Gary McFarlane, 48, from Bristol triggered a heated court fight when he challenged his termination as a counselor with Relate Avon, a counseling service, due to his religious conflict with assisting homosexual couples. An English court ruled against him in a case that led to sharp condemnations on both sides. In a statement that drew objections from the court, former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey called for judges to handle the case who show greater appreciation for religious individuals.
We have been following the growing tension between anti-discrimination laws and free speech/association rights, here.
Relate Avon was founded in 1938 and originally called the National Marriage Guidance Council. It has offices around England to assist couples.
McFarlane was hired by Relate in May 2003 and was suspended in October 2007 after voicing his difficulties in working with same-sex couples. He alleged in his wrongful dismissal lawsuit that the organization routinely accommodated conflicts expressed by other employees, such as those who had abuse in their backgrounds.
Religious leaders rallied to his side. Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey went public with a call for judges with a “proven sensitivity and understanding of religious issues” to hear the case. That would, of course, suggest picking judges on the basis for their views — a type of forum shopping for the religiously inclined.
Lord Justice Laws was probably not what Lord Carey had in mind. Laws called the protection of such views on the basis of religious freedom “irrational” as well as “divisive, capricious and arbitrary.”
Laws went after Lord Carey, calling his views “misplaced” and denying an anti-religious bias.
3 thoughts on “English Court Rules Against Counselor Who Objected to Working With Same-Sex Couples”
I bet Buddha would take you up on the offer Ginger.
All will be forgiven the instant you visit a pub and experience a rich loamy English bitter sliding down your gullet. Trust me on this, Buddha. 😀
See England? You start kowtowing to Sharia and now you’re going to slide right into having three courts: The Common Courts, The Sharia Courts and the Inquisitor’s Court. Nitwits.
I love a lot of your countrymen (and women), but English Government? You simply suck and you are the main reason I’ll never visit a country I would dearly love to see. BTW thanks for aiding and abetting our domestic war criminals with clowns like Poodle Boy Blair. Your precipitous legal decline makes me wonder why we even bothered to come to your aid. We helped save you from Nazism so what? You could suck up to theocrats? I can see why Marrrghk! has that arrgh! in his nick.
What a shame you seem to be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.
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