IHEU member organization Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association has welcomed the vote in the House of Lords, which declined to revoke the Sexual Orientation Regulations in Northern Ireland. The motion was defeated as a large demonstration of evangelical Christians and Muslims took place outside the Houses of Parliament.
The Lords voted to retain the Sexual Orientation Regulations, which came into force in Northern Ireland on 1 January 2007, by 199 votes to 68. The new regulations prohibit discrimination in provision of services against lesbian and gay people.
Andrew Copson of the British Humanist Association said, “To declare a prohibition on discrimination but then to exempt some people from that prohibition on the grounds that they themselves find discrimination morally acceptable makes a mockery of the law. It would not be acceptable in the areas of race, disability, age or religion or belief, and is not acceptable here. Either we hold human rights to be universal or we do not.”