THINKING ANGLICANS

High Court refuses appeal to McFarlane

Updated twice Thursday afternoon

Telegraph Judge dismisses counsellor’s bid to appeal sacking over refusal to help homosexuals

BBC Relate therapist Gary McFarlane loses appeal bid

Read the full text of the judgment here.

More press coverage:

Press Association via the Guardian Christian counsellor loses court fight over sacking

and another PA version, this time via the Independent Sacked Christian counsellor Gary McFarlane’s appeal bid dismissed

The Times Frances Gibb Special legal protection of Christianity ‘divisive, capricious and arbitrary’ headline now changed to: Judge rejects ‘irrational’ idea that Christianity deserves special protection from law

Daily Mail Judge’s attack on Christianity after throwing out case of sex therapist who refused to work with gay couples

Ruth Gledhill We have never said anti-gay Christians are bigots, says Judge

Reactions from campaigning groups:

Christian Concern for our Nation

Stonewall

National Secular Society

British Humanist Association

Evangelical Alliance

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Rev L RobertsErika BakerMarkBrunsonFather Ron SmithMartin Reynolds Recent comment authors
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Fr Mark
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Fr Mark

“Divisive, capricious and arbitrary” sums up Lord Carey’s campaign of fear-mongering very well.

Thank-you Lord Justice Laws for speaking some common sense to social conservatives using Christianity as an excuse for mere bad behaviour.

Richard Ashby
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Richard Ashby

This judgement and the way it is framed is of very great importance. Can we hope that there will be no more of these cases, funded by ‘Christian’ groups who wish to change the law to suit themselves and their own narrow interpretation of how we should live and love?

Chris Smith
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Chris Smith

A clear victory in the long road to basic human rights. Carey should be ashamed of himself.

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“The case was brought by father-of-two Gary McFarlane, a former Relate counsellor, and backed by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey.” – Article, Daily Mail – In the words of old-time English comedian Tommy Handley: “It’s that man again!” No, not reluctant counsellor McFarlane – but LORD CAREY, whose influence as ex-ABS ought to be extinguished – it is too dangerous for ther Human Rights Movement in the UK. As for Mr. McFarlane, he will probably be quite careful in choosing his next job, making sure that the job-description allows for his prejudices. People who deal in an intimate… Read more »

Martin Reynolds
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Martin Reynolds

Has the Daily Mail toned down its response? A very interesting judgment – but it seems by Lord Carey’s response that he has not fully grasped all the essentials. I appeared with this man on a TV programme where his case was discussed – the minders were very much in attendance – I felt quite sorry for him as I felt he was being manipulated by them. Even more sorry when the interviewer asked him whether any of the eight fellow counselors on his team had supported him. “No” he said “they all supported my dismissal” Still, this small group… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

What a thoughtful, principled, clear and reasoned judgement.

However, I feel ashamed that Christianity has been so represented, by these campaigning groups, assisted by George Carey.

26 ‘As I have shown Lord Carey’s statement also contains a plea for a special court. I am sorry that he finds it possible to suggest a procedure that would, in my judgment, be deeply inimical to the public interest.’

(Penultimate paragraph of the Ruling)

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

The level of theological ‘thought’ with which the court was presented is very disappointing and gives great cause for concern. Especially as it was given support by a retired archbishop of Canterbury – the judge spoke of Carey’s ‘seniority in the church.’ “To the religious adherent ‘Religion’ is the route to salvation:- The fear of hell is central to the appellant’s religious belief; and individuals ought to be informed of the consequences of hell; … The proposition of the appellant’s religious belief is that sin will have eternal consequences. Those who do not repent will go to hell when they… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“10. The description of religious faith in relation to sexual ethics as ‘discriminatory’ is crude; and illuminates a lack of sensitivity to religious belief. The Christian message of ‘love’ does not demean or disparage any individual (regardless of sexual orientation); the desire of the Christian is to limit self destructive conduct by those of any sexual orientation and ensure the eternal future of an individual with the Lord.” Having just read the Witness Statement by Lord Carey in the official proceedings of the Court Tribunal which refused the right of Mr McFarlane to appeal against his dismissal from employment by… Read more »

MarkBrunson
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Thank God for former ABC Carey!

No one else could help us liberals look so darn good!

Erika Baker
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Erika Baker

Leaving the Christian persecution nonsense aside, I don’t fully understand this. Every human being has some hot button issues where they are not able to respond to others with the emotional distance they need. Therapists know this and there are systems in place where individual therapists can pass cases they cannot deal with to others. I have a friend, for example, who would be unable to counsel someone imnvolved with child abuse. She would not be judgemental, but it would press too many of her own emotional buttons to make her an effective therapist for that client. Why was the… Read more »

Rev L Roberts
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Rev L Roberts

He was hired to do a job which he subsequently declined fully to do.