13 Apr Agree With Homosexuality Or Else…..
A charity worker has been suspended after telling a colleague about his Christian beliefs against homosexuality, even though he says he is not homophobic and was merely responding to questions from a colleague about his beliefs.
David Booker, 44, who works at a Christian hostel in Southampton, a charity whose patron is the Archbishop of Canterbury, was asked about his faith by a colleague, Fiona Vardy during a late shift last month.
He told her he was opposed to same-sex marriages and to homosexual clergy but denied being homophobic and said that he had homosexual friends.
The next evening, Mr Booker was suspended from his £19,000-a-year post as a hostel support worker with Society of St James, where he has been employed for the last four years. The hostel told him the action was taken for “events that happened last night”
A few days later he was told he had “seriously breached” the charity’s code of conduct “by promoting your religious views which contained discriminatory comments regarding a person’s sexual orientation”. The action had been taken “to safeguard both residents and staff”, he was advised.
Mr Booker, an evangelical from Southampton, who is being advised by the Christian Legal Centre, now faces an enquiry and a disciplinary hearing.
It comes just weeks after a Christian nurse suspended for offering to pray for the recovery of a patient was reinstated. North Somerset NHS Trust suspended nurse Caroline Petrie for failing to show a commitment to equality and diversity after she offered to pray for the recovery of an elderly patient. The patient did not complain.
DETROIT — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund Center for