Greenie gathers a gaggle of MPs to promote equality – ha! – in a world where folk are obviously unequal

So how will the bloody law equalise things for this pair?

So how will the bloody law put these blokes on an equal footing?

Alf gave a momentary thought to joining one of those cross-party working group that do-gooders are apt to set up.

This one is being established to look at and advocate for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people.

All MPs have been sent an email telling them of the opportunity to join.

But Alf quickly recognised his application to sign up would be declined because he would want to add a few more rights to the list.

The right to discriminate, for starters.

And the right to be left alone by the state when you do something as a matter of conscience or belief.

He’s not too fond of having to work with Greens and lefties, anyway, which tends to be one of the requirements of joining cross-party working groups.

This one has been initiated by Green Party MP Jan Logie.

At the last count, it includes 12 members from her party, National, Labour, New Zealand First and Act.

The Maori Party is somewhat noticeably absent.

Perhaps this is because their interest in promoting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people is constrained by an ethnicity component.

According to the NZ Herald, Logie says the group will provide education, leadership and legislative progress on LGBTI rights.

“We are hoping others will see the importance of the work we are tackling and want to join us,” she said.

The Herald went on to say:

The group will try to work towards reducing bullying and discrimination of LGBTI youth at school, and wider discrimination in society.

Ms Logie said members were determined it would not be a token effort, and meetings would give a chance to raise and test policy ideas.

“In our next meeting people will bring proposals … I am interested in looking at world-leading legislation that has passed recently in Malta, looking at enabling people to have control of their gender identity in formal documents.

“I know other people are looking at different issues in terms of support and safety for students in schools.”

It’s the issue of wider discrimination in society that interests Alf, who happens to be a dab hand at bigotry on a good day (although he would never brag about this publicly).

He is seriously troubled that human rights laws are apt to oblige decent people to act contrary to their religious beliefs.

A good example is a recent case in Ireland, where a judge has ruled that a Christian-run bakery discriminated against a gay customer by refusing to make a cake with a pro-gay marriage slogan.

Ashers Baking Company, based in County Antrim, was taken to court by a gay rights activist, Gareth Lee.

A Belfast judge said, as a business, Ashers was not exempt from discrimination law.

The firm was found to have discriminated against Lee on the grounds of sexual orientation as well as his political beliefs.

Dammit – would this mean Alf was obliged to deal with greenies and lefties if he ran a business in Ireland?

Apparently.

The judge said she accepted that Ashers has “genuine and deeply held” religious views, but said the business was not above the law.

Lee was assisted in taking legal action by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, which shows the state was involved in persecuting the Christian bakers.

Caroline Wyatt, the BBC’s religious affairs correspondent, said the case highlighted once again the continuing tensions in the UK between equality law and freedom of conscience for those whose religious beliefs don’t allow them to accept same-sex marriage.

Christian Concern, which backs Christians facing court cases over their beliefs, says the judgement undermines religious freedom in Northern Ireland, while the Evangelical Alliance claims that this is a significant change in the law that will have wider implications and may even suggest that religion has been “effectively banished from the commercial sphere”.

In other words, forget about free enterprise (not that it is too free nowadays).

Alf will draw this to the attention of Act Party leader David Seymour, who is one of Logie’s anti-discriminatory dozen.

He is reported to have said he believed in the equality of all human beings, and legislative and policy work was still needed to realise those rights for LGBTI people.

He believes in the equality of all human beings?

Alf does not.

That’s because he can see with his own eyes that human beings are not equal.

And no amount of legislation can make them equal.

He attaches a compelling piece of evidence in the picture above.

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