‘We don't need laws to tell us how to behave’

Jon Holbrook explains why equality law is making society more intolerant.

Last week, the Christian hoteliers who refused to allow a homosexual couple to stay in their Cornish B&B were finally defeated at the Supreme Court in London. Since it began in 2008, Bull & Bull vs Preddy & Hall has become a landmark case in British equality law, and the ruling has been hailed as an important victory for tolerance in modern Britain. The equality laws that have been ratcheted up over the intervening years have entered the statute books with little resistance, but some major questions remain. Does fostering tolerance for certain groups have to come at the cost of the freedom to hold one’s own beliefs, no matter how prejudicial? What role should the law even play in making us a more tolerant society? And what exactly do we mean when we say ‘equality’ nowadays? To explore these questions, I spoke to barrister and spiked contributor Jon Holbrook.




Tom Slater is assistant editor at spiked.

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Issue 27: 15 April 2014

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