Enter your email address to receive our daily LGBT news roundup

You're free to unsubscribe at any time.

Christian charity worker suspended for being opposed to same-sex marriage

Post your comment

Comments on this article are now closed.

Reader comments

  1. Simon Murphy 14 Apr 2009, 12:37pm

    He should not have been suspended for being against gay marriage. He did not deny residency in the hostel to a gay couple. Nor did he try to impose his ridiculous views on his guests. Only if he had done such things should he have been suspended.

  2. I agree that this is a step too far. and the irritiating thing about issues like this is that the CLC and other extermist bigots will cainms the credit when he is (rightly) reinstated.

    Unless of course there is (as from one point of view I hope there is) more to this than meets the eye.

  3. I agree with Simon.

    The trouble is, some of these Christian organisations have told only part of the story on too many occasions (the receptionist at the school in Devon, the marriage registrar, and so on) – so when a story comes along where someone genuinely has been dealt with unfairly, we are less inclined to believe them.

  4. Most gay men I know are opposed to gay marriage. Would any of them be offended by his views?

  5. Sister Mary Clarence 14 Apr 2009, 1:39pm

    Possibly we haven’t got the entire story here and it might be best not to jump in gung-ho until we do …..

  6. Robert, ex-pat Brit 14 Apr 2009, 1:47pm

    Last time I checked Finn, there is no gay marriage in the UK so I would assume that the majority of UK gays would and should not be offended. The marriage causes act does not mention it either. On the other hand, most gay people I know are for marriage, maybe UK gays are different from the rest of the world on this issue though I find that hard to believe. The trend now is for marriage. We already have seven countries allowing it and now four states in America and growing. Its about full equality, not segregating an entire group with similar rights to be treated differently than the rest of society. Then there’s the question of portability, civil unions and partnerships have none if you end up having to live in the seven countries mentioned above. Each of them reciprocate. Civil unions in those states and countries have now been abolished. Expect Denmark, maybe Finland to get on board in the next couple of years and more states in America. Its inevitable.

  7. I would suspect there is selective reporting at work with this ‘article’.

    Why are christians so so so obsessed with people’s sexuality – is it the only part of the bible they read?? So many problems in the world, and yet they all spend so much time and energy talking bigotted rubbish about homosexuality.

  8. Simon Murphy 14 Apr 2009, 3:55pm

    #7: J Matthews – you ask:

    “Why are christians so so so obsessed with people’s sexuality?”

    I would reckon that an inescapable part of being a christian is being sexually repressed which leads to an obsessive horror with sexual matters – hence their crazed obsession with matters gay

  9. Brian Burton 14 Apr 2009, 4:21pm

    What a tel-tale society we live in now, even Carol Thatcher coul’nt say ‘Gollywog.’ A black Guy friend, asked me for a white Gollywog for Christmas, I was not offended. Silly people are taking over our lives and interpreting Legislation to suit themselves. The Guy in the article should have kept his thoughts to himself. I am afraid modern morality consists in accepting other peoples standards on what is now regarded as the norm. The past, the present and the future are but a moment in the sights of man. Demons guiding us–where?

  10. Why couldn’t he have a normal converstion about religion without bring up the subject of homosexuality. He’s probably a backdoor Deirdre like Vicent Nichols.

    All the best.

  11. Gino Meriano 14 Apr 2009, 4:35pm

    It seems very simple, we have the Civil partnership Act in place tp protect same sex couples when sealing their reltionship. We have the Equality Act in place to prevent discriminition in the retail and goods sector.

    As long as we all abide by these rules then no one has to suffer.

    Over 27,000 couples have signed the Civil Partnership register, why are people hung up on the word marriage and for freedom of speech, this shoudl only be taken in the context its meant and if offensive and goes against the Equality Act then court action should be the next step.

    Its what the law is there for, so if right take action if its not then leave well alone

    Any doubts, read the Acts and see the latest repoort on freedom of speech for the religious groups, no one is stopping them preach the word of God, what they should not do is class us as immoral, second class and not part of society, this is where law steps in – we are all equal under any eyes and no one, religon or belief has the right to pass judgment on anyone

  12. Agree the guy should not have been suspended over this. So stupid… it wont help LGBT rights at all.

    “Why are christians so so so obsessed with people’s sexuality?”

    They’re not. It’s just the one area where society has changed the most from the Christian ‘norm’. Most UK evangelical Christian preachers will also warn against being mega-rich for example (not in the US obviously…) or being proud, or being without God, but you don’t get sacked if you say that at work. Christians get in the news for whatever the media companies decide is most ‘exciting’ or ‘titilating’, so criticisng sex will always get more coverage than criticsing the rich.

