Skip to main content

Religious Belief

Volume 558: debated on Thursday 14 February 2013

We will continue to support religious freedoms strongly. For example, the Government believe that people should be able to wear crosses openly at work, and we are pleased about the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in the Eweida case. The right of people to manifest their religion or belief at work is a vital freedom.

What weight is accorded to religious beliefs in draft legislation such as the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill? Should it not be equal, in the context of discrimination, to the weight accorded to gender?

My hon. Friend, who takes a keen interest in this issue, will know that religious freedom is guaranteed under article 9 of the European convention on human rights. However, just as it is right for people to be able to express their religious beliefs, people in this country have a right not to be discriminated against. The recent rulings in the European Court show that, in law, we have the balance about right.