God-fearing cop claims “blatant support” for gays makes his job too difficult
A Christian policeman who circulated emails at work suggesting homosexuality was sinful is taking his force to an employment tribunal.
Constable Graham Cogman, said he felt victimised for refusing to wear a pink ribbon to mark Gay history month.
He claims the force has been “bombarded” by posters advertising gay events.
PC Cogman said, “The blatant support for homosexual rights in Norfolk Police makes being a Christian officer extremely difficult,” in an interview with the Mail on Sunday.
Norfolk Police have responded by saying the will fight PC Cogman.
Spokeswoman Anne Campbell said, “we welcome people of all beliefs and races into the workforce and fully respect everyone’s views.
“While we fully respect the officer has strong beliefs, it is only correct that he respects the beliefs and wishes of others.”
The spokeswoman said PC Cogman had acted below “the standard we expect,” from employees.
The complaints against PC Cogman stem back to 1995 when a gay colleague sent emails round to staff encouraging them to support Gay History Month by wearing a pink ribbon.
In response to this the Constable circulated emails quoting the bible, suggesting homosexual sex was sinful.
He was sent to a disciplinary tribunal who fined him 13 days pay and barred him from using the internal messaging system.
PC Cogman’s action echoes Lillian Ladele’s, the evangelical Christian registrar who recently won a case against Islington council.
Ms Ladele claimed she was bullied after she refused to conduct civil partnership’s for same sex couples.
Islington council is appealing against the ruling.
PC Cogman said he got on well with most of his colleagues, and the “harassing behaviour” stems from a few officers who are using the internal investigation procedure to intimidate him.
As well as PC Cogman taking his employers to a tribunal, Norfolk Police are taking him to another disciplinary hearing.
After he was banned from using the internal messaging system, PC Cogman posted a link to an American Christian help line.
When he was interviewed by bosses about it he said he had posted the link as he was trying to help people struggling with their sexuality.
The link was to Christian help line that PC Cogman said had helped a friend who was struggling with their sexuality.
In response to this Norfolk Police felt it appropriate to take PC Cogman to a disciplinary hearing.
PC Cogman says he fears for his job and said he is “not undertaking this action lightly but I have to make a stand when things become so blatantly biased against me just because I hold a faith.”
The action looks set to cost Norfolk Police hundreds of thousands of pounds.
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2008 has been a costly year for the Norfolk force.
In March, a 16 month investigation into a culture of bullying in the force cleared all senior officers of wrongdoing, despite claims the force was homophobic.
Last month the force was told to pay a retired inspector £280,000 after a recruitment error.
PC Cogman is set to be represented by barrister Paul Diamond, who represented Nadia Eweida when British Airways suspended her for wearing a cross.
He will argue that police forces have become obsessed with inclusiveness at the cost of Christian morals and beliefs.
A spokeswoman for Norfolk Police said they would not tolerate homophobic behaviour.