Friday, 28 September 2007

Hereford will not appeal

The Hereford Times has reported: Diocese will not appeal.

THE Diocese of Hereford will not appeal against a tribunal’s ruling that the bishop, the Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, discriminated against a gay job applicant.

An appeal is not being planned due to the high cost and length of time it would be expected to take, the diocese confirmed this week.

Diocesan spokesperson Anni Holden said: “We have taken legal advice and decided against appealing.

“Appeals can take several years and cost a lot of money. We are looking to the remedy hearing in December.”

During the remedy hearing it will be decided how much compensation youth worker John Reaney will receive…

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 8:33am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: equality legislation
Comments

VICTORY in the civil courts for Stonewall over the CofE.... some vicars rejoice!

Posted by: NP on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 9:04am BST

Actually, an appeal to the Employment Appeal Tribunal doesn't cost much at all. There are no witnesses, only a lawyer on each side. A typical hearing lasts half a day; this one would not last more than a single day. Costs are not usually awarded at the end. So the cost would be the cost of a barrister, with possibly a support solicitor, preparing and arguing a one day hearing.

Hearings typically come on in a few months. No employment appeal takes years to come on.

The reason the diocese is not appealing is because they know any appeal would be dismissed. It is rather shocking that these other, totally inaccurate, excuses are put forward.

There's been a lot of talk of the need for "repentance" in connection with pro-gay bishops lately. The Archbishop of Canterbury has been getting a little more outspoken about Anglicans' need to reject absolutely civil discrimination against homosexuals.

When a bishop has been formally found guilty of unjustified and unlawful discrimination against a homosexual, and has abandoned his thoughts of an appeal, I would have hoped for an expression of regret and contrition; not "I would appeal if it wasn't so costly and time consuming" which is both ungracious and unworthy of the bishop.

Posted by: badman on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 10:13am BST

The remedy will serve the dual purpose of awarding appropriate redress for the wronged claimant and imposing a stiff financial penalty on an organisation engaging in illegal employment practices. If Church authorities have any sense, a root and branch review of employment policies will be a necessary outcome of the tribunal.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 10:14am BST

This is so amusing. Of course they won't appeal - because they haven't a hope of winning. he broke the law and they know it.

I recall various conservatives valiantly trying to find a silver lining in this judgment and coming up with all sorts of ways that an appeal could take place. Sometimes optimism and common-sense don't go together.

Its excellent news, and cements the fact that the church are going to have to watch their step in future.

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 10:15am BST

It seems all you can think of is victory (absolute) or absolute defeat, NP.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 10:55am BST

Goran, this is the War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness!

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 1:35pm BST

It hurts when you get your fingers well and truly burnt, somewhere between the closet and the organ loft.

Posted by: Pluralist on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 2:04pm BST

I agree with badman and have several friends who have been through an ET process (on both sides).

ACAS and the tribunals tell you up front they will deal with the matter speedily. Hereford will have been advised to leave it as they have no hope of winning.

Posted by: Frozenchristian on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 4:21pm BST

Ford wrote: "Goran, this is the War of the Sons of Light and the Sons of Darkness!"

Only among Manichées...

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 8:11pm BST

Surely it is time for regret and humble apology from the Bishop of Hereford for bringing the CofE into disrepute? 'I was merely following orders/policy guv' didn't work well in any war crimes trials following battles between the Sons of Light and of Darkness!

Posted by: Neil on Friday, 28 September 2007 at 11:45pm BST

Neil - you do realise that this is not a change to the official position of the CofE?

Maybe the bishop handled things incorrectly and maybe those who recommended the man made a bad decion and certainly, Stonewall has used the civil law to push its agenda on the church - but no theological argument has been made or won in this case.

The CofE still requires vicars and others to keep to certaub standards in line with the bible (even if some vicars with their "integrity" just ignore those requirements)

Posted by: NP on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 10:44am BST

Goran,
I was thinking of the Essenes.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 1:00pm BST

NP; wrong. The CofE will have to change many of its practices whether it likes it or not. Theological arguments are entirely irrelevant - although of course, the very basis of conservative theology is exclusion and discrimination, which is why it is such a distasteful set of opinions.

