Andrea Minichiello Williams

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Andrea Minichiello Williams is director of the Christian Legal Centre.[1]

Contents

Lawyers' Christian Fellowship

As public policy officer for the Lawyer's Christian Fellowship in 2006, Williams supported university Christian unions in challenging restrictions on their activities. The Times reported:

Andrea Minichiello Williams, public policy officer for the Lawyers Christian Fellowship, which is offering informal legal advice to the Christian unions, told The Times she expected a number of legal cases against universities. She said last night: "Christian Unions are facing increasing difficulties in being allowed to function on campus, but they have a fundamental right to speak and to associate around a creed, in this case a Christian creed and Christian beliefs."[2]

In December 2006, Williams criticised the Sexual Orientation Regulations due to come into force the following April, saying: "It is quite plain that the church won't be able to act contrary to its conscience and will go for some form of civil disobedience."[3]

In May 2007, Williams criticised guidance for schools in Croydon which exempted Muslim and Hindu symbols from a ban on jewellery but made no mention of Christian crosses. She said

"We have had numerous examples recently of where the rights of some faith groups are tolerated but the rights of others, generally Christians, are not. This guidance seems to be advising all schools to operate along the same lines.
You end up with something that is inequitable and comes across as double standards. I think it is a consequence of the combination of the secular agenda and the human rights agenda. Where rights are in competition, some rights win out. So we have a situation where gay rights trump Christian rights and in some areas, Muslim rights seem to be paramount.[4]

Christian Legal Centre

In April 2008, Williams announced that Christian Legal Centre (CFC), of which she was director, was seeking a legal challenge of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA)'s decision to grant licenses for the creation of human-animal embryos in medical research.[5] The High Court dismissed the challenged as "totally without merit" in December 2008, leaving the CFC with a bill for costs of £20,000.[6]

In March 2009, Williams issued a press release criticising British Government support for Shari'ah-compliant finance. The accompanying notes starkly denounced the concept, stating:

Islamic Finance has little to do with the consciences of ordinary Muslims and everything to do with the political ambitions of domination of Islamists; Islam does not oblige Muslims to tell the truth when the cause of Islam is at stake, nor does it oblige Muslims to show any loyalty to non-Muslims. Instead it teaches that the whole world and everything in it belongs to Allah.[7]

Clause 61

In March 2009, Williams criticised Clause 61 of the Coroners and Justice Bill, which was to outlaw hatred on grounds of sexual orientation, stating:

"When the holding of orthodox religious views at work on sexual ethics is no longer tolerated by the State, and the government fails to see the point of a free speech clause in a Bill currently before Parliament that would protect those who hold such views, we should all be alarmed."[8]

After Clause 61 was thrown out by the Lords in July 2009, Guardian commentator Cath Elliott wrote:

I doubt there were many who fought or worked harder on this one than Andrea Minichiello Williams, the director of both Christian Concern for our Nation and the Christian Legal Centre. She is a woman whose determination to impose her religious beliefs on others seemingly knows no bounds.[9]

Christian Concern for Our Nation

Williams spoke at the 2008 Christian Lawyer Global Convention in Washington D.C.[10]

Affiliations

Notes

  1. About The Christian Legal Centre, Christian Legal Centre, 23 November 2007, accessed 30 August 2010.
  2. David Lister, Faith, fundamentalism andthe fight for students' souls, The Times, 18 November 2006.
  3. Anthony Barnes, Revealed: how hardline Christians use shock tactics against new gay law; Special report: Gay rights; Former lord chancellor backs religious coalition that claims new equality rules for homosexuals threaten freedom of belief. Anthony Barnes reports, Independent on Sunday, 3 December 2006.
  4. Julie Henry, Ban crucifixes but not lockets for Muslims, schools told, Sunday Telegraph, 13 May 2007
  5. Barry Nelson, LICENCE WARNING OVER EMBRYO WORK, Northern Echo, 10 April 2008.
  6. John Aston, CAMPAIGNERS LOSE BID TO BAN HYBRID EMBRYOS, Press Association, 9 December 2008.
  7. Government Capitulating to Islamic Law if Shari'ah Finance Regulations Changed as Proposed. Christian Legal Centre, Christian Newswire, 6 March 2009.
  8. Deputy Registrar Warns House of Lords that Coroners and Justice Bill would Violate Human Rights of Christians in Public Life, Christian Legal Centre, CCFON, 21 June 2009.
  9. Cath Elliott, Don't let faith be a front for prejudice, guardian.co.uk, 13 July 2009.
  10. STUDENTS REPRESENT PEPPERDINE AT 2008 CHRISTIAN LAWYER GLOBAL CONVENTION, States News Service, 15 October 2008.
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