  13. Why was he ever suspended for holding an opinion? That’s absolutely ridiculous, seems like a nice person to be honest, unlike many extremist bigots who shove their views down peoples’ throats. There may be more than meets the eye though

  14. “…Their decision was based on Mr Brooker’s decision to promote his religious views at work “which contained discriminatory comments regarding a person’s sexual orientation”.

    “…THEIR DECISION WAS BASED ON MR. BROOKER’S DECISION TO PROMOTE HIS RELIGIOUS VIEWS AT WORK ‘WHICH CONTAINED DISCRIMINATORY COMMENTS REGARDING A PERSON’S SEXUAL ORIENTATION.’”

    Sorry for shouting, but some people seem to be hard of hearing.

  15. I agree there is probably more to this than meets the eye, and I think the sentence Allan quotes above is probably key to this…

  16. This man was most certainly correctly suspended for being against gay marriage. He was suspended by a non-religious charity organization which respects total equality and all the legislation that has been passed in recent years.

    It will however require news of many many similar suspensions and sackings before the homophobic bigots of this country finally get it into their thick indoctrinated heads that homophobia is OUT. Full-stop.

  17. Gosh Eddy, you sound so heterophobic :)
    “…Their decision was based on Mr Brooker’s decision to promote his religious views at work “which contained discriminatory comments regarding a person’s sexual orientation”.

    The guy was not promoting anything,it was a private conversation with a co-worker.

  18. Sister Mary Clarence and Clair appear to agree that to err on the side of precaution is the wisest thing to do at the moment. And I agree with them.

  19. Being fired for an opinion is harmful to the LGBT community. Serves opponents argument that political correctness has gone mad

  20. Re Allan.

    Do you mean comments about a person at work, or persons in general?

    Just wondering.

    All the best.

  21. @iain, so his employer’s public declarations about Brooker are lies? “The Society of St James maintain that their decision was based on Mr Brooker’s decision to promote his religious views at work.” Promote. Religious views. At work. Not too hard to understand. “We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” – Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies Come on, Queers. Stand up and say, “Enough of your nonsense. No more gratuitous gay-bashing.” You do NOT have to put up with it in the interests of free speech and the open exchange of ideas. Otherwise, signn on with black people who say that you calling a black man a nigger is okay, because it is your opinion, it is not for black people to complain or for employers or the government to sanction (due to the incitement to violence contained in such words when used in this manner. In the case of gay-trashing, it is gays who are being incited to violence with these words, BTW).

    Huh???? Oh yeah, wait, nevermind. Though there seem to be a lot of willing volunteers to put up with institutional gay-trashing, even people here who are gay, there are none of those kinds of black people who say it would be okay for an employer to not put an employee like that on suspension for seriously trash-talking black people or brown people or even white people.

  22. Hey Dave: Comments about persons in general or fellow workers, made at work while being paid to be someone you may not be (your employer’s dutiful and legally responsible agent, who acts as though they agree with everything the employment laws and the employer legally say you must). Basically, ya gotta keep the trap shut at work if you are someone who would prefer to break the laws regarding discrimination against gays. Otherwise, you are setting up a policy and practice of acceptable gay-trashing for your employer among customers, vendors, fellow employees, and even the bosses.

  23. Can you imagine charity workers being suspended for being opposed to interracial marriages? I can.

  24. I am a gay Christian man, and a strong believer in freedom of speech for everyone, not just those we like. I find it rather ironic that people who are glbt demand respect and tolerance while refusing to give it to any who dare to disagree with them! Whatever happened to the free exchange of ideas? How are we ever going to learn from others if no one is allowed to express an opposing thought?? As a gay man, I want others to hear my point of view on being gay, but also as a Christian man, I believe people who disagree with me on this topic should be permitted to discuss and explain their reasons without fear of recrimination or loss of employment! (I am NOT condoning hate speech, but disagreement does not always agree hate!)

  25. Maybe he should just be jeered and idiotized for his views at his workplace. Maybe drinking a whole bottle of milk of magnesia would clean out his system, and bring him into the modern world.

    Just don’t be to close, unless you have a really really strong constitution.

  26. Allan wrote:
    “We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.” – Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies Come on, Queers. Stand up and say, “Enough of your nonsense. No more gratuitous gay-bashing.”

    Well said, Allan!

    I am constantly amazed how some people clearly don’t pause at the end of each sentence they read and CONSIDER FULLY its meaning and implications.