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 2:47pm BST

"Stonewall has used the civil law to push its agenda on the church"

In fact, Stonewall was, first and foremost, providing legal representation to a Christian in an employment tribunal. All credit to Reaney and Stonewall if the Church is forced to change as a result of the judgment.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 9:08pm BST

"Theological arguments are entirely irrelevant "

!?!?!?

Posted by: Ford Elms on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 9:12pm BST

NP - yes, of course I realise nothing has changed officially re teaching. But 'practise' has always required sensitivity and wisdom from bishops re gay people...certainly not weighing in with humiliating questions...and certainly not appearing to be anti-gay. The Bishop has brought scandal upon the CofE.
You keep referring to 'integrity' re gay clergy. I should let God be the judge of that please.

Posted by: Neil on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 9:21pm BST

Ford: industrial tribunals aren't essentially about theology but about the application of the civil law.

Posted by: Merseymike on Saturday, 29 September 2007 at 11:10pm BST

Neil - sorry, but there is no integrity in working for an organisation, deliberately breaking its rules for certain employees and being dishonest about doing this or not telling because people are too scared to ask...... people should be open and honest about what they believe and how they live if they want to claim to have integrity, don't you think? (not just in the CofE context - this is a general principle in free democracies where we can be open and honest about what we believe and do without fear, right?)

If the COfE were forcing me to accept ssbs or VGR, I would leave immediately.......but there are those who see Lambeth 1.10 and still claim to have integrity in just ignoring it even though doing so requires vicars to be less than open and honest! Integrity for vicars who reject Lambeth 1.10 would not be taking advantage of "don't ask, don't tell" hypocrisy and weak leadership...... real integrity would be honesty about belief and life and if that meant not being in the CofE, then set up an "inclusive" church free of Lambeth 1.10. Integrity cannot include lies or not being open about the truth knowing it is unacceptable or saying one thing and doing another, can it??

Posted by: NP on Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 12:18am BST

The Essenes are interesting in that they are a very early example of un-Biblical Dualism within Judaism/Christianity.

Doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves, though.

Or is four "4 legs good, 2 legs bad" merely an innate thing?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 8:19am BST

Ford

You might again enjoy 2 Corinthians

e.g. 11:12-15 "I will keep on doing what I am doing in order to cut the ground from… such men are… deceitful …masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light..."

and later 12:7-10 "To keep me from becoming conceited… there was given me a thorn in my flesh… Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” …That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults... For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I feel this passage applies to those who are irrevocably GLBT. Because they can not sit in full honor with the Pharisean style priests, they have to trust on commendations from God and not from humans.

Isaiah 54:6-8 “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant— to them I will give within my temple and its walls… an everlasting name that will not be cut off. And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD... my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.”…"

Revelation 3:8-13 "…I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars — I will make them… acknowledge that I have loved you... Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and… the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven...”

2 Timothy 2:9-12 "God’s word is not chained.... Here is a trustworthy saying… if we endure, we will also reign with him."

Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection… they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years."

Posted by: Cheryl Va. Clough on Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 12:02pm BST

Nobody is forcing SSBs upon you NP - and because they are done privately nobody is forcing those who offer them to desist.
Lambeth 1.10 does not have the authority within the CofE that you and Fulcrum claim.
Re integrity - it is quite possible to believe in the majority of a Church's teachings and have differences about some matters - with integrity.
Look at politicians. Do you believe in the real presence for example?

Posted by: Neil on Sunday, 30 September 2007 at 8:00pm BST

Neil - Lambeth 1.10 - even if you assert every day for a thousand years that it has no force, the fact remains that a liberal ABC has spent a lot of time trying to reign in those who would reject it without getting the agreement of the Communion (see Dromantine, TWR, Tanzania and his latest efforts to restrain liberal Canadian and TEC bishops, if you do not believe me)

Posted by: NP on Monday, 1 October 2007 at 9:02am BST

But it has no force in English law, NP. Thats why the church lost this IT case, and if they don't toe the line, will lose many more. No place for bigots and homophobes in a civilised country, NP.

