General Anti-Discrimination Directive

some_animals_are_more_equal_than_others_Important Links:

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“… our campaign should not demand explicit support for homosexual practices, but should instead take antidiscrimination as its theme.”

(M. Kirk/ H. Madsen, After the Ball)

While political spin-doctors want to make the public believe that the EU’s proposed General Anti-Discrimination Directive is in the interest of everyone, it actually is the cornerstone of the homosexualist movement’s project to overturn the legal and moral order in Europe and beyond. Besides the gay lobby, there is hardly any constituency pressing for this proposal to become a law. But is there sufficiently strong opposition against it?

The reason why citizens should oppose this proposal is not that it is being pushed by the gay lobby, but that it poses a serious threat for the civil liberties of us all.

Despite not being found in any of the world’s major human rights documents, “equality” and “anti-discrimination” have within a surprisingly short stretch of time become key concepts in the jargon of the EU’s human rights policy. It increasingly seems that political decision makers and certain lobbyists want “equality” to be the most important and powerful of all human rights, replacing and superseding the genuine human rights that are, for example, contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) or the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

The first steps into this direction were rather inconspicuous and seemingly innocent. In 1997, a new clause was introduced into the EU Treaty that provided a legal basis for the EU to “combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.”

This clause made it possible for the EU to adopt the following measures:

A further step was the inclusion of “equality” and “non-discrimination” in Articles 21 and 23 of the European Fundamental Rights Charter, which was adopted at the Nice Summit in December 2000, but which remained a legally non-binding document until it was included into the Lisbon Treaty in 2011. “Equality” is now a fundamental principle of EU Law – but it is now under the control of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) rather than of Member States and their respective governments. This new shift of power became visible when in 2011 the CJEU invalidated Article 5(2) of Directive 2004/113/EC, a provision that had been adopted by unanimity by all of the (then) 25 Member States of the EU and which had provided that, by derogation of the general principle of equal treatment enshrined in that directive, Member States could allow insurance companies different insurance premiums for men and women in cases where statistical data showed that the risk to be insured was different for each sex. (CJEU, C-236/09 – Association Belge des Consommateurs Test-Achats and Others v. conseil des ministres)

Setting aside such unfortunate and over-zealous interpretations by the EU’s supreme judiciary body, it nevertheless can be said that the Union’s existing anti-discrimination directives, even if their necessity seems debatable, serve a legitimate purpose and do not disproportionately affect the fundamental rights of citizens.

This, however, would change if the proposed General Anti-Discrimination Directive were adopted.

The original intention of the European Commission, when drafting this proposal in 2008, was limited to proposing legislation with the specific purpose of improving the social inclusion of physically or mentally disabled persons. It was only due to an intense lobbying campaign of certain homosexualist pressure groups (which bizarrely are funded predominantly by the Commission itself rather than by the social group they claim to represent) that, just a few weeks before its announced presentation, the draft was completely re-worked and turned into a horizontal measure that would establish a general obligation for all suppliers of goods and providers of services to treat each of their clients equally, thereby abolishing the principle of contractual freedom.

But given that the conclusion of contracts is one of the most important ways in which we interact socially, contractual freedom is one of the most important fundamental freedoms. Adopting a directive that, as a general principle, rescinds this freedom is comparable to adopting legislation that would abolish the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion and conscience, or the freedom of assembly.

It would thus be an understatement to say that the proposed General Anti-Discrimination Directive, in its current form, stands in conflict with some of those freedoms. In actual fact, it undermines and abolishes all of them. This proposal is more aptly described as “General Anti-Freedom Directive”.

It is conspicuous that, even though the controversial proposal is presented as a “general” measure that has the purpose of protecting the rights of all citizens, the only pressure group that is actively advocating it is the homosexualist lobby led by ILGA-Europe. Other groups that supposedly might be beneficiaries of the proposed legislation, such as women equality groups or the representatives of religious groups, ethnic minorities or disabled persons, have shown considerably less interest in the proposal. It appears that it is the homosexualist movement’s strategy to hijack the sympathies that other groups, in particular disabled persons, enjoy within wide parts of society, and to present their own particular interest as part of a wider concept of “equality”.

However, when one takes a closer look at the effect that similar legislation has produced in countries where it has already been enacted, it quickly becomes apparent that it is predominantly used by homosexual lobby groups (such as Stonewall in the UK) to harass suspected opponents of their political agenda –in particular Christians holding on to traditional beliefs about marriage and the family. One typical case that aroused Europe-wide interest was Hall and Preddy vs. Bull and Bull, in which two homosexual men sued an elderly couple running a bed & breakfast for not having offered them a room with one twin bed on the ground that they were not a married (heterosexual) couple. Although the judge hearing the case described the defendants’ moral convictions as “perfectly honourable and legitimate”, he nevertheless condemned them, on the basis of newly enacted “equality legislation”, to pay a fine of £ 3.600.

Is it legitimate for the EU to prohibit citizens to act according to their own moral convictions, in particular when those convictions are “perfectly honourable and legitimate”? Even assuming that the belief in the “equality” between two homosexuals and a married couple were equally “honourable and legitimate”, how is “equality” served by a law that allows some citizens to act according to their convictions, but not others? Is there any necessity for such laws in a country where many bead & breakfast owners advertise their “gay-friendlyness”? These and other questions raise serious doubts with regard to the compatibility of such laws with Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR). This provision prevents legislators from adopting laws that unnecessarily interfere with people’s private lives.

We at AGENDA FOR EUROPE believe that concept of “private life” includes the running of a privately owned business, and that the proposed “General Anti-Discrimination Directive” is the perfect example of an interference that lacks justification. Rather than promoting and protecting fundamental rights, therefore, this measure would severely undermine them.