One position is that of a bigot, the other is not.

In your opinion. However, it is not a position that is in any way unlawful. Suppose someone decided that your saying you didn't believe Christian churches should have the right to perform marriage ceremonies was bigoted, and you were fired for it?

Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I don't understand the decision. Was his Facebook account hacked, or was it public?

I don't do Facebook, so I don't know how that works.

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Old 19th November 2012, 05:33 PM   #192
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I have a slightly different scenario for you regarding this.

The company I currently work for actively encouraged employees liking their company on Facebook and gave some sort of incentive for them to do so.

If the company in the OP had also done this would that change anyones opinion on the matter?
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Old 19th November 2012, 05:37 PM   #193
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
In your opinion. However, it is not a position that is in any way unlawful. Suppose someone decided that your saying you didn't believe Christian churches should have the right to perform marriage ceremonies was bigoted, and you were fired for it?
It's not an opinion that opposition to same-sex marriage is bigoted. It is empirically a bigot's position. Opposing a person certain privileges or rights just because of their sexual orientation is bigotry.

I don't see anyone being fired for saying they don't believe Christians churches should not have the right to perform marriages.

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I don't do Facebook, so I don't know how that works.

Rolfe.
Facebook has privacy options. If you're facebook is set to public, you may as well be advertising to the world everything that is posted on your wall.
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Old 19th November 2012, 05:49 PM   #194
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
It's not an opinion that opposition to same-sex marriage is bigoted. It is empirically a bigot's position. Opposing a person certain privileges or rights just because of their sexual orientation is bigotry.

He was expressing the opinion that same-sex marriages performed in church were going too far. You may not agree, but since the fact is that it is currently not legal to perform a same-sex marriage in church (or anywhere else for that matter), it is seriously premature to be demoting people for holding that view.

Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I don't see anyone being fired for saying they don't believe Christians churches should not have the right to perform marriages.

Neither do I. However, if someone can be demoted for "bigotry" for expressing an opinion against a proposed change in the law which is intended to promote equality, that is also a possible scenario.

If you're only prepared to defend freedom of speech when the speech is to your liking, don't expect the cavalry to come to your aid when it is your controversial opinion that's getting you unjustly fired.

You know, the more this conversation progresses, the greater respect I find I have for Peter Tatchell.

Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
Facebook has privacy options. If you're facebook is set to public, you may as well be advertising to the world everything that is posted on your wall.

According to the reports, it was a series of private messages, only intended to be seen by his friends and family.

It appears there was a lot more going on, and someone has possibly clyped on him to try to precipitate exactly this reaction. However, the bosses picked the wrong example to demote him on.

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Last edited by Rolfe; 19th November 2012 at 05:50 PM.
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Old 19th November 2012, 06:00 PM   #195
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Don't move out of the USA, then.




In your opinion. However, it is not a position that is in any way unlawful. Suppose someone decided that your saying you didn't believe Christian churches should have the right to perform marriage ceremonies was bigoted, and you were fired for it?




I don't do Facebook, so I don't know how that works.

Rolfe.
Can it be bigoted to promote equality?

Saying one religious institution should have the same powers as others is different from saying one group of people shouldn't have the same rights as others.

Other than that I agree the US system is ludicrous. Your employer can fire you without cause and you have to fight for compensation? Do you have to hire a lawyer? What if you can't afford it? There is a whole process in the UK of verbal and written warnings for the protection of employee and employer. It ensures documentation of any problems.
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Old 19th November 2012, 06:09 PM   #196
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Can it be bigoted to promote equality?

Saying one religious institution should have the same powers as others is different from saying one group of people shouldn't have the same rights as others.

Someone might think so. Someone might think it was an anti-religion or anti-Christian agenda. And that someone might be an employer. It appears there's no arbiter to this. The employer just has to disapprove, and that's you gone. Or that's how some Americans seem to like it.

Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Other than that I agree the US system is ludicrous. Your employer can fire you without cause and you have to fight for compensation? Do you have to hire a lawyer? What if you can't afford it? There is a whole process in the UK of verbal and written warnings for the protection of employee and employer. It ensures documentation of any problems.

The story seems to be that this guy was already on a final written warning for this sort of behaviour in the workplace. It sounds as if he was an insufferable narrow-minded prick. However, the actual Facebook comments in question were polite, non-inflammatory, and expressed a personal opinion about an essentially religious or church-based controversy. We are allowed to dislike him for it. We should not be allowed to destroy his livelihood for it.

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Old 19th November 2012, 06:11 PM   #197
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I'm all for destroying the livelihood of bigoted pricks.
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Old 19th November 2012, 06:27 PM   #198
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Someone might think so. Someone might think it was an anti-religion or anti-Christian agenda. And that someone might be an employer. It appears there's no arbiter to this. The employer just has to disapprove, and that's you gone. Or that's how some Americans seem to like it.




The story seems to be that this guy was already on a final written warning for this sort of behaviour in the workplace. It sounds as if he was an insufferable narrow-minded prick. However, the actual Facebook comments in question were polite, non-inflammatory, and expressed a personal opinion about an essentially religious or church-based controversy. We are allowed to dislike him for it. We should not be allowed to destroy his livelihood for it.

Rolfe.
Someone could think it but they would be wrong. Saying all faiths should have the same legal powers isn't anti-religion. Nor is it anti-christian to say they shouldn't have more powers than others. It's just not pro-christian.

I still wonder how his boss found out. After all his warnings was he really stupid enough to express this where a coworker could see it?

Unless he posted it on company/council time or property though there doesn't seem to be any grounds for action.
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Old 19th November 2012, 06:34 PM   #199
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Unless he posted it on company/council time or property though there doesn't seem to be any grounds for action.
Or if the place he posted it (Facebook) shows his employment status, in which case his statements become attached to his employer, whether he intended it as such or not.
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Old 19th November 2012, 06:39 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Someone could think it but they would be wrong. Saying all faiths should have the same legal powers isn't anti-religion. Nor is it anti-christian to say they shouldn't have more powers than others. It's just not pro-christian.

However, who decides? The way some people are arguing here, the employer merely has to think the comment is bigoted, and that justifies any punitive action he likes.

Your idea of what is and isn't bigoted, and mine, might be significantly different from someone else's. The only defence we all have against this sort of arbitrary sanction is to challenge it even when we disagree with what has been said.

Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
I still wonder how his boss found out. After all his warnings was he really stupid enough to express this where a coworker could see it?

I suspect he did exactly that. I don't think he's the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Originally Posted by DreamingNaiad View Post
Unless he posted it on company/council time or property though there doesn't seem to be any grounds for action.

Which is precisely the point. There were no grounds for action, but action was taken. The employers were wrong, but they still did it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_they_came...

Rolfe.
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