Posted by: Merseymike on Monday, 1 October 2007 at 11:45am BST

"Neil - Lambeth 1.10 - even if you assert every day for a thousand years that it has no force, the fact remains that a liberal ABC has spent a lot of time trying to reign in those who would reject it without getting the agreement of the Communion (see Dromantine, TWR, Tanzania and his latest efforts to restrain liberal Canadian and TEC bishops, if you do not believe me)"

And yet NP, Dr Williams' little games of making people speak against themselves (+Bruno) doesn't please you at all, it appears (+Bruno, again ;=)

Seems you need to decide for yourself which it is.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Monday, 1 October 2007 at 4:08pm BST

no space for religious freedom in your country, Mersey.....

- but if you go back to the case and read what the tribunal actually said, while they did not think the bishop got it right, they affirmed the right of the church to require certain standards from vicars and even non-ordained people in positions of leadership.....I guess you forgot that bit?

You cannot use the civil courts force the church to abandone biblical morality in England yet, Mike

Posted by: NP on Monday, 1 October 2007 at 4:37pm BST

Religious freedom, yes. but if that includes the active discrimination against others, of course not! After all, a religion which calls for such things is worthless, as your posts so clearly display, NP

Posted by: Merseymike on Monday, 1 October 2007 at 6:19pm BST

And, NP< the church has always had a partial exemption for clergy, so that was never an issue. Pretty clear that despite erroneous conservative analysis, this post wasn't included.

Thats why they are not appealing, NP. Because they would lose, as homophobes indeed should lose, irrespective of what religious excuses they claim.

So, if the church wishes to discriminate in the civil sphere, we can and will force them to change. Get used to it.

Posted by: Merseymike on Monday, 1 October 2007 at 6:22pm BST

Just a minor clarification, Mike:

The tribunal decided that the post of Diocesan Youth Officer WAS one of the small number of posts to which the exemption applied. But ONLY if the claimant did not meet the requirement, in this case compliance with Issues. And of course the tribunal found that the claimant did meet the requirement for a lay person as set out in Issues.

NP: "even non-ordained people in positions of leadership"

No. The tribunal drew the conclusion that celibacy was not a requirement for lay persons regardless of whether the post was one of leadership.

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Monday, 1 October 2007 at 11:56pm BST

Hugh; that actually wasn't entirely clear. In oner part of the judgment that could have been implied, but in another they said that discrimination would have been found in any case.
As you say - "celibacy was not a requirement for lay persons regardless of whether the post was one of leadership"

Frankly, the number of non-clergy posts the exemption includes is miniscule.

Posted by: Merseymike on Tuesday, 2 October 2007 at 11:58am BST

so, Merseymike, you are accepting that English Law does given an exemption to the CofE which applies not only to ordained people?

Posted by: NP on Tuesday, 2 October 2007 at 2:51pm BST

Its that sort of simplistic thinking which lost the CofE this case, NP!

The exemption is limited to clergy and a very limited number of other posts - indeed, this post itself no longer exists, and it is estimated that the total number of non-clergy posts likely to be included would be no more than a handful.

And even if the exemption might be in place, the tribunal can still find in favour of discrimination having occurred - just like it did here!

Personally, I think we should be looking towards abolishing the exemption. After all, bigotry justified purely by religious opinion should not be given official sanction. Religious homophobia should be viewed as unacceptable as far-right racism. Religion does not justify it.

Posted by: Merseymike on Tuesday, 2 October 2007 at 11:24pm BST

I agree Mike, abolish the exemption. It makes it far too confusing for all concerned - witness our previous exchange!

Posted by: Hugh of Lincoln on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 12:20am BST

Sorry Merseymike, the CofE looks not to English law to define what is right and wrong and we certainly will not be declassifying sins which are still, whatever you wish, "contrary to scripture"..... get it? The creeds and the bible matter more than Red Ken and his merry friends' morality, now dominant in English law.

