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Catholic Church warns gay teachers they risk the sack if they marry or enter into civil partnerships

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  1. I really struggle to see how any of this would stand up in court, and there would be plenty of unfair dismissal cases.

    We all know that RC church would be able to afford the payout from the cases that they are bound to lose.

    1. We’re talking about schools that openly, routinely discriminate against children of the wrong religion. Nothing is going to happen to them.

    2. They RCs know they can’t do this legally. This is another example of them bullying and intimidating gay people.

  2. Well the only thing to be said is that at least they are consistent — straight teachers can’t marry divorcees.

    The whole thing is, frankly, ridiculous.

    1. I seriously doubt that any school could sack a straight teacher for marrying a divorcee nor for getting a civil marriage, an employee does not have to disclose any of the relevant information required for colleagues to know. And you can bet they would be sued if they tried to find it out.

      1. I would imagine you are absolutely right — I find it hard to believe that your employer gets to say who you marry.

        It really is absurd how the Catholic church ties itself in knots

    2. It is specifically forbidden in employment law, in european law, and in international treaties too treat an employee or applicant based upon who they have married (or CPd). And schools are well established as not religious institutions.

      The government response is very cool, probably reading the church as just seeking publicity. If a catholic school did do this they would be taken to the cleaners by their victim, a year or so down the line – long after gay (this isn’t equal) marriage has passed.

      It could end like the catholic adoption agencies, with them shutting all their schools. But that would be such a huge withdrawal from influence in the UK it would be just too amazing to contemplate.

  3. If the religious freaks want to discriminate they must be forced to give up tax payers money. ‘Faith’ schools are nothing but torture for gay and gender non-conforming kids and should be shut down.

  4. And we, as tax payers, are still funding these institutions – quite dreadful!

  5. Jock S. Trap 28 Jan 2013, 12:29pm

    Talk about blatant discrimination. This is appalling. The law needs to be changed so that NO taxpayers fund religion. They must fund themselves.

    I imagine society went through this when women started the journey to be treated as equal and with Black people two because imagine the absolute outcry if they said it about those groups and marriage.

    Disgusting, they actually ask to be taken to court. Their disgusting attitudes have no place in our society and when do these religions start taking responsibility for their comments/action esp in the face of so many young people killing themselves because of them?

    They should be ashamed!

  6. This MUST be illegal, and it should be legally challenged immediately.

  7. Lynda Yilmaz 28 Jan 2013, 12:48pm

    Excellent! Another blast of hot air from a frantic institution running scared!

  8. It should not be allowed for the catholic church to teach in schools, that homosexuality is wrong. In school religious opinions should not matter at all. It should be all about science. There is no proof and never will be that homosexuality is evil, so it is just an outright hateful discrimination against an innocent minority. This discrimination cannot be excused or tolerated.

    1. science and religion don’t really mix.

  9. GulliverUK 28 Jan 2013, 1:02pm

    You can do that in other countries, and they do, regularly, but as far as I know they can’t do that here, and if they do they’ll be prosecuted, fined, and may have their funding withdrawn.

    Such threats are common tactics for the Roman Catholic Church, and it’s time to put them in their place once and for all.

    Religious exemptions DON’T extend to sacking teachers who are gay or their marital status — marital status is now actually a protected class.

    1. It is specifically forbidden in employment law, in european law, and in international treaties too treat an employee or applicant based upon who they have married (or CPd). And schools are well established as not religious institutions.

      The government response is very cool, probably reading the church as just seeking publicity. If a catholic school did do this they would be taken to the cleaners by their victim, a year or so down the line – long after gay marriage has passed.

      It could end like the catholic adoption agencies, with them shutting all their schools. But that would be such a huge sacrifice of influence in the UK it would be just too amazing to contemplate.

