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Local Government Services: Religion

Volume 488: debated on Friday 6 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government pursuant to her speech to the Evangelical Alliance of 5 February 2009, what her policy is on permitting faith organisations delivering public services to (a) discriminate in employing service providers, (b) discriminate against service users and (c) proselytise. (261481)

Any bodies in receipt of public funding in order to provide a service should provide that service in accordance with all relevant equality legislation.

In order to help faith-based organisations demonstrate that they will fulfil this requirement, and will not use public funds for the purpose of worship or proselytisation, we have said that we intend to work with faith communities to create a Charter of Excellence which faith-based organisations will be able to sign in order to give assurance to funding providers. The current legislative position is covered by part 2 of the Equality Act 2006, and while we do not intend to bring forward any new legislative proposals, the main provisions of the 2006 Act are to be replicated in the forthcoming Equality Bill.