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Hereford: Church Times report

My report published in last week’s Church Times is now available to the public: John Reaney awarded £47,000.

John Reaney awarded £47,000

by Simon Sarmiento

An Employment Tribunal in Cardiff published its final judgment last Friday, awarding John Reaney more than £47,000, but made no other recommendations. Last July, Mr Reaney won a case of unlawful discrimination against the Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis (News, 20 July).

The tribunal noted that: “the Respondents have accepted the need to provide equal-opportunity training to all of its individuals who are engaged in a recruitment exercise. Furthermore if a genuine occupational requirement does apply in a particular case then thought will be given by the Respondents to make that clear in any advertisement . . . we are satisfied that these matters have been taken seriously by the Respondents.”

The compensation includes £25,000 for future loss of wages, £8000 for future pension loss, £7000 damages for psychiatric injury, and £6000 for injury to feelings.
Alison Downie, Mr Reaney’s solicitor, said: “Given his comments [in the Temple lecture last week], the Archbishop of Canterbury should ensure that the Church of England and its bishops act in full and complete accordance with UK and European law now — otherwise we are likely to see more discrimination cases against the Church in the future.”

Mr Reaney said: “I remain sad that the Church fought my case even after being found to have acted unlawfully. I would much prefer to be working as a Christian within the Church to promote and develop youth work, but was stopped from doing so because I am gay.”

In a press release, 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. This is the crux of the matter, not sexual orientation.”

A spokesperson for the pressure group Stonewall responded: “The crux of the matter is that discriminating against gay people in employment is unlawful. Let’s hope this is covered in the equal-opportunities training diocesan staff will be attending.”

The LGCM paid advertising supplement to last week’s Church Times also carried an article on the subject, written earlier. PDF file here,see top of page 3 or read html copy here.

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Göran Koch-SwahneChristopher ShellJohnPeter of Westminstercounterlight Recent comment authors
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Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

Mr Reaney knows that it is not ‘because I am gay’ but because he was open to extramarital sexual relationships, an attitude which would prevent membership, let alone leadership, in orthodox Christian assemblies.

poppy tupper
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poppy tupper

careful, christopher. you are contradicting a verdict arrived at in court. and as for your view about heterosexual extramarital relationships not existing in church membership or leadership – oh, come on.

Pluralist
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Are you still fighting the case, Christopher?

Simon Dawson
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Simon Dawson

“Mr Reaney knows that it is not ‘because I am gay’ but because he was open to extramarital sexual relationships, an attitude which would prevent membership, let alone leadership, in orthodox Christian assemblies.” Yes but the law requires the Bishop to treat people equally. If the Bishop is to call in John for detailed questioning on his intimate sex life, then surely he has no option but to call in every candidate for all leadership positions, gay or straight, and question them in a similar way. The fact that the Bishop does not routinely do this for straight candidates, but… Read more »

choirboyfromhell
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choirboyfromhell

“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. This is the crux of the matter, not sexual orientation.”

This age old “Catch-22” is what allows discrimination against the LGBT community, is the REAL crux of the matter.

Somebody said that a scoundrel will always hide behind the letter of the law.

counterlight
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counterlight

Yes, it is because he is gay, because of the Church’s refusal to sanctify any same-sex relationship, and its stated policy to segregate based on the false assumption that such attractions are a willful choice and are pathological.

I can remember a time when being black was considered “pathological” and unscriptural (see the story of Ham in Genesis).

Congratulations to Mr. Reaney.

Justice, 1 Bigotry, 0.

L Roberts
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L Roberts

NO !

‘and that sexual relationships are confined to marriage.’

This totally untrue as Issues in Human Sexuality makes clear,and the Law of the Church which accepts and legislates for the Civil Parners of the clergy. No attempted, purported caveat in an advertisement can subvert this.

This is the position of the C of E –insofar as it has a coherent policy.

Cheryl Va.
Guest

Yes

And if they are so worried about confining sexual relations to marriage then why haven’t so many dioceses and so many churches fired their pedophilic priests (before the lawsuits)?

Also, just as a reminder from one incest survivor, confining sexual relations to marriage actually means the two signatories on the marriage certificate, and not their dependants or other relatives.

Further, adultery is also a sin.

Jeremiah 8:8 “‘How can you say, “We are wise, for we have the law of the LORD,” when actually the lying pen of the scribes has handled it falsely?”

JCF
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JCF

“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.”

I, for one, wouldn’t have a problem w/ this requirement.

Only if +Priddis (or whoever), then added “…w/ the understanding that ‘marriage’ excludes civil partnerships, or any other form of union of same-sex couples”.

I suppose I shouldn’t give him any ideas. :-/

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

Hi Poppy-

On what basis do you think that a transient court of one culture at one point in time speaks with *more* authority than the cosmic/supernatural leader you follow?

Secondly, when did I say that such relationships did not exist? You know very well that I didn’t. I said something quite different: that they are not considered *good*. If you do not think the killing of innocent Iraqis (for example) is good, does that mean it does not exist? Not existing and not being good are two different things – but you already knew that.

counterlight
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counterlight

“I said something quite different: that they are not considered *good*. If you do not think the killing of innocent Iraqis (for example) is good, does that mean it does not exist? Not existing and not being good are two different things” Oh my. This is a new one. Now we’re going from the slippery-slope-to-bestiality argument to something completely different. Homosexuality is the same thing as Bush Administration war crimes. This will be a big surprise to the boys in Washington DC. Again, this whole argument is based on completely false assumptions about lgbts and homosexuality that fail all the… Read more »

Peter of Westminster
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Peter of Westminster

“On what basis do you think that a transient court of one culture at one point in time speaks with *more* authority than the cosmic/supernatural leader you follow?”

The only alternative to the “transient court” you mention here would seem to be theocracy. And I assume you’re the one who’ll be interpreting for us the voice and will of “the cosmic/supernatural leader.” Well, OK, then. I’ll just check my brain and heart at the door when I enter your “orthodox Christian assembly.”

John
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John

“Mr Reaney knows that it is not ‘because I am gay’ but because he was open to extramarital sexual relationships”

Mr. Shell appears to have psychic abilities. Perhaps an orthodox Christian assembly should gather and determine if it’s appropriate to apply Exodus 22:18. I’ll gather the faggots, just in case.

Christopher Shell
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Christopher Shell

No psychic abilities, alas. There are in fact two possibilities: either (1) he knows the real reason and is being dishonest; or (2) he is unaware of the press coverage of his case, and has never spoken with the bishop on the matter, and therefore does not know the real reason. Supposing he was open to extramarital (and apparently even extra-civil partnership) relations in the future, why should he receive special treatment over a heterosexual who in the same circumstances would never have received the job in a million years? If anyone holds the view that this is a ‘relatively’… Read more »

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Christopher Shell wrote: “… why should he receive special treatment over a heterosexual who in the same circumstances would never have received the job in a million years?”

You do not k n o w any of this. It’s just slanderous.