to think ask your views on this

(71 Posts)
farandawaysheran Sat 08-Dec-12 14:24:32

I work for an international education provider, it was our end of term dinner last night.

We had a discussion about the fact we'd chosen a veggie restaurant to accommodate a colleague's religious beliefs. He said that he was sick of feeling marginalised because of them and we had a chat about how the world was changing and becoming tolerant.

I literally went to the loo and came back to another colleague in tears as she had mentioned looking forward to her brother's same sex wedding ceremony over the Xmas break and the same guy had told her that her brother was unclean and unnatural.

I would like a few views on this as I am shocked at the hypocrisy but other colleagues have said leave it as he is deeply religious and totally entitled to hold this view.

NonnoMum Sat 08-Dec-12 23:44:20

Oh - you all need to get over it. Things always kick off at the Christmas WinterFestival Works Do...

WorraLorraTurkey Sat 08-Dec-12 23:44:21

They chose a veggie restaurant because although the guy isn't a veggie, it was easier than choosing a restaurant with meat he could eat.

The meal was 'too christmas focussed'.

"No, she wasn't drunk because, oh more irony, we decided that we wouldn't drink as that was a key issue withthis guy, that he missed out on socialising because his beliefs stop him coming to the pub. Several colleagues are teetotal"... like she couldn't possibly have drunk the restaurant booze? hmm

You know what, I'm not even going to bother copying and pasting the rest of the bull the OP has posted.

0/10 biscuit

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Sat 08-Dec-12 23:47:57

Sock, depends what you mean by at it, if you mean not following the crowd and standing up for my beliefs and saying what I think rather than cowtowing to the psychology of Mumsnet, then yes, and why shouldn't I? From what I've seen you guys could stand to be challenged brought down a peg or two on occasion. smile

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Sat 08-Dec-12 23:50:25

* and

HermioneE Sat 08-Dec-12 23:58:46

Why should the woman be the one to suppress her beliefs in this case?

Hers are tolerant. His are not. Case closed IMO. Religion (the reason for his beliefs) is a complete red herring.

But since I agreed with helenlynn's post and thought 'yuck' was a good response to some of your sentiments, I doubt we're going to gain much from debating this.

farandawaysheran Sun 09-Dec-12 00:00:25

Cool, thanks everyone.

FYI. He isn't Muslim. That's a discussion I wanted to not have.

I also thought the discussion about 'his beliefs was a bit much at an all intents and purposes Xmas dinner, couldn't decide if it was patronising or boring, tbh. But lots of people wanted to talk about it and maybe cos he's normally not part if the crowd it all went to his head?

Female colleague has talked before about prejudice her brother has faced so it's a big emotional deal and she's really proud of him. I don't think she should be ashamed of him.

CaptainNancy Sun 09-Dec-12 00:00:33

Worra- it was probably a restaurant that does not serve alcohol- I have several friends that will not eat out at places that serve alcohol because it is against their personal beliefs- why is this so hard to imagine?

WorraLorraTurkey Sun 09-Dec-12 00:02:51

It's not hard to imagine at all Captain

However, the OP is clearly playing a game of bingo here.

I'm only 2 away from a full house...

kim147 Sun 09-Dec-12 00:04:59

I've always struggled with this - personally I think people have a right to express their views in a free society. I also think that people should be challenged over their views such as in this case.

But then I've never quite managed to reconcile the free expression of views with the offence and upset that can cause people who either hear such views expressed or become victims of people who listen to such views and then go the extra mile and act on them leading to acts of violence and even murder.

On here, I struggle with censorship - should those posts which are offensive be kept as they show the person to be a bigot / add your own noun or should they be removed as they can cause offence?

I think people should have the right to express opinions but they should also be aware of the effect of what they say. Of course, some people don't care about the effect and will say it anyway.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Sun 09-Dec-12 00:05:11

Which sentiments?I did not say that the views were my views or the right views and I also said I didn't think he should have expressed them. What is so unpalatable about asking you to consider this from the other side? I really don't get your issue with me here truly.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Sun 09-Dec-12 00:09:41

Harmonie I don't think yours views are very tolerant tbh.

Viviennemary Sun 09-Dec-12 00:11:31

It was two separate incidents and I can't see how the two are connected. Firstly nearly every restaurant offers a vegetarian option.

And re the same sex marriage. Well whether or not he approves he should keep his mouth shut about it as it has nothing to do with him.

ljny Sun 09-Dec-12 00:27:53

People are entitled to their opinions but they are not entitled to hate speech for whatever reasons, including religious.

That includes calling gay people "unclean and unnatural".

Gay isn't a lifestyle, any more than heterosexuality is.

She wasn't talking about a drag queen scene, she was talking about her brother getting married ffs.

What will this man do if the op's workplace hires someone who's gay?

If his religion mandates prejudice, that's his problem. Perhaps he can discuss it in his private place of worship but such hate speech has no place in an employment setting.

helenlynn Sun 09-Dec-12 20:11:48

I don't suggest you're not aware of the Equality Act, NolittleBuddahs, but many aren't, and it's a relevant thing to mention because it's the piece of legislation that protects people from having to consider whether they might offend colleagues by alluding to their own or others' sexual orientation (one might, of course, disagree that it's a good piece of legislation, in this respect or in another). One reason this protection is important is that conversation about partners and families forms a large part of social interaction in many workplaces, and if people can't engage in these conversations as fully as others because they or members of their family are gay, then the work environment becomes excluding of and hostile towards homosexuality.

Being gay is not a lifestyle, as ljny rightly points out. To describe someone's choice to be in a relationship as an element of their lifestyle, as though it were comparable to their choice to buy garden furniture or visit stately homes at the weekend, is to trivialise and misdirect. And, more than trivialising, to say I don't think people who are gay should be able to play the "I'm gay so don't comment on my lifestyle" card is to say that people who are gay should have to accept that their very right to a partner and a family is up for challenge, even as they go about their work; all they can do to avoid this challenge is to exclude themselves from normal workplace interactions or to dissemble. From what you've written so far I infer that you do think it's reasonable for people to have to do this.

For the avoidance of doubt, I don't think it's acceptable to call someone a bigot in the workplace (even if they are acting or speaking like one), and I haven't seen anyone else on this thread suggest as much either.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 09-Dec-12 20:24:12

Sock, depends what you mean by at it, if you mean not following the crowd and standing up for my beliefs and saying what I think rather than cowtowing to the psychology of Mumsnet, then yes, and why shouldn't I? From what I've seen you guys could stand to be challenged brought down a peg or two on occasion.

I was actually meaning having a bit of sport again but hey ho

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Sun 09-Dec-12 21:59:08

helenlynn, I'm sorry you have taken offense to what I said re lifestyle but I really didn't mean anything by it. FYI, my ex fiance (before I married DH) is gay and he describes it in this way and we are still very very close (he is a very active gf to my DC1) so I obviously did not mean to offend. I have to say though, I find the comment about trivializing interesting as the majority of posters on this thread seems to be trivializing religious observance, which I have found v. offensive tbh. Your inference . my beliefs about excluding gay people are entirely wrong, offensive and hurtful. I simply was suggesting that people look from the other side. If you don't believe me, I suggest you read my posts on this thread: www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1632865-WIBU-to-suggest-this-acting-same-sex-relationship

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Sun 09-Dec-12 22:00:27

also DC1 is named after dexf in middlename

helenlynn Sun 09-Dec-12 23:39:46

OK, NolittleBuddahs, I accept you didn't mean "lifestyle" the way I thought you did.

We agree about the issue of trivialisation at least, it seems.