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 9:05am BST

NP, the CofE, as the Established Church of the nation, has to work within the boundaries of English law - as its policy on Civil Partnerships, and its decision not to challenge this IT decision, indicates.

You may prefer this not to be the case, but I think that you are very naive if you think that the CofE is going to ignore the law.

As for jibes about 'Red Ken', you may have missed the fact that gay equality no longer follows party lines, as the support of people like David Cameron (an Anglican communicant in London) and George Osborne indicates. Indeed, the changes have been accepted by all the main parties.

Posted by: Merseymike on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 10:36am BST

"Sorry Merseymike, the CofE looks not to English law to define what is right and wrong and we certainly will not be declassifying sins which are still, whatever you wish, "contrary to scripture"..... get it?"

That's just the point, NP. The church has been told that it cannot ignore the law of the land, whatever it thinks about it.

And it's not "the church" in any case, but some parts of the church. As you know well from your conversations with us on this site, it's a fallacy to believe that all Christians support your wish to discriminate. Many of us rejoice that the law upholds what we consider to be true Christian values.

And finally, the tribunal decided that the bishop had even exceded the discrimmination allowed to him on his own church's terms, that is he tried to be more judgemental and conservative than the official CofE position.
As you don't approve of the liberals going against stated church policy, I'm sure you agree that the right shouldn't do it either.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 11:42am BST

Erika - for people who go on about "listening" so much..... have you not heard (even above) that the CofE has asked for and got an exemption to allow Lambeth 1.10 to stand?

Posted by: NP on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 1:02pm BST

NP
Yes, I know. But the bishop tried to discriminate beyond the exemption. He tried to bar a man who was clearly not in a same gender relationship, simply because he didn't believe his promise to comply with the church's requirement for the duration of his post.

Whether you share that suspicion or not is irrelevant. It is not provided for in any of the church rules, certainly not in the holy book of Lambeth 1.10.

The tribunal therefore found against the bishops according to the rules of his own organisation.

I still maintain that you would probably not want to see bishops ignoring the rules of their own church, at least that's what you have always claimed so far.

Posted by: Erika Baker on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 2:28pm BST

NP: wrong again. The exemption has nothing at all to do with Lambeth 1.10 - it applies to other religious groups and is purely a way of allowing them to discriminate against gay people in clergy or other centrally 'religious' roles.

But as we have seen, even in the case of a supposedly 'exempt' post, the case can be found against them.

Posted by: Merseymike on Wednesday, 3 October 2007 at 3:02pm BST

Merseymike - squirm as much as you like ......

- the CofE has an exemption (FACT)

- Lambeth 1.10 stands (FACT);

- you and your friends have failed to change the teaching of the CofE through theological argument - but then, liberals have only had a few decades in which to persuade the CofE that biblical morality no longer applies.....maybe their arguments are not that persuasive?

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 4 October 2007 at 8:35am BST

Errr...the CofE has a very limited exemption covering central 'religious' staff - priests, basically. So do other religions. Lambeth 1.10 is totally irrelevant here.

And the Church have just lost their first test case and won't be appealing because they know they would lose.

Frankly, the CofE isn't anywhere near as important as the civil law - which we have changed to the extent that no political party wishes to turn the clock back.

And the Church has to obey that civil law. Once you and your mates have left - and the sooner the better, the CofE will change.

Good, isn't it!

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 4 October 2007 at 11:49am BST

MM - it is good for people like you care who care less for theology and the church than justifying your own behaviour

Posted by: NP on Thursday, 4 October 2007 at 2:14pm BST

Nothing to justify, NP. I'm gay and happy in my relationship.

I certainly care far more for the rights of human beings to love and receive love than I do the continuation of the homophobic Anglican Communion as currently constituted. I care to see your brand of theology shown up for what it really is - which you do such a good job of here.

Posted by: Merseymike on Thursday, 4 October 2007 at 4:00pm BST
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