The controversial Commission proposal for a horizontal “Equal Treatment Directive”, also known as “Anti-Discrimination Directive”, apparently fails to convince Frits Bolkestein, a former EU Commissioner for the Interior Market and former leader of the Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie (VVD). In an op-ed in today’s edition of the daily De Volkskrant (English translation here), Bolkestein calls for the proposal to be ditched. Not only, writes the Ex-Commissioner, does the proposed measure fail to comply with the Subsidiarity Principle, which is a fundamental principle of the EU, but it also undermines equality rather than promoting it, giving a better standard of protection to Salafists and members of the Moon Sect than to ordinary Dutchmen. In addition, he warns that the directive, if adopted, would be at odds with elementary standards of fairness, reversing the burden of proof and establishing a ‘guilty-unless-proved-innocent’ principle. Finally, he is also concerned that it could be used for frivolous and extortionary litigation, as evidenced by a recent case in Northern Ireland that has made headlines all over Europe. Continue reading
Spain’s Constitutional Court has issued a landmark ruling protecting the conscience rights of pharmacists who decline to sell the “morning after pill”.
The court’s finding was based on freedoms of religion and conscience found in article 16 of the Spanish constitution.
The decision concerned the case of a pharmacist in Seville who was sanctioned with a 3,000 Euro fine by the city council of Andalusia because he decided to not sell the potentially abortion-inducing morning after pill, though local laws obliged him to do so.
As we mentioned in an earlier post, we do not believe that Indiana’s new “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” is a model that should be universally followed. What is rather needed is the restoration of freedom in general, in particular the freedom of contract. The State, of course, is under a specific obligation to treat everybody equally, but free citizens in a free country should have the right to freely choose with whom they want, or do not want, to conclude contracts. This is freedom of choice as we understand it.
That being said, we cannot but express our astonishment at the crusade so-called “liberals” (who are in fact the exact opposite of what they pretend to be…) are waging against the State of Indiana in reaction to the newly adopted law, trying to organize an economic boycott. Continue reading
Given the eagerness with which the European Commission and certain lobbies are pushing for a quick adoption of the controversial proposal for a “General Equal Treatment Directive“, citizens are well advised to inform themselves how such laws are applied in countries where they are already in place.
One interesting question in this context is whether those laws give equal protection to all, or whether they give special privileges to certain pre-ordained “victim” groups. Continue reading
In the United States there currently is much excitement over the fact that the Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence, has signed into a law a bill that has the purpose of “restoring religious freedom”.
The new law is a reaction to a tsunami of frivolous and malevolent lawsuits through which openly avowed homosexuals, invoking “equality” laws, are trying to humiliate perceived opponents, mostly practising Christians or Muslims, by compelling them to commit acts that are contrary to their consciences as they might be understood as an endorsement of public celebrations of sodomy and other sexual aberrances. This type of litigation, typically directed against small shop-owners and service providers (e.g. bakers, photographers, florists, or B&B owners), is by now also making its first appearances in Europe – but in the United States it has been going on for years.
With the new law, Indiana legislators want to provide relief to the gay lobby’s favourite targets, people with religious convictions. Continue reading