  10. the churches want the consciences of religious people who work for the state and who object to equality legislation to be respected, but are not prepared to respect the consciences of those who work for them (albeit paid for by the taxpayer). The usual hypocrisy

  11. Keith Francis Farrell 28 Jan 2013, 1:44pm

    And I suppose they will never allow children of same sex couples to go to their schools, but they are quite happy to take any funds they can steal from the country claiming charirty tax status. I think it is time the country steped in and took control of those schools completely, afterall they are brought and paid for with tax payers money

  12. The best reason to kick ratzo’s minions out of our schools.

  13. This is outrageous! The Catholic church should not have this kind of power in state schools, whether they’re Catholic schools or not. If you ask me, faith schools should be abolished.

    As well as discriminating against gay people, it also discriminates against non-Catholic teachers who are usually banned from applying from senior positions within Catholic schools.

  14. Here’s what I read: “We hired you because you were well qualified, the best qualified to teach our children. We would now like to choose someone less qualified – at the expense of providing our children with the best possible education – because we know something about you that in no way affects the quality of your work.”

    1. GulliverUK 28 Jan 2013, 1:59pm

      I don’t believe they have any possibility of firing someone because they are a) gay b) gay and in a CP, c) gay and married or d) straight and divorced and/or contemplating getting or just been re-married.

      If it’s not already against the law, and I believe it is, a court and the government would quickly find it so.

      I support converting every single faith school, regardless of what religion it is, in to state schools. There should be no faith schools at all. Religious instruction is something which should be done outside the school, at night, on weekends, etc. Faith has no place in publically-funded schools. If you want to run a private school, entirely funded by churches or fees, go ahead, but not one single penny of tay-payers money should go to these schools.

      1. The only openly gay boy in my year (2004-2009) at RC high school was always treated the same as any other student, and on the rare occasion that any other pupil mistreated him, they were were swiftly punished. Bullying was never tolerated. My non-Cathlolic friends who attended state schools were often bullied mercilessly for whatever reason. And easily-available surveys consistently show that faith schools (particulary RC ones) turn out the best-educated and all-round decent students. It would be convenient for irreligious people to say otherwise, but that would be a lie. You can stick your state schools up your @rse.

  15. Enter into a consensual loving relationship with another adult and we’ll sack you. Rape a child and we’ll bend over backwards to protect you and provide you with fresh victims. I object to my taxes paying for these scumbags.

  16. Enter into a consensual loving relationship with another adult and we’ll sack you. Rape a child and we’ll bend over backwards to protect you and provide you with fresh victims. I object to my taxes paying for these scumbags.

  17. krisssssssssssssssssy 28 Jan 2013, 2:18pm

    This man is off his head if he thinks that his Church carries any weight in the law. The government once and for all should cut any tax payers funding. Pity the Catholic Church was ever allowed to come back after the reformation.

    1. GulliverUK 28 Jan 2013, 2:56pm

      Hitler would be proud of them carrying on his work.

      1. Spanner1960 29 Jan 2013, 12:31am

        Hitler was an atheist.

  18. Paul Essex/London 28 Jan 2013, 2:31pm

    So Churches are howling wolf to the rafters that teachers who disagree with Equal Marriage on grounds of faith will risk loosing their jobs under the equality laws, and yet the RC Church publishes written guidance poking into the private lives and relationships of teachers threatening that they will loose their jobs should they don’t tow the party line.

    Says it all really….biggest bully in the playground screaming “unfair!”.

  19. ...Paddyswurds 28 Jan 2013, 2:37pm

    Oh Yeah, Sack the teachers for teaching real life to kids but protect and enable the paedophile priests who rape and bugger them at will… this is so typical of the Roman catholic cult…. sheesh.

  20. Typical of the catholics to threaten when they know they are losing the plot. Sadly, they know their schools often achieve quite good grades as they are able to hand pick from a narrow section of society. Hence politicians like Blair and Clegg sell out their own liberal standards to send their children to catholic schools. The time has come to review the political sway that the catholic church holds through its schools.

