Current Affairs

BA asked to donate to anti-gay Christian group

Christopher Hayes February 12, 2007
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The British Airways check-in worker at the centre of last year’s crucifix row has demanded a £100,000 donation be paid to a Christian charity rigorously opposed to anti-discrimination legislation.

55-year-old Nadia Eweida was suspended last September after she refused to cover up her crucifix in accordance with BA rules.

Following changes to the airline’s uniform policy, which now allows

employees to wear symbols of their Christianity, Mrs Eweida will return to work after spending four months on unpaid leave.

“I’m pleased but apprehensive,” she told The Times.

“It’s been very strange being off work for so long and it’s hard going back when you’ve been off like this,” she added.

Mrs Eweida has said she will continue to campaign against the airline.

In addition to demanding a thousand pounds in back pay, she has asked BA to make a £100,000 donation to the Christian charity Lawyers’ Christian Fellowship (LCF), The Times has reported.

The charity and think-tank has voiced loud opposition to this year’s

Sexual Orientation Regulations (SOR) which they describe on their website as a “worrying law.”

The regulations, which are expected to be published this week,

prohibit discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in the

provision of goods and services.

In January the LCF petitioned the Queen and led a torchlight parade in Westminster to protest against the legislation.

After announcing a review into BA’s uniform policy last November, chief executive Willie Walsh praised the airline’s commitment to equality and diversity.

“I am proud to lead an airline that has a track record on diversity and inclusion which is second to none,” he said.

British Airways, who sponsored last year’s EuroPride in London, have yet to announce whether they will meet Mrs Eweida’s demands.

Gay rights activist Peter Tatchell told

“I support Nadia’s right to wear a small religious symbol. All employees everywhere should be allowed to wear discrete symbols signifying their religious or political beliefs.

“She was mistreated by BA, so any compensation should go to her, not to a third party like LCF. If she wants to donate the compensation to the LCF, that is up to her.

But he added: “It is sad that Nadia supports a homophobic group like LCF.

“They are campaigning for the right to discriminate against gay and lesbian people. That makes them homophobic.”

LCF insist they are not a homophobic organisation. In a briefing paper they argue:

“Homophobia is an irrational prejudice towards someone because of their homosexuality.

“LCF has no such irrational view: our view of all people is based squarely on the Word of God – the Bible.

“The Bible teaches that we should love our neighbours as ourselves […] in love we should speak the truth.

“Part of that truth is that the only rightful sexual relationship God intended was between a man and a woman in a monogamous marriage.

“This is the view held by LCF. It is not a homophobic view.”

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