Equality Bill and religious discrimination

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Following the House of Lords vote on 25 January 2010 to allow religious organisations greater exemptions from anti-discrimination law in matters of employment, Symon Hill, co-director of the Christian thinktank Ekklesia, said:

"This vote will be disappointing for many people, of various faiths and of none, who want to see the staff of religious organisations enjoying the same legal protection as other workers.

"The amendments' supporters have tended to give the impression that Christians as a whole are behind them. However, it is important that the media and policy analysts acknowledge the presence of Christians on all sides of this debate.

"Hopefully the government will challenge and reverse the amendments. It would be helpful if they bore in mind the part played by bishops and other unelected peers, who do not in fact represent the interests of all religious people - particularly those who could now be excluded from employment with religious organisations."