The Employment Tribunal in Cardiff will formally publish its judgment tomorrow in the case of John Reaney v the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance.
Subsequently, the following article was published in the Hereford diocesan magazine: DIOCESE AWAITS YOUTH OFFICER TRIBUNAL DECISION.
Today, the Hereford Times carries this report:
Bishop of Hereford loses case
By Mark Bowen
A gay man has won his discrimination case against the Bishop of Hereford.
John Reaney,who was backed by gay rights group Stonewall, is celebrating today’s (Thursday) employment tribunal decision.
Mr Reaney was interviewed by a panel of eight people for the post of Youth Officer in the Diocese of Hereford last summer.
But an unanimous decision to appoint him was blocked by the Bishop of Hereford after a meeting Mr Reaney looks set to secure substantial compensation.
In its judgement, the Tribunal said: The Respondents discriminated against the claimant on the grounds of sexual orientation.The case will now be listed for a remedy hearing.’
John Reaney said: ‘I’m delighted that the Bishop of Hereford has lost this case. It demonstrates to many lesbian and gay Christians working for God within the Church of England that they are entitled to fair and respectful treatment.”
The case was heard over four days in Cardiff in April.
The diocese called a press conference for 9.30 am. More information about that will be published here when received.
Meanwhile, Mr Reaney’s solicitors have published this press release:John Reaney wins case against Church of England:
…His solicitor Alison Downie, partner at Bindman & Partners said:
“My client is pleased that he has won his claim. The Bishop and the Diocese were wrong and unlawfully discriminated against him because he is a gay man in refusing to appoint an excellent candidate to the post of Youth Officer. In this landmark test case the Tribunal found not only that he suffered direct discrimination but that if necessary they would have found indirect discrimination in the Diocese imposing a requirement of celibacy for lay people in employment within the Church. It is highly regrettable that the Bishop acted as he did and that my client lost a year of his life in bringing this claim to right the wrong done to him”.
And Stonewall Cymru has published this one: Stonewall Cymru celebrates tribunal victory against Bishop of Hereford:
…Matthew Batten, Stonewall Cymru’s Policy Officer, said: ‘This outcome is a triumph for 21st century decency over 19th century prejudice. We’re very happy for John. The tribunal has rightly made clear that the Church of England cannot discriminate against gay people with impunity. No one, not even a Bishop, is exempt from the law.’
And the BBC reports the decision as Bishop loses gay employment case:
…The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, said he was “naturally disappointed” and may appeal…
…speaking to a news conference in Hereford on Wednesday, the Bishop said: “I still think the decision I made was the right one.”
“I regret the polarisation of view which takes place when these things happen,” he said, adding he had made the decision after a “great deal of prayer and contemplation”.
Press Association report: Gay man wins Church tribunal claim
For the diocesan press release go here.