to think ask your views on this(71 Posts)
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.
He is entitled to hold his views, but bloody rude and insensitive to voice them when he knows it is likely to cause offence.
Homophobic person hiding behind his religious beliefs
He can have those views but he should have kept them to himself without the need to say them out loud and offend someone else.
What an arse!
What a vile man, nasty and mean.
Let your employers know that that it is time for stonewall to come in and do one of their courses with the staff It needs to be done before anymore damage is done.
accommodate a colleague's religious beliefs
I would be very careful in the future about what you accommodate, as by doing so you are approving these sick ideas, If a religion condemns people for something that is perfectly natural and a part of themselves, by accommodating that religion you are approving that action.
Agrees and nods with Witchety..
So he feels marginalised and that gives him carte blanche to be a prick to everyone else.
Not directly, he is admin staff. He was vocal beforehand that teaching staff excluded him and that the meal was too Xmas focussed. Sorry if that sounds drip feeding. I was just shocked that the utter irony passed him by!
What a charmer. A nice day of training 'n' biscuits in the New Year beckons.
He also complained about being marginalised for being veggie? You don't say.
Just to clarify - was the vegetarian colleague the same one who made the comments about gay marriage?
In the uk people hold these views ( IMHO idiots) but if they express them in a way that causes distress to another person it's a crime.
Homophobia is not ok no matter why you are homophobic.
And if he wants people to accommodate his differences he should also hold his tongue about others.
He's an arse
But she was actually in tears because he aired his bigoted views?
Had she drank a lot by then or is she especially sensitive?
And what restaurant doesn't have a veggie alternative anyway?
I wouldn't have given up my turkey dinner for him...not at an Xmas work do.
Mm not sure I understand.
Was the rude man also the veggie?
Who is the "them" who are being accommodated?
Why was he complaining that the Christmas meal was too 'Xmas focussed'?
I'm not surprised that the teaching staff are excluding him. When you work with children from all backgrounds and of any sexual orientation you tend to take a pretty dim view of people like this.
Yes it was. He's not a veggie but it was easier than finding meat that he could eat.
Thanks for the great suggestions and comments all!
Just to clarify - because whatever unpleasant and bigoted views someone comes out with, you can usually think of a child/family it would apply to.
Just re-read the OP, and I don't think they are the same person.
So - in one breath he grumbled about respecting the religious beliefs of others, then shortly afterwards referred to his own religious beliefs as reason for abusing someone else? Hypocritical much.
Oh it was? Never mind, ignore my last post then!
Don't be too pc, you can respect his needs (I'm assuming halal/kosher) while still challenging him when he doesn't respect others
is a prick
Yes it was the same guy.
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.
Anyway, no she wasn't sensitive just upset that he told her her brother was unclean and disgusting.
And it's diversity training that kicked it all off!!
If a religion condemns people for something that is perfectly natural and a part of themselves, by accommodating that religion you are approving that action.
It's a private institution and the head office/owners are overseas. They recently worried that they were not an inclusive employer and sent all the admin and admissions staff on a diversity course. On the back of that, this guy, who has always been pretty amenable and fitted in happily, has started demanding changes to accommodate his beliefs.
I am worried that my female colleague, who has taken this very personally indeed, will say something that she regrets, and I wanted to advise her to kind of turn the other cheek.
But these responses are pretty definite that his attitude stinks.
Can he claim that he is entitled to his his personal views?
I spoke to her this afternoon and she's seeking legal advice, she wants some of us to write witness accounts.
AIBU to think, fuck it's the end of term, she's not a close friend, this could get really ugly and I have a lot to do.
Or does that make me feeble and just as bad?
Next year make sure your Christmas do is in a booze-filled, meat fest of a place, perhaps with gay waiters.
How dare someone complain that the Christmas do is too Christmassy?
How would he feel if someone voiced the opinion that everyone who follows his religion is stupid/unclean/the devil etc etc.
Simple, gay waiters is gorgeous!!
He felt entitled to complain because we are an international organisation and the students are of many faiths. In previous years we've had Xmas dinners that involved lots of turkey and booze and those who don't partake came Ali g and ate what they wanted instead and didn't drink. Simple, eh?
This year, we didn't even call it that, it was an end of term celebration and the non-drinking veggie place was because this chap claimed he couldn't trust meat restaurants to serve the food he could eat.
We offered to do non-drinking at the meal so as not to offend and he said that he really appreciated it and for the first time he felt included.
Believe me, that's pretty much what my colleagues are saying! I'm just worried that pouring more fury on the situation might result in someone saying something they could get into real trouble for.
He seemed pretty confident that it was OK to express such views.
I don't know, maybe I'm over thinking it and being really narked that what was supposed to be a nice inclusive gesture meant I spent a sober night mopping up a sad lady and trying not to insult a bigot's religious beliefs.
Came along!! Not came Ali G! Although it felt as surreal and brick wall like
I would have told him that the colleagues brother is sick of feeling marginalised !! In fact, you still could. I do not share this mans religious beliefs, I am not gay, I still respect those who do/are.
