Anglican Bishop Fined £47,345 and Sent to "Re-Education" in Gay Employment Case

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: February 12, 2008

The Anglican bishop of Hereford has been ordered by a court to undergo "equal opportunities training" and pay a fine of £47,345.00, the equivalent of about Euro 63,540.00, for refusing to hire an active homosexual for a position of trust with young people. The ruling also stated that Hereford diocese staff "involved in recruitment should receive equal opportunities training". "The respondents discriminated against the claimant on the grounds of sexual orientation," said the ruling from the Cardiff Employment Tribunal.

The Right Reverend Anthony Priddis refused to hire a homosexual man, John Reaney, as a youth worker on the grounds that the Christian religion holds sexual continence within natural marriage as the norm. He told media that he stands by his original decision and may appeal the ruling. When Mr. Reaney, an active homosexual who sees no conflict with his lifestyle and his Christian beliefs, was refused for a position with the diocese as a youth officer, he launched a complaint with the Employment Tribunal. The Tribunal dismissed the arguments of Bishop Priddis who said the refusal was not about "discrimination" but about upholding Christian sexual morality. He said he had made it clear to Mr. Reaney and the Tribunal that a person in a sexual relationship outside marriage, whatever their "sexual orientation", would be turned down for a post in the diocese. But Philip Whealy, spokesman for the Christian Congress for Traditional Values (CCTV) told that the decision is about more than just one man and one bishop. It "highlights the general trend in the UK towards the destruction of freedom of conscience and speech." Whealy identified the decision of the Employment Tribunal as a victory for the homosexual movement that wants to suppress and ultimately criminalize the public expression of Christian sexual morality. The Daily Telegraph reports that the compensation award to Mr. Reaney includes £7,000 damages for "psychiatric injury" and £6,000 for "injury to feelings". Anni Holden, spokesman for the Diocese of Hereford, said, "We are now aware that when making such an appointment we must make it clear if it is a genuine occupational requirement that the post-holder should believe in and uphold the Christian belief and ideal of marriage, and that sexual relationships are confined to marriage." Holden said that the diocese of Hereford would be declining the offer made by Stonewall to provide the "equal opportunities training" ordered by the Tribunal. Sources: