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HAT Forum @ The 519 - Respecting Beliefs

  • The 519 519 Church Street Toronto, ON, M4Y 2C9 Canada (map)

Proposer: Michelle Edmunds

What does it mean to "respect" a person's religious beliefs and how does one incorporate this expectation into their daily and work life? Should we respect others' beliefs? What does it mean to not respect faith ideologies?


  • -Respecting religious beliefs
  • -Acknowledging religious beliefs
  • -Speaking out against religious beliefs
  • -Remaining silent to avoid conflict against religious beliefs
  • -Religious beliefs that interfere with non-beliefs


Religion and Human Rights Code

  • Under the Ontario Human Rights Code, discrimination because of religion (creed) is against the law. Everyone should have access to the same opportunities and benefits, and be treated with equal dignity and respect, regardless of their religion.
  • Religion includes the practices, beliefs and observances that are part of a faith or religion. It does not include personal moral, ethical or political views. Nor does it include religions that promote violence or hate towards others, or that violate criminal law.
  • Protection against discrimination applies in the following areas:
  • Employment, including job applications, interviews, employment benefits, working conditions, and promotions;
  • Housing, including rental housing, hotels, commercial properties, and buying or selling a house;
  • Services, goods and facilities, including education, hospitals and health services, stores and restaurants, government programs, and public places and facilities;
  • Contracts, such as for buying or selling goods or services;
  • Unions, professional associations, and other vocational associations.
  • It doesn't matter whether or not discrimination is intentional: it is the effect of the behaviour that is important.
  • Where a rule conflicts with religious requirements, there is a duty to ensure that individuals are able to observe their religion, unless this would cause undue hardship because of cost, or health and safety reasons. Unlawful discrimination because of religion can include:
  • Refusing to make an exception to dress codes to recognize religious dress requirements;
  • Refusing to allow individuals to observe periods of prayer at particular times during the day;
  • Refusing to permit individuals to take time off to observe a religious holiday.

NOTE: This will be a shortened discussion in order to allow time for members wishing to attend our discussion by Dr. Robert Johnson at OISE @ 1:30pm.