  21. Robert in S. Kensington 28 Jan 2013, 3:03pm

    Fine, well then let a national debate begin to stop funding religion based schools, no matter the denomination. Let them all go private and see how long they survive. I just dont understand why this hasn’t taken off as an issue. I fail to see why a catholic school subscribing to a foreign religion and not even the state cult should be entitled to tax-payer money to prop up discrimination, makes no sense. About time that ended.

  22. The RCC busy adding to it’s unenviable legacy I see.

  23. I agree with others that this probably violates employment law (although R.E. teachers may not be protected).

    But the Catholic church has been doing this, largely uncontested, for years – and in Northern Ireland the situation is particularly bad. At least the church’s decision to formalise and publicly articulate this policy is shining some light on it.

    The government’s mealy-mouthed response is really shocking. It presents two incompatible propositions (Catholic schools can sack gays; Catholic schools have to obey employment law) without attempting to resolve them.

    Faith schools can consider an employee’s conduct – but it’s not at all clear if that remains true when the conduct relates to a protected characteristic.

    This is an area that the Labour govt planned to clarify but ran away from, so all parties are guilty here.

    But this is a serious issue that makes LGB teachers’ very unhappy, so the govt owes them protection – or failing that, clarity.

  24. PS Delighted to see the NSS putting the case well, as ever.

    But what was Ben Summerskill doing when the press were looking for quotes? Washing his hair?

    1. Spanner1960 29 Jan 2013, 12:32am

      No comment.

  25. Don Harrison 28 Jan 2013, 3:51pm

    MYTH: Teachers who oppose same-sex marriage will be sacked from their jobs.
    REALITY: Teachers will continue to have the clear right to express their own beliefs, or that of their faith in a professional way, such as that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. No teacher will be required to promote or endorse views which go against their beliefs.

    1. Don – sure – but that’s not really the topic of this article and comments thread.

    2. MYTH: Teachers who oppose same-sex marriage in state schools will be sacked

      REALITY: Teachers who support same-sex marriage in faith schools or enter into an alternative legally valid union will be sacked

  26. The Department of Education’s comment on the booklet is contradictory but I believe employment laws will over-ride religious prejudice.

  27. This church goes from one idotic announcement after another. A church of love and peace……I think not. Hateful and bigoted to the core on all sorts of levels. Thank goodness I got out of that church as a teenager, many years ago.

  28. I have trouble understanding why a gay person would wish to teach in a Catholic school to begin with. It’s not like the RCC’s stance on homosexuality is some kind of new thing that one wouldn’t’ve known about when applying for a job?

  29. This bullying organisation of hypocrites sucks up tax-payers’ money, proclaims that it “owns” schools and threatens publically funded staff with dismissal if they do not abide by the bizarre rules of the moment imagined by a corrupt and hypocritical hierarchy. It is a good job that normal catholics are seeing through this and utterly ignoring the Druid class in day to day life.

  30. Evelyn Steward 28 Jan 2013, 4:20pm

    It’s just an empty threat and will certainly not have legs to run before an employment tribunal. How can you sack a teacher because they are in a civil partnership? As Mark Hill QC has pointed out Civil partnerships should not be assumed to be sexual, hence there are no grounds for adultery when seeking a dissolution. The church would have to have CCTV or a priest under each teachers bed to provide evidence of contravening catholic sexual ethics? And where do they stop – if a teacher want to bash the bishop, use a rubber, or ejaculate elsewhere other than within the female reproductive organ are the sex police going to pop up and kick them out of a job? A farce!

