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Scottish gay
rights group responds to minister's slam

Scottish gay
rights group responds to minister's slam

The Stonewall Scotland LGBT justice group has responded to antigay comments made by an Inverness clergyman. The Reverend Dr. John Ross said Sunday during his sermon that the government should rethink a new law that would make it illegal for guesthouse owners to refuse accommodation to individuals on the grounds of sexuality, but Stonewall Scotland noted several inaccuracies in what he said, reports The InvernessCourier. "The reckless speed with which it is forcing through parliament the sexual orientation regulations, totally disregarding the consciences of Christian people, is causing anxiety and fear," Ross said. "Christians operating bed-and-breakfast accommodations are afraid of falling foul of the law by refusing a double room to an unmarried couple, whether heterosexual or homosexual." But according to Stonewall Scotland's communications manager, that's not true. "The purpose of the legislation is not to deny individuals the right to their private belief--and doctrines of faith will be exempt--but to protect gay and lesbian people from the prejudice and discrimination they are faced with daily," said the group's Josef Church. Danny Alexander, the region's parliament member, also added his opinion on the matter. "It is right to put in this legislation to prevent people being discriminated against," he said. "But I also think that churches have made important points particularly in relation to the use of church premises, and that is a matter that the minister has told me that the government is looking at again as a result of consultation." (The Advocate)

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