Reader comments · Relate admits wrongful dismissal of Christian sex counsellor who refused gays · PinkNews

Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.


Relate admits wrongful dismissal of Christian sex counsellor who refused gays

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Dave North 5 Dec 2008, 5:34pm

    This geezer just doesnt get it, does he.

    Does he have any idea how offensive his statement that what I consider an expression of love “is a sin”.

  2. Which part of “overcame his prejudices” does Gary McFarlane not understand? That’s like saying “I like gay people, except for the homosexual ones”.
    If he wants to believe what he believes, there’s nothing we can do beyond restating our case. That’s a matter for him.
    Where it becomes a matter for the rest of us is when he expects to be able to choose to be a bigot and keep his job due to his beliefs.
    Just because he isn’t gay personally, it doesn’t mean he’s incapable of councilling gay couples, it just means he doesn’t want to.
    Religious doctors don’t get to choose who they operate on depending on their doctrine, and neither do dentists. Why should sex therapists have such a get-out clause? What did he think sex therapy would involve? Straight people who only procreate in a manner set out in his holy text?
    If he can’t do the job, he should find some other occupation that doesn’t directly conflict with his beliefs, and leave the sex-therapy field open to people who aren’t squeamish about other people’s bedroom antics.
    How long did he need to overcome his reservations anyhow? He’s supposed to be the bloody therapist! “Physician, heal thyself!” as the bard put it. Why Relate are backing down is a mystery to me.

  3. In my own counselling training I learnt that there might be certain areas which may be “too close” to some of my own life experiences and that these might cause difficulty with certain clients. It became my responsibility to recognise such situations and to ensure that I didn’t place myself in them if I wished to avoid them. However in tackling my own issues I found that I now can deal with people who have had similar experiences.
    In other words I’ve dealt with my issues, grown from the experience, and can not assist other folk all the more.

    If this guy wanted to pursue a career in counselling and psychosexual therapy he should have sought employment in a situation where he was sure he wouldn’t have to deal with people who would have brought such “discomfort” to him or else just got on with addressing his own issues adequately.

    “Physician, heal thyself” is a very valid observation in relation to counselling/therapy, clearly this guy is chosing to use his “faith” as an obstacle to adhering to his contract with Relate.
    A choice on his part. Makes you wonder why he did join Relate.
    Perhaps he was after financial support to get his qualifications?

  4. I agree with all the comments above. And how offensive to compare gay relationships to abortion. He’s a despicable man, in my opinion. He must have known what his job would involve yet he took it anyway so he could be a ‘victim’. It seems to me that lots of ‘christian’ people are suddenly finding their jobs hard to do, and I suspect that they’re trying to make a point now that legislation banning discrimination against people because of their sexuality is here. Perhaps we should remind this guy that the Bible was also used to defend anti-miscegenation laws (anti mixed marriage) and suggest he might also like to stand up and tell everyone that he won’t be dealing with any person involved in a relationship from someone from a different ethnic group to them, and see how that goes down. No, Mr McFarlane? Why not? Perhaps you think that society hates racists more than homophobes? Or perhaps you have your own hang ups that need some counselling before you help others……..?

  5. It seems that this man is hiding behind his religion.The fact is if he has conflicting views to do with homosexuality for what ever reason,he cannot openly work with gay/lesbian couples as he could not be authentic on all levels.Also some heterosexual couples attend psychosexual therapy to address their sexual identities,which means the therapists role maybe to facilitate and encourage one or even both their repressed gayness to enable them to be who they really are ,how could he do this? This is farcical.

  6. listen, people, most Christian faiths, are in one about homosexuality. their teachings are too love and accept homosexuals. Trust me, i have done a lot of research on this matter.

    HOWEVER, its sex which they don’t or will not accept. they believe that its “un-natural” and the only sexual relations which are permitted and accepted are for procreation.

    it is the bible bashers, the catholic priests barking from their pulpits and the ian paisley’s who blur these two teaching into one : homosexuality is wrong full stop

    one can be gay but not have sex.

    Mr McFarland knows the difference and where he draws the line – dealing with sexual relations in same sex relationships, as this is against his beliefs.

    but, i would like to ask him personally, why did he choose to accept a job with relate if he knew that he would have to deal with these issues?

  7. john wilfred sharp 6 Dec 2008, 2:07am

    in my religion ( it’s new one )
    i discriminate against all others but my self
    now i can because it is my stupid religion which allows it
    is there no sense in the law any more .
    religions are lies
    hardly a base to moralize anyone

  8. john wilfred sharp 6 Dec 2008, 2:09am

    be gay and not have sex
    be stupid not have a brain

  9. What next, I wonder? Vegetarian butchers who refuse to handle meat? Jehovah’s Wittnesses in retail refusing to sell birthday cards? The man is clearly in the wrong profession.

  10. Robert, ex-pat Brit 6 Dec 2008, 1:38pm

    Well, I wonder if a gay therapist would receive the same treatment from an employer if he refused a client who was a practising christian homophobe?

  11. Precisely Nathan. If it be allowed to exercise bigotry in the name of faith – why should only one minority (i.e. Us) be at the receiving end of such discrimination? In for a penny, in for a pound: ALL social groups should feel what it’s like to be refused service, or NONE. If McFarlane can get away with it, then I want to hear about Muslim taxi drivers refusing to take on guide dogs, I want supermarket checkout personnel to refuse to handle alcohol, or sell contraceptives. Let’s have all that – and then people can decide if superstitious beliefs should take priority over the law or not.

    Yet again, Christian bigots – egged on by fanatics like the Christian institute, and the Christian Legal Centre – are trying to portray themselves as victims.

    As with that Lidele woman, the only argument is how someone like this should be sacked, not ‘if’.

  12. J Mathews 6 Dec 2008, 7:45pm

    Why oh why is religion and faith still taken seriously??? It is a truly absurd unfounded superstition based belief system. In other words, it is nonsense.

    Anybody who tells me they are religious, I regard as especially stupid.

    All Christians are stupid, retarded thick bigots who just cannot (or will not) think for themselves. The bible proscribes many aspects of modern life, but Christian bigots like this merely pick and choose the bits that fit with their own personal type of bigotry.

    Christians and all religious people are stupid individuals, and should not be employed in ANY responsible position. By very definition (they believe in a magical invisible, mysterious man/thing in the sky who nobody has ever seen, yet who knows everything that every person thinks and does 24/7, and they can talk to them directly…!!!!) they clearly verge on the edge of insanity.

    In short, Christians are bigots, quite mad, and at the very least should ALL be sacked.

  13. I have no qualms about religion – people are entitled to their own beliefs and value systems to which they apply their lives. However, when those beliefs are used to apply to other people’s lives, that is wrong. As Wanda Sykes said in her stand up act “If you don’t believe in same-sex marriage, don’t marry someone of the same sex!”

    I worry that cases like this and that of the Christian registrar refusing to perform civil partnerships is going to set a precident. There need to be professional bodies that are willing to stand up and say “this is how you are expected to conduct yourself – you must not allow your personal prejudices affect your practice”. I can understand this guy being concerned that his religious beliefs conflict with gay relationships – but then he should have known not to work for an organisation open to gay and lesbian couples.

    Plus, I wonder if he also refuses to work with unmarried couples? After all, it is sex outside of marriage that is the big sin, not homosexuality per se. . .

  14. Robert, ex-pat Brit 7 Dec 2008, 2:37pm

    Anyone with strong religious beliefs should look in the mirror. To call one’s self a christian, one should not discriminate, no matter what personal conflicts an employee might come up against. Worship, believe in anything you want, but please, keep your beliefs where they’ve always belonged, i.e. in your home. They have absolutely no business in the workplace. McFarlane, take a note from your cult leader…”judge not lest ye shall be judged”.

  15. theotherhalf 7 Dec 2008, 5:54pm

    they should have given him notice and they would have been safe in what they did. Because they did not they broke the law. plane and simple really.

    now i’m not saying I like the guy or he should have been allowed to do this but relate should have stayed within the law and he would have been laughed out of court.

  16. Stewart Cowan 7 Dec 2008, 8:49pm

    Martin adds a bit of sense, but asks “why did he choose to accept a job with relate if he knew that he would have to deal with these issues?”

    Maybe, like me, he thought that Relate, formerly the Marriage Guidance Council, was about advising married couples.

    Nathan, “Vegetarian butchers who refuse to handle meat” is well wide of the mark. You could say that if he refused to advise married couples, but not a tiny proportion of the population and there were others who could have done it.

    Cases like this prove nothing but the intolerance and megalomania of those involved in the homosexual movement.

    Those people fired up to invoke Space Corps Directives on equality instead of using common sense and respecting others’ beliefs would have saved everyone’s time and money, but clearly someone wanted to do some cage-rattling.

  17. Will the guy also refuse to treat hetro married couples who enjoy ‘un-natural’ sex in the privacy of their own homes?

  18. So, will this guy be refusing to treat hetro couples who engage in “un-natural” sex in the privacy of their own homes?

  19. theotherhalf 7 Dec 2008, 9:50pm

    go away stu unless, ofcorse, you are willing to admit to your obvious homosexual desires.

    i mean you’re hanging around on Queer sites…

  20. Erroll Clements 8 Dec 2008, 4:18pm

    The whole thing reeks of a Ladelle repeat, where somebody is employed to do a job serving the general joe public, then expects the job to change around their bigoted beliefs. And then are suprised that they loose their jobs because they such biggots !

These comments are un-moderated and do not necessarily represent the views of PinkNews. If you believe that a comment is inappropriate or libellous, please contact us.