    1. well the fact that no sexual references was made was purely to distinguish civil partnerships from marriage – so that anyone not in the prohibited degrees of relationship can be civil partnered a way of degrading civil partnerships in the public eye – and led to civil litigation demanding the right to be civil partnered to your sister because it is not a marriage and she wanted to share the benefits her sister had achieved in her lifetime (and she was treated sympathetically by the media whilst gay couples were treated by hostility)

  31. Church says…. Equality Act 2010 says not!
    Marriage & CP are protected characteristics.

  32. GingerlyColors 28 Jan 2013, 4:34pm

    What people do outside work is none of their employers’ damn business. No doubt the Catholic Church will have plenty of money for all the compensation claims when they end up getting dragged through the courts and industrial tribunals.

  33. Catholic schools are publicly funded clients of the state and are not exempt from employment law provisions that these ludicrous proposals seek to disregard. This would be laughable if it wasn’t likely to have the effect of seeming to give legitimacy to homophobia. LGBT children really don’t need this and nor does anyone else. Mr Nichols (aka Archbishop Nichols) is a thoroughly wicked man.

  34. I wonder if they issued similar threats in Spain, and what happened.

  35. George Broadhead 28 Jan 2013, 5:21pm

    The reaction of the National Secular Society’s Keith Porteous Wood to this further Catholic outrage is spot on. It is high time that readers of Pink News and other LGBT people realised who their allies are and gave them their support.

  36. So they are going to do this how? We have a law against sexual discrimination in the UK!

  37. How far have gone
    ‘Love between two persons, whether of the same sex or of a different sex, is to be treasured and respected… When two persons love, they experience in a limited manner in this world what will be their unending delight when one with God in the next… To love another, whether of the same sex or of a different sex, is to have entered the area of the richest human experience…” (Cardinal Basil Hume, Note on the Teaching of the Catholic Church Concerning Homosexual People, 1995).
    ***The document produced by the Social Welfare Commission for the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales in 1979 (IH) summed up the Church’s obligations in this country in words which apply equally today: “The Church has a serious responsibility to work for the elimination of any injustices perpetrated on homosexuals by society. As a group that has suffered more than its share of oppression and contempt, the homosexual community has particular claim upon the concern of the Church.” (IH page 13)

    1. Great bit of research Piper. How strange the institutions these men represented, seem to have regressed and become entrenched in their views. They don’t seem to understand how they are alienating people around the world.

      A great percentage of the western world seems to be rapidly moving towards equal marriage. From Latin America to Taiwan this is a debate that is not going away and year by year the percentage of popular support is increasing. How long before most of the western world is an Equal marriage zone.

      Sadly the converse is true throughout Africa, and the Middle east. It is time we used international human rights laws and sanctions to bring these country’s to book. I fear in the case of the middle east, as long as there is oil we can forget about any movements for women’s rights, gay rights etc.

  38. Oh the Roman Catholic Church again is it? What a surprise. Someone transport these people back to the stone age.

  39. John Robertson 28 Jan 2013, 7:28pm

    The catholic management team work on three privilages.

    Firstly, exemption from discrimination laws if “a significant number” of a faith group agree. I guess this was meant to be temporary but it has gone on for years.

    Secondly, an army of parents pretending to be catholic in order to get free selective school places. This is obviously wrong but has gone on for years.

    Thirdly, a weird combination of those at the tops of heirachies, such as Lord Pattan at the BBC, with a faith group built on heirachy, such as catholicism. It’s odd that a minority faith group is taken so seriously with subsidised visits from its top man and mentions next to the queen on christmas day. Hindhus, Jains, and the National Secular Society do not get quoted in Chrismas day or anything like that. I am rather glad that the scariest faith groups do not. So I hope that his privelage is ridiculed and exposed along with the other two.

    Maybe then there can be a conversation.

  40. This is no surprise. As a former local authority representative on school interview panels, I remember governors finding a reason to reject a very good candidate for a teaching post, simply because she had sent her children to a non-catholic primary school
    They would make the earth move to find a ‘legal’ reason to reject a known gay teacher. It would all be fixed before the interview.