  27. Re: Allan. Thank you for clarification.

    I understand The Society of St James is a Southampton based Registered Charity which provides Housing, Care and Support Services to people who are homeless or vulnerable. Sadly, gay people often fall into the latter category.

    The term “Born Again Christian” has become synonymous with being ‘a nutter’ in this country, so the charity is right to err on the side of caution with this individual.

    All the best.

  28. Jean-Paul, I am posting this reply to you here because for some reason Pink News won’t accept it in the Comment section connected to the new Archbishop.

    You wrote: “If they were sucking up to you at the exit door, that may just have been a polite gesture because you were basically blocking their way out.”

    Jean-Paul, in saying this do you realise you are negating my very clear perceptions? My perceptive and interpretative faculties are not (and were not at the time) faulty. The members of those congregations who knelt before me attributed to me the same kind of connectedness-to-God that I was raised to believe existed in all clergy and religious persons.

    Let me tell you a funny story. Thirty years after I was little altar-boy to a certain Parish Priest who was worshipped as Next-to-God-Almighty by my family, I got in touch with him (but said nothing of the great revolution that had occurred in my thinking in the interim years). He quickly perceived that I had turned out gay. By this time he had retired. He was sitting alone in a lavish flat in a beauty spot, all paid for for the rest of his life by the Catholic Church. I thought I was being welcomed in a caring pastoral way, i.e. old Parish Priest reunites with altar-boy of many years past. It became pretty clear by the time dessert landed upon the table that what he wanted was my body in his bed! I was astounded! Though I had long ago jettisoned “God”, I still had a certain respect for the man and never thought my old Parish Priest would be after my cock! He quickly gathered I wasn’t interested and all interest in me evaporated. He dismissively threw me out. A miserable old gay man who had wasted his life in celibacy and long black frocks turned instantly bitter and shoved me out the front door . . . when he could have settled for the pleasure of conversation and company.

    The above story illustrates who these old Bishops and Archbishops (and Popes) REALLY ARE, at home, when they’re not there in front of cameras and microphones or up in the pulpit peddling their nonsense.

    They are all FAKES.

  29. Jean-Paul, I am posting this reply to you here because for some reason Pink News won’t accept it in the Comment section connected to the new Archbishop.

    You wrote: “If they were sucking up to you at the exit door, that may just have been a polite gesture because you were basically blocking their way out.”

    Jean-Paul, in saying this do you realise you are negating Eddy’s perceptions?

    Let me tell you a funny story. Thirty years after I was little altar-boy to a certain Parish Priest who was worshipped as Next-to-God-Almighty by my family, I got in touch with him (but said nothing of the great revolution that had occurred in my thinking in the interim years). He quickly perceived that I had turned out gay. By this time he had retired. He was sitting alone in a lavish flat in a beauty spot, all paid for for the rest of his life by the Catholic Church. I thought I was being welcomed in a caring pastoral way, i.e. old Parish Priest reunites with altar-boy of many years past. It became pretty clear by the time dessert landed upon the table that what he wanted was my body in his bed! I was astounded! Though I had long ago jettisoned “God”, I still had a certain respect for the man and never thought my old Parish Priest would be after my cock! He quickly gathered I wasn’t interested and all interest in me evaporated. He dismissively threw me out. A miserable old gay man who had wasted his life in celibacy and long black frocks turned instantly bitter and shoved me out the front door . . . when he could have settled for the pleasure of conversation and company.

    The above story illustrates who these old Bishops and Archbishops (and Popes) REALLY ARE, at home, when they’re not there in front of cameras and microphones or up in the pulpit peddling their nonsense.

    They are all FAKES.

  30. It’s amazing that people want to give so much power to the employer to sack employees for private conversations! Was the other person offended? Did he use defamatory language such as ‘fag’? According to the reports, no.
    It is against my companies policy to be rude to clients and I’m not. However if, in a private conversation with another employee I said that I thought a client was wrong then I wouldn’t expect to be sacked for it because a) it didn’t offend anyone and b) even though it was at work it was a PRIVATE conversation.
    All the people quoting Popper seemed to have missed that the great liberal devide between private and public.

  31. I’d like to know the whole story. Presumably no-one else would have known about this private conversation unless the other worker reported it to their employer. Why did she do that? Maybe she didn’t like Christians, so was looking for an opportunity to get him? Or maybe he actually said something so offensive and disturbing that she felt compelled to report him? I’ve looked online at various reports and I can’t find much more information.
    If this guy is genuinely the victim here and didn’t do anything wrong, then all those people funding idiotic (in my opinion) cases like Lilian Ladele’s, should stop and think about the *genuine* cases they’re harming in their push to promote the idea that religious people are being victimised in some way.
    Personally, I’d like to see all Christians examine their attitude to homosexuality for themselves. I’m an agnostic now, but I used to be a Christian, and when I was not for one moment did I believe that God condemned homosexuality. But then I had the Bible explained to me by someone who’d studied it carefully for many years, not a bigot wishing to look for justification for his/her own personal beliefs.

