01 April 2007

Stonewall Vs Church of England

Rowan Williams, Archbishop of CanterburyLess than two weeks after Parliament passed the new Sexual Orientation Regulations, the conflict between religious beliefs and human rights legislation is to be tested once again this week. The Bishop of Hereford faces claims that he has breached employment practice by unlawfully blocking the application of a homosexual to work in his diocese on grounds of sexual orientation.

The case reopens the controversy facing the Archbishop of Canterbury, who just last week challenged the Anglican Church to become "a safe place for gay and lesbian people to speak about their lives openly."

The charges are being brought by John Reaney, backed by the gay equality organisation Stonewall, who claims he was initially offered a job as a youth worker but was then turned down following a meeting with the bishop in which he was asked "humiliating" personal questions about his private life. A spokesman for the Diocese of Hereford maintains that Mr Reaney "did not get the job he applied for in the diocese. He was not offered the job and therefore an offer cannot have been withdrawn. We expect the same sexual standards of behaviour from support ministers, or lay ministers, as we do of clergy."


Layreader said...

As Cranmer ruefully reflects, it's a pity the case is not being brought by a homosexual youth worker against a mosque!