Tuesday, July 24, 2007

What is Good for the Gander May Not Be So Good for the Other Gander

Clearly upset that Right Rev Anthony Priddis of the Church of England had dallied into territory in which he had no business dallying, jilted employee wannabe, John Reaney who had sought to work as the diocesan youth officer, sued the Church--and won. Damages have not been determined.

Reaney, who is a practicing homosexual, was denied employment by Rev Priddis because, according to Praddis, Reaney was involved in a sexual relationship outside of marriage. Reaney contends he was denied the job because of his sexual orientation. From the Daily Mail:

A tribunal heard that John Reaney was turned down for a youth worker's post after the Bishop of Hereford quizzed him for two hours about a previous gay relationship.

The 42-year-old said the "humiliating" interview with the Right Rev Anthony Priddis left him in tears.

The panel ruled that the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance, representing the bishop, had unlawfully blocked the lay appointment on the grounds of sexuality.

The case has implications for other religious groups because it was the first test of their legal duty under anti-discrimination laws brought in in 2003.

Equality rules bar bias against workers on grounds of sexual orientation.

Religious groups were given an exemption to allow them to turn down gay candidates for clerical posts and traditionalists argue the exemption should apply to lay appointments too.

Mr Reaney, from Colwyn Bay, North Wales, hailed the ruling as a significant victory in equality for gay and lesbian Christians.
Quick to defend Reaney was Terry Sanderson, of the National Secular Society:
"'The Bishop of Hereford should hang his head in shame.

"His church must learn that denying people jobs on the ground of their sexuality is no longer acceptable."
Oddly enough, even the National Secular Society will not accept membership unless individuals meet the following criteria (among others):
You must agree to our General Principles when you join.
Among those general principles include an absolute separation of Church and State, unless, apparently, it is the state that is wanting to sit in the back seat of a minister's car.

Here we have one organization (the church) being punished by a second organization (the state) and this punishment is being applauded by a third group (NSS) when it seems the Rev Priddis is only attempting to restrict his church's leadership positions to employees that actually agree with the church doctrine.

An irony when you consider the law that is being enforced is being applauded by many who would deny the church the same restrictions they demand for themselves, by using means that they denounce.

From the Brussels Journal with a tip to Atlanticist911 in the comments.

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