Ah it becomes clear now you've mentioned the diversity training. If its anything like courses I've done it will have had a section on how if all your social stuff centres around booze it could be excluding those who don't drink etc... What this guy has done though is seized on it to justify his twattish tendencies and have everything the way he wants it. Key things he needs to understand:
You can go to places that see booze on works do, just not have work organised things where the purpose is to get rat arsed.
More importantly you can still be offensive even if it is your religion which you use to justify your bigoted views. He has actually broken the rules by being homophobic, if a do is organised by work people even if it is outside work hours etc you are still bound by the laws on diversity and respect in the workplace.
I own a steak house and have 2 gay members of staff. If=n fact they are a couple. Come to us next year
All joking aside though. I can't believe he feels everyone should accommodate him and then thinks its ok to say what he has. he is a dick and I hope she complains.
Tell Mr Bigot that we do some amazing veggie food.
If=n fact they are a couple should read In fact they are a couple
people from different religious and cultural backgrounds do not hold the same worldviews. not everyone is a white western liberal focused on democracy and what they see as 'human rights'. by expecting him to hold that view you are making an assumption that some people would think of as racist. i just think its a matter of genuine, well-meaning, ignorance. you do not know enough about people from cultures other than your own to be able to accept that they can and do see life differently from you.
Lovebunny are you seriously saying that this man wouldn't have realised calling the womans brother what he did was ok? Or have I misunderstood.
Because thats just manners, that you do not openly call someones family disgusting.
Mama: excellent line, I've noted that one.
Acekicker, I wish you were my colleague! That's so helpful, thank you! I will follow those points up; the Xmas do traditionally was a piss-up but there were always people there who didn't drink either usually or because they were driving or whatever.
Brady, your place sounds like my kind of place! Need red meat and red wine tonight, plus a little spiteful fashion-based banter!
Lovebunny, I'm a bit confused. Are you saying that because my colleague minded her brother being insulted that she is somehow racist by holding him to accepted standards of decency?
I never claimed that we were 'White western liberals focused on democracy and human rights. That sounds like a pretty racist assumption to me!
We were, if it really matters, a bunch of several nationalities, holding fuck knows what political beliefs, off on an annual night out for fun. Which was ruined by one person behaving rudely.
Sorry if I misunderstood your post, it seemed a bit odd?
FFS If its a xmas do, then it can be xmassy-you can't accomodate everyones beliefs/feelings/ tastes its up to them if they come. Everyone is also allowed their own beliefs/opinions but SHARING them is another matter, being respectful, ADULT and living in a civilised society, to me, is not saying things if it would cause undue offense in a situation where its not necessary-thats what 5 yrs old do who don't know any better. I think people seem to confuse having strong beliefs and opinions with having carte blanche to say what they want to others - 'well-meaning ignorance' is not acceptable ,whatever your 'worldview' LOVEBUNNY. You do not have to express it-on a more basic level I would not let my DS call someone fat/ugly/idiot whatever.
He sounds like a nasty waste of space, frankly. What did he say when she was crying?
Next year, don't invite him.
I hate it when believe use religion as an excuse to... Well, idiots.
interesting first post OP. but i dont even believe your story.
but hey, pissed off at the way the other nativity thread was going? come along and vent about those uppity muslims here on this thread instead!
you mean... you couldnt call it an xmas do because of his sensibilities? and you had to go to a veggie restaurant because it was halal? and you werent allowed to drink just cause he wouldnt have come? and YOU BENT OVER BACKWARDS TO ACCOMODATE HIM and he still came out with that line against your colleague?
ahhh delicious! all the ingredients for a 'these muslims need to be cut down to size' thread!
There is also the other view of diversity where you embrace the others' beliefs. Not necessarily agreeing with them and becoming them but by respecting them. And so it has to be two ways.
You respect him by having it at that restaurant and he respects you back by not commenting about such things like the gay men marrying or about alcoholic drinks (and you guys don't get plastered in front of him).
We have a diversity coordinator at our international education provider and he's Muslim as v inclusive. He comes along to our Christmas events (we call it Christmas events). This year as was last years was held at a local restaurant that served all sorts of good food. He tends to eat the vege option or the fish.
There are various levels of fundamentalism. And your colleague is perhaps being too extreme for words or at least in the public domain in front of his colleagues.
I work with a range of people from all kinds of backgrounds and religious beliefs. We are going out for a meal - there is turkey but also a whole range of other foods including veggie options. Some people will drink, some won't.
Our school is exceptionally good at promoting diversity. We also know when to shut up and not say things that might offend other people. However, if I'd have been there and this person had said that, then I would have said something.
And FWIW, most people of faith who I work with are extremely tolerant of diversity.
*There is also the other view of diversity where you embrace the others' beliefs. Not necessarily agreeing with them and becoming them but by respecting them. And so it has to be two ways.
You respect him by having it at that restaurant and he respects you back by not commenting about such things like the gay men marrying or about alcoholic drinks*
Agree with this, respect should go both ways. There is no way he wouldn't have realised that his homophobic comments were offensive and it was unreasonable of him to voice them after people had been respectful of his beliefs and culture by agreeing to his requests re the restaurant and drinking.