  41. bobbleobble 28 Jan 2013, 9:58pm

    If they actually implemented this then they’d have nobody left to actually staff the schools. My mum used to work at a Catholic primary in a very Catholic part of the country and even there les than 25% of the staff would actually qualify under these guidelines including the head and both deputies.

  42. That There Other David 28 Jan 2013, 10:12pm

    Write to Michael Gove right now asking why this is not being fiercely and publicly denounced by the Government? The Vatican does not rule this country and obviously they need to be reminded of that fact.

  43. A total injustice to Christ! Shameful. So are they going to sack those teachers who use contraception? They are acting like the most anti-Christian organisation in the world & yet they call themselves the Church ! Claiming to spread the gospel of Christ… They are far, far from it!!

    1. That There Other David 28 Jan 2013, 10:53pm

      The Vatican has been taken over from within (again) by a bunch of right-wing authoritarians. It’s been going on for the past two decades (on this occasion). I really hope UK Catholics will follow the Irish lead and ditch the Church in their millions.

  44. Many of the above views are worthy of Der Stürmer (the Anti-Catholic Pink News of it’s day):
    http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_image.cfm?image_id=2065

    What part of of the word ‘Catholic School’ do you not get ? IT’S CATHOLIC TEACHING – GET OVER IT !

    If the teacher had an affair with a married colleague – they risk the sack (against Catholic teaching)

    If the teacher joined the Masons – they risk the sack (against Catholic teaching)

    If the teacher championed abortion,infanticide,euthanasia – they risk the sack (against Catholic teaching)

    If the teacher takes part in a pseudo same-sex ‘marriage’ – they risk the sack (against Catholic teaching)

    I suppose if Archbishop Nichols applied to be the head of Stonewall and was turned down because he opposes sexual activity which is not conducted inside the marriage of one woman , one man – this would be ‘discrimination’ ?

    1. Implicit in what you write is the proposition that an institution which abides by its own rules is beyond criticism for doing so. That’s quite plainly absurd. Would you claim the same privelege for state endorsed slavery or the lawful banning if mixed race marriage? Clearly a conflict between an institution’s rules and the laws of the nation in which it is embedded needs to be addressed but those rules cannot automatically take precedence and not should they be immune to examination.

  45. This is an absolute disgrace and is further proof that we should NOT be using public money to fund ‘religious’ schools. Morality is not the preserve of religion and there is NO way I want MY tax money going to keep nut-jobs like this in a position of power over teachers and kids. It’s a total disgrace in a modern democracy.

  46. I think one must avoid blanket condemnations of the Catholic Church. Denis said “Hateful and bigoted to the core on all sorts of levels”. Firstly, not many of the laity agree with the clergy on these issues, and secondly, a good number of the clergy themselves don’t agree on them either. Remember, the archbishop could only get 1000 priests to sign the ‘persecution’ letter. I think the official teaching of the Church is wrong about most matters related to sex, and has always been wrong. But so are and have been most other Christian denominations and most other religions (Islam and Judaism, in particular). The correct response of headmasters of Catholic schools is to ignore the archbishop, and of teachers threatened with the sack it is to refuse to go. Surely it’s time now for the laity to assert their control of Church matters, and confine the clergy to where they belong: their sacristies and altars.

  47. Christopher in Canada 29 Jan 2013, 10:50pm

    I smell a class-action lawsuit.

  48. Well that is quite ironic I would say…
    Since catholic church has the most paedophiles in it.

  49. This is likely to be successfully challenged both the in Strasbourg & Hague Courts. In the first instance under EU law there is no right to discrimination of this nature in roles where the employee is not preaching etc. The way Westminster incorporated the directive into law is contrary to what the directive on non-religious discrimination permits and Britain stands alone in its enactment of the directive. If it came before the ECHR then the jurisprudence in Schüth v. Germany would come into play, with a test of reasonableness and proportionality.

  50. I wonder what the equality act 2010 would say about that

  51. When in doubt, marry a small boy.
    The Catholic church will no doubt support that.

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