Current Affairs

Police investigate internal gay rows

Marc Shoffman December 19, 2006
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Police are investigating religious expression within the force after rows have broken out between gay and Christian colleagues, according to reports.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) will produce guidelines after the review to recommend the best way forward.

Mike Cunningham, ACPO’s lead on lesbian and gay issues, told The Mirror: “I’m seeking to provide some clarity for officers to work efficiently together and not be inhibited by someone else’s religious beliefs.”

It comes after reports earlier this year that gay police officers face “faith based” homophobia from colleagues.

Vic Codling, the Gay Police Association’s national co-ordinator told Police Review that there were 14 cases last year of so-called “faith based” homophobia. He claimed that incidents included religious officers refusing to work with gay colleagues and the removal of gay officers from equality groups.

Mr Codling told the magazine that senior officers were unsure of what action to take. He claimed that the Christian Police Association bars members who are practising homosexuality.

However, a spokesman for the Christian Police Association told Police Review: “It is certainly not a condition of membership and we do not ask anyone their sexual orientation when they apply.”

The GPA and the Christian Police Association are known to have a difficult relationship. Tension rose between the two last summer when the GPA commissioned an advert linking homophobic attacks to religious belief.

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