Sir boob, when I got back, they were sorting the bill then I guess he'd left. I didn't see him talk to her.
Crescent. Eh? It isn't my first post and I haven't said what religion he was. That's a big old chip you've got there.
Dr crab. Sounds like a good solution, glad to gear it elks for your place
Kim, us too and if I was worried about anyone getting leery and offensive thee were more obvious candidates.
Anyway, just wanted to collect some opinions, which in the main have been really useful!
Thanks to all.
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Genius! Do as I say not as I do! Religious colleague doesn't like being marginalised because of his beliefs but is perfectly happy to marginalise other people because of theirs? I think the word here is tolerance. Colleagues tolerated his beliefs and thus chose a vegetarian restaurant. But he can't tolerate his colleague's attendance at her brother's same sex marriage? You are right, hypocrisy of the worst kind. Those who have experienced marginalisation/prejudice turning round and doing the same to another marginalised/minority group? Horrid.
He was an idiot to express his views, but he has every right to hold those views. There are a lot of religious people who use the religious texts as a manual for life, rather than a guide and like it or not the majority of religious texts express negative views about homosexuality. Moreover, if your colleague is aware of the level of this man's faith perhaps she should have thought about talking about Civil Partnership (I am a strictly observant Christian btw and support equal legal rights for any couple wholeheartedly) in this setting as she must be aware of how divisive a subject it can be, you should also consider that this male colleague may have found it as offensive to have, what is probably a taboo and shameful subject in his faith discussed so openly, as your female colleague felt about him expressing his views.
Worra, it's not just about being able to pick an option from the menu, cross contamination could be a worry/problem (I know about this a I have CD, and as an observant Christian have dietary concerns).
Nolittlebuddhas- no, the male colleague should have considered that HIS views were potentially going to offend, and should have stfu about them.
If he has the right to talk about his food/drink preferences and expect people not to criticise, then why can't she talk about her brother's wedding and expect the same courtesy?
Oh, yuck, NolittleBuddahs. You're saying people shouldn't allude to the fact gay people even exist, so as to avoid offending homophobic colleagues. Can you see how a workplace in which this attitude was adopted would be discriminatory?
If a colleague of mine had made the comments the OP reports or the comments you've made, I would complain. If it didn't get anywhere, I'd make the complaint formal and mention the relevant piece of legislation, which is the Equality Act 2010. If it were still not addressed, I would go to my trade union.
People sincerely believe all sorts of barmy things, and they're quite within their rights to do so, but they don't have a right to what amounts to hate speech in the workplace. You don't just get to come out with any old offensive, discriminatory stuff and play the I'm Religious -- Get Out Of Jail Free card.
HermioneE, I did say I thought he was an idiot to express his views, but I also think his right to hold those views are important and what motivates those views matters. As my own religion matters to me. I simply meant that Op's female colleague should have considered how difficult the subject of homosexuality can be for some people to hear about and discuss and so this may have motivated his behaviour rather than dislike for the colleagues. We have all overreacted at some point when we have felt uncomfortable. Although I am against the attack of gay people and their lifestyles am I equally against attacks on deeply religious people and their beliefs. People are perfectly happy to condemn people who express conventionally negative views of homosexuality, but are not willing to consider that there are those who due to religious/ cultural beliefs who feel that those who express positive views on the subject should be reprimanded.
What I am basically trying to say is that if we can respect one opinion, we should respect the opposite opinion even if we don't or can't agree with it.
FWIW, I don't think the OP has made it sound as though her work place is not particularly accommodating of this guy on the whole, the tone sounds as if it was felt to be a huge imposition to find a venue to accommodate his needs (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.) Why should his beliefs and the fact that he was being catered for be discussed in this way? I would have been offended.
So perhaps he thought rightly or wrongly, that he should say how he feels about things carte blanche and see how his colleagues liked it. However, he should not have made the poor woman cry.
People are certainly entitled to their opinions and in a free society should be able to express them.
However tact and diplomacy are often called for and this sounds like one of those times.
Nolittle are you at it again?
This thread is just one of many today that's made me rub my chin and go "Hmmm"...
Helenlyn I know all about the EA thanks. If you read my last post hopefully my point will be clearer. I don't what is so yuck (please use a more adult word when speaking to me, an adult, in future). I just said that we should try to think about the situation from the other point of view and to borrow your phrasiology 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, but you're religious and a biggot, and it's OK for me to say so because society says so card.
Oh - you all need to get over it. Things always kick off at the
Christmas WinterFestival Works Do...
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?
You know what, I'm not even going to bother copying and pasting the rest of the bull the OP has posted.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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...
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.
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.
Harmonie I don't think yours views are very tolerant tbh.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
also DC1 is named after dexf in middlename
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.
helen, I'm not saying civil partnership should not be discussed at all, although I'm obviously not making myself very clear [bush] 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.
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!
He sounds like a pain in the arse.
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