I'm really, sincerely, surprised to see you say that you don't in fact think it's reasonable for people to have to [dissemble about their family lives]. You've said several things to the effect that people should be cautious about mentioning anything touching on gay relationships; if I'm gay, and I have to [consider] how difficult the subject of homosexuality can be for some people to hear about and discuss and I have to be careful about talking about Civil Partnership because of how divisive a subject it can be, then how on Earth do I participate in a workplace conversation about (to take as an example a conversation in which I've taken part more than once, in more than one workplace) wedding plans and dreams? I'm not allowed to play the "I'm gay so don't comment on my lifestyle" card, so if I talk about my real plans or hopes, I have to accept that my colleagues might tell me that I shouldn't even be in the couple in the first place. So do I lie? Do I say little, smile and nod? My straight colleagues can be quite straightforward here, but I can't. How can I not end up excluded?

I apologise for the extensive and probably tedious quotes; I am puzzled and frustrated by people (not just Nolittle) not seeing how not allowing a particular minority to speak freely about their family lives, in a way that's par for the course for everyone else, is the same as excluding them and discriminating against them. I'm trying, no doubt inadequately, to make the link clear.

I should probably say that people who adhere to a religion should have -- indeed, do have, in part thanks to the EA -- exactly the same right to join in conversations about family life, which might, of course, include religious practice, without worrying that people will challenge their right to those practices.

Anyway, I'm conscious of derailing farandaway's thread, so I won't reply further unless someone wants to take the discussion to a new thread somewhere else, in which case I might join them there subject to the constraints of the working week.

NolittleBuddahsorTigerMomshere Mon 10-Dec-12 00:10:26

helen, I'm not saying civil partnership should not be discussed at all, although I'm obviously not making myself very clear [bush] sad I simply meant that in as much as it is awful for gay people to feel uncomfortable in social settings, and I personally would say something to someone who said something to make someone feel this way, I just find it so upsetting when religion is equated with bigotry of any kind, as I am deeply religious and have no issues at all with gay people as I like to say to the DCs, 'God made me, God made you, he love me and he loves you too'.

I was truly trying to get people to understand that this guy's response was a particular religious or cultural belief that was motivated by his interpretation and embarrassment. In suggesting that OP's female colleague be careful, I meant that this might have been the best way to avoid upset and embarrassment for anyone, including her, as it seemed pretty obvious to me that this guy uses his religious text as a literal rule book rather than a guide and would have an issue with gay people (see laviticus). As for the divisive nature of CPs I stand by that comment because in some sections of society it's true. For example dexf's parents would find it verydifficult to discuss this issue, due to their age and believes, also dexf sees CP as a way of gaining equal legal rights only, because of his beliefs. When he can marry in church, I will be there to congratulate him, as will his parents.

MyLittleAprilSunshine Mon 10-Dec-12 00:33:58

Disgusting behaviour really.

Tolerance should be met with tolerance. He could've just kept quiet about his opinions on it, or simply said 'I personally don't agree with it, but glad he is happy' or suchlike. There was no need to actually use words to describe the brother that is so hateful. It makes me feel quite sick.

I hate how it's all political correctness gone mad these days. Whether it's race, religion etc you can never upset someone of a minority. I have been called names by Muslim's at College and I told the teachers and it was shrugged aside. If I had made the comments, I would've been in so much trouble shit would've really hit the fan.

Everyone has a right to their opinions and a right to a brain and a conscience that tells them when it's inappropriate to make certain comments. Using his religion is just a smokescreen for not dealing well with people. If he could deal with people, he wouldn't have made that comment in the first place.

My partner is completely blind and I can't see much either. He has a guide dog. A few people of a certain religion refuse to take said guidedog in their car. It's rude, but it's up to them as someone else can take him and it's no trouble. But some turn up and take him and complain about it to us and how it's against their religion and it's infringing their rights. That's nothing to do with us, we just want to get to x, y or z.

But seriously though tolerance should breed tolerance. I honestly don't hate anyone or dislike someone because of their race or religion. I have friends with many different religious beliefs, from many different backgrounds and as long as they are nice to me and allow me to make my own decisons in life, then I have absolutely no problem with them whatsoever! smile

Morloth Mon 10-Dec-12 01:41:23

He sounds like a pain in the arse.

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