A government Minister has predicted that the Equality Bill will create a torrent of hostile legal actions against the Church.
Michael Foster, the Minister for Equalities, admitted that the legislation would open the floodgates to a tide of sexual and religious discrimination cases. He advised the Church to start preparing to defend itself in the court from such people as ideological secularists who seek to squeeze religion from the public sphere.
“Both sides [the Church and the secularists] need to be lining up [their lawyers] by now,” he told journalists. “Government is used to the fact that its legislation should be challenged. People feel very strongly about these issues. We can’t do anything about this and we wouldn’t want to.”
He added: “I would like to see the churches being more bold. I would like to see the faith groups stand up and be counted for what they think and to challenge secularism, if that’s what they want to challenge. The secularists should have the right to challenge the Church and if the Church’s argument is good enough ”“ which I believe it is ”“ then the Church should win through.”