By: Dave Gordon
A new equality bill in England may restrict religious organizations from hiring coreligionists for key positions in their organizations. For example, under the new legislation, Jewish organizations would be allowed to restrict employment to Jews for positions involving rituals or promotion of Judaism, but they may not use religion as a factor in the hiring of youth workers or others in non-ministerial roles. Catholics are also alarmed by the bill, and have contended that a distinction must be made between someone who provides accounting for a church, for example, and someone who works with youth. A religious organization, they argue, must be able to exclude applicants whose lives are in conflict with the ethos of the organization. The bill consolidates existing laws against religious, racial, gender and other forms of discrimination.