Unions say Christian should be fired from equality board

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) wants Joel Edwards, the head of the Evangelical Alliance, removed from his position on the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The TUC passed a motion calling for Mr Edwards’ removal, proposed by the openly gay head of the National Union of Journalists, James Doherty.

The TUC says that Mr Edwards should not be a Commissioner because the Evangelical Alliance campaigned for religious liberty protections from new ‘gay rights’ laws.

The new laws were lobbied for by homosexual group Stonewall, whose Chief Executive, Ben Summerskill, is also a Commissioner.

Stonewall also campaigned for exemptions from the laws to allow homosexual groups to provide gay-only services.

The Equality and Human Rights Commission aims to champion “equality and human rights for all, working to eliminate discrimination, reduce inequality, protect human rights and to build good relations, ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate in society.”

According to Operation World, there are an estimated 5 million evangelicals in the UK. The EA represents 7,000 churches and 750 organisations across the country.

Last year, a spokesman for the Commission said: “Joel Edwards has been appointed by the Secretary of State and we welcome him joining the Commission.”

“He is well qualified as leader of the Evangelical Alliance and brings expertise both as a faith leader and a senior figure in the black community.

“The Equality and Human Rights Commission is supposed to represent a wide range of views and opinions and we welcome lively debate.

“No two Commissioners share the same views on every matter; and all Commissioners have their individual disagreements with aspects of law, government and Commission policy; our diversity is one of our strengths.”

Simon Calvert of The Christian Institute said: “In passing this motion, the TUC is effectively saying there is no place for evangelical Christianity to be represented in the arena of human rights and equality. It is exhibiting precisely the kind of bigotry of which it accuses evangelicals.

“This policy amounts to the exclusion of evangelicals from public life, undermining centuries of religious toleration – something which evangelicals were at the forefront of securing for people of all religions.”

Related Resources