BISHOP ORDERED TO UNDERGO "EQUALITY" TRAINING OVER FAILURE TO HIRE HOMOSEXUAL AS A YOUTH WORKER
An employment tribunal has ordered an Anglican bishop to undergo equal opportunities training after losing a discrimination case against a homosexual who sought a position as a youth worker.
The Bishop of Hereford, the Right Rev Anthony Priddis, is alleged to have discriminated against John Reaney, 42, by failing to appoint him as a church youth worker. The tribunal also ordered the Bishop to pay Reaney £47,345 in compensation and stated that the staff in the diocese of Hereford should also receive equal opportunities training.
Ben Summerskill, the chief executive of Stonewall, the radically pro-homosexual organization that funded the claim against the bishop, said that this would involve helping the Bishop to develop an understanding of how to deal with people from minority communities as well as explaining to him that asking intimate questions about people’s private lives is not an appropriate thing to do during a job interview.
Mr Summerskill also said: “Normally training would take half a day or a day but [the Bishop] might need slightly more intensive work. The key priority is not just the compensation. It is ensuring that no one else is put in this incredibly humiliating position.”
During the tribunal hearing Mr Reaney said members of the interview panel had recommended him for the job and the appointment just needed the approval of the bishop. However during a two-hour meeting with the bishop Mr Reaney claimed the bishop questioned him about a gay relationship.
Three days later the bishop phoned him to say he would not be hired.
Bishop Priddis denied the claim stating that anyone in a sexual relationship outside marriage would have been rejected.
The bishop said that Stonewall had written to the office of the Bishop offering to help him with the training.
Mr Reaney, from Llandudno, Wales, works for the Weston Spirit charity. He left his job as a youth worker in the Diocese of Chester in 2002 after he was asked to choose between his partner and his job.
Mr Reaney said: "I’m delighted that this case is finally over. Lesbian and gay Christians working within the Church of England are entitled to be treated with humanity. I’m very grateful to Stonewall for supporting this case throughout."
Summerskill said: "We’re delighted that the tribunal has sent such a robust signal, both to the bishop and other employers.
"The substantial level of compensation sends out a very clear message. Not even a bishop is above this law." (Compiled from multiple news sources)