Thursday, July 19, 2007

Gay Christian Triumphs in Battle Against Bigoted Church

Church of England’s Homophobia Exposed

Bishop of Hereford Brings Church Into Disrepute and Should Resign

The Revd Richard Kirker Chief Executive of LGCM warmly welcomed the Employment Tribunal decision today in favour of John Reaney, he said:
"All the evidence in this case says John Reaney is an outstanding Christian Youth Officer - the mission of the Church has not been served by Bishop Anthony Priddis’ prejudicial action against him."

"The tables have been turned. Bishop Priddis attempted to humiliate Mr Reaney but he now stands condemned and humiliated by this judgment. This is a just outcome. The Church has brought this humilation on itself. The case need never have been brought if the Church was not institutionally homophobic."

"We were alarmed by elements of Bishop Priddis’ evidence before the tribunal. There was a moment of extraordinary farce when he quoted a remark allegedly made by Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, to a journalist in an African airport as an authority for his position. He did not give the source."

"Bishop Priddis himself has pointed out that Hereford diocese is not wealthy - yet by his unwarranted action the diocese will be many thousands of pounds the poorer - he must consider his position. How much has this case - an attempt to persecute and deny employment on the grounds of sexual orientation - cost the Church of England? What good could possibly have come even if the Church, improbably, had won?"

"LGCM stands ready to help all victims of the Church's Homophobia. Shockingly what happened to Mr Reaney is not unusual. We receive similar evidence regularly."

"The forty-odd pages of the judgment boils down to this - everything about the appointment of a Christian Youth Officer in the diocese of Hereford was going well UNTIL the bishop got involved. This displayed to all the world that his judgment was clouded above all else by homophobia and hubris. This is not the first time he has acted in this way." "We will be considering the lengthy judgment for the broader implications it has for the Church. In fact all faith bodies will need to act with extreme caution now more than ever if they are tempted to discriminate against lesbian and gay people despite the exceptions given to faith bodies in certain very restricted situations to discriminate. We wish Mr Reaney well whether or not he feels he wants anything further to do with an institution which has treated him so appallingly." said Mr Kirker.


For more information please contact:
Press Officer
Martin Reynolds
Tel: + 44 (0)1633 215841

Richard Kirker
Chief Executive
Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement [LGCM]
Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, London, E2 6HG

Office Tel & Fax 020 7739 1249

Registered Charity No 1048842.

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