The Law Society let its rooms to a conference opposing marriage equality for gays. Then, it cancelled it:
Sir Paul Coleridge, the Family Division judge who recently launched a new charity to combat marital break-up, had been lined up as the main speaker at the annual event at the Law Society’s London headquarters later this month.
But organisers were forced to cancel it at short notice after the Law Society ruled that the programme reflected “an ethos which is opposed to same sex marriage”.
They accused the Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, of an “extraordinary” attempt to stifle debate on current affairs and warned that the cancellation itself could be against equality laws.
Organisers said the conference had been booked for up to six months and a deposit of around £4,700 has already been paid.
But in an email on Thursday, Adam Tallis, general manager of Amper&and, the company which organises hospitality at The Law Society, informed them that the booking was being cancelled and the deposit refunded.
“We regret the need to take this step,” he wrote.
“I can assure you that it is not something we do lightly.
“However, where an event does not fit within this company’s diversity policy, it is a step we must take.
“The nature of your event has recently been drawn to our attention, and it is contrary to our diversity policy, espousing as it does an ethos which is opposed to same sex marriage.”
By contrast, this is how The Law Society behaved when questions were raised about the hosting of the so-called Russell Tribunal of Palestine: which featured a collection of racists, supporters of terrorism and conspiracy freaks, determined to bring Israel to an end.
The Law Society insisted that it was not “hosting” the Russell Tribunal, was merely letting its rooms to it in a “normal market transaction“, and saw the event as unproblematic. On the day of the conference, amie – who had raised concerns about the propriety of the event – was barred by the organisers from attending on completely spurious grounds.
Now, it appears, they can cancel the events they “host” after all. Just so long as they have a problem with its “ethos”.