Sexual Rights In The UK: The Christian Right and The

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 9:00 AM
Room: Booth 46
Oral Presentation
Stephen HUNT , Depart. of Health & Applied Social Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol, United Kingdom
In recent years the United Kingdom, much like other western democracies, has seen the proliferation of sexual minority rights largely through equality legislation (especially Equality Acts 2006, 2010). As a consequence many faith communities are now challenged by such legislative enactments that advance the equality, citizenship and social inclusion of sexual minorities (and heterosexuality) and prohibit discrimination in various economic and social spheres. This paper will explore attitudes and views of conservative Christian churches that have come out strongly against such developments on moral grounds and advance freedom of speech to express their vehement views. Christian Right campaigning groups are however more strident in their attitudes which have tended to have become increasingly polarized. This paper considers the key issues in the context of, firstly, the result of increasing marginalization of conservative Christians in a post-Christian environment and, secondly and relatedly, the narrative of rights and the philosophical underpinnings that they adopt in the opposition to sexual rights. The paper will also consider how such narratives also engage with religious rights that are simultaneously advanced by the Equality Acts 2006, 2010 and which generate contradictions and conflict/potential conflict between sexual and religious rights.