Current Affairs

Church discriminates against gay people says Archbishop

PinkNews Staff Writer April 10, 2007
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The head of the Anglican church in Wales has called for an end to discrimination against gays and lesbians.

In his Easter sermon, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Barry Morgan said that gays in the church are feeling isolated and women are not treated as equals.

“For Jesus there were no prior conditions for being accepted by God whatever your sex, status or position. But we still live in a church where it is not possible for women to be bishops,” the archbishop said.

His comments came at the end of a week when a bishop of the Church of England faced an employment tribunal in Cardiff over allegations he discriminated against a gay man seeking employment.

On Thursday the tribunal heard evidence from John Reaney, who said that the Bishop of Hereford asked him a series of highly personal questions about his sex life as part of a job interview.

Mr Reaney is bringing the Hereford Diocesan Board of Finance to the tribunal, claiming that he was discriminated against on the grounds of his sexuality.

At a meeting with Bishop Priddis in July last year, he was asked about his sexual relationships.

Mr Reaney was previously employed as a youth officer for the Norwich and Chester Church of England diocese.

After meeting Bishop Priddis, he was told that he was not selected for the position in the Hereford diocese.

Mr Reaney told the tribunal that after the interview he took two days off work because he was distressed, and felt ashamed of his treatment at the hands of the bishop.

Mr Reaney confirmed that he had been open with the bishop about his previous relationship, and that he was asked if he thought it “appropriate” for a youth worker to be involved in a gay relationship.

Last Wednesday Bishop Priddis told the tribunal that he decided not to hire Mr Reaney as he felt he would not be able to remain celibate.

“Mr Reaney’s lifestyle had the potential to impact on the spiritual, moral and ethical leadership within the diocese,” the bishop told the tribunal, according to the Daily Mail.

“The Church’s teachings draws distinction between sexual orientation and practice and lifestyle.

“We didn’t discriminate against Mr Reaney on the grounds of sexuality. Had we done so we wouldn’t have called him for an interview.”

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