  32. Ned: Thanks for finding a way to communicate with me.
    About negating Eddy’s perceptions… maybe you’re right. I personally have known so many priests who have disappointed me, I find it difficult to believe that anyone would «oil up to» one. I think Eddy understood what I meant otherwise I’m sure he would have blasted me out of the water.
    Thank you also for confiding your encounter with your old parish priest. I’m proud of you for not letting him have your cock. A lecherous old priest. You must have been sickened by the experience.
    I was in a similar incident that happened in the basement of the rectory when the priest asked me to check the circuit breakers. Circuit breakers, my ass. He cornered me and looked like someone who was about to devour me with the utmost pleasure. I stood up straight, looked him squarely in the eyes, and he instinctively knew he had made a mistake. That was just recently, and I’m in my 60′s!
    Years ago, when I was attending a Catholic University run by Jesuits, I went to confession and told the «kind, white-haired» priest that I couln’t stop myself from looking at the guys in the shower room, and that I had never been as excited as that when looking at girls. There was no-one else in the chapel. He got up, opened the door to the confessional where I was kneeling, and told me to follow him to his room. Once there, he looked me over with pure lust in his eyes. I picked up a book and threw it at him and ran out. When I told my buddies about it, they laughed and said: «So, you’ve met Mother Vince!»
    Gay priests are a sad lot. What a confusing world we live in.

  33. The above two comments are missing the point, in this case ‘vulnerable’ will mean gay. He is supposed to be providing them with care and support.

    Some aspects of religion have been left behind, but often these changes have been imposed on them by serious changes in law.

    Equality laws are taken very seriously in this country.

    I hope they throw the book at him.

    All the best.

  34. That should be 29 and 30.

    All the best.

  35. Sister Mary Clarence 16 Apr 2009, 5:45pm

    “…. Though there seem to be a lot of willing volunteers to put up with institutional gay-trashing, even people here who are gay, there are none of those kinds of black people who say it would be okay for an employer to not put an employee like that on suspension for seriously trash-talking black people or brown people or even white people.”

    Sorry Allan, being black and gay, I’m a bit confused by your comments. Firstly they seem to assuming that everyone commenting on here is actually white. I wasn’t aware it was a whites only site – pardon me if it is, but I ain’t leaving.

    Secondly it seems to assume, as I’m one on those that thought that thought we should hold off jumping in with both feet until we had a few more facts, that I’d take a different view if it were my race rather than my sexual orientation that was at issue.

    Whether race or sexual orientation I would still take the same view, but what I would say is that I don’t enjoy being stereotyped by people I have never met, based on a) my sexual orientation or b) the colour of my skin – so knock it on the head please mate.

  36. Sister Mary Clarence: Please, don’t ever leave. Years ago, when I was down and out in Montreal, a stranger among bustling strangers, it was a woman originally from Aruba who «saw» me and simply said: Hungry?
    She was a bit older than I, she worked as a typing pool supervisor for the Dept. of National Defense and she lived alone. She took me to her place and in no time she became my best friend ever. She introduced me to members of her family and her friends; I had never suspected that such kind, gentle, generous and downright authentic people even existed. Years later, we went to New York together and stayed at the Hilton right next to the Madison Square Gardens, we went up the Empire State building, we had a grand time and I was so proud to be with her. Her name was Carolyn Wade; she passed away 12 years ago. I have a framed colored picture of her in my living room. She may not have saved my life, but she brought back my faith in humanity. I’m sorry to carry on like that, but I do love your spunk. More, more, more!

  37. The Bible says that Chrsitians will be persecuted and singled out and this is exactly what is happening here. Muslims have the same anti gay views as Christians and if this guy was a muslim then I guarentee you no one would have dared to say a word. Muslims never get critised for following what the quran tells them to :”Kill all the infidels wherever you find them” (Surah 9:5) (infidels are Christians and jews). So why do Christians get suspended for standing up for what the Bible says and the Bible simply says that God made man to be with woman and woman to be with man. Otherwise how can humans reproduce if everyone was gay??? This story really sums up the politically correct disaster that is the United Kingdom!!!

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

Top commenters this week

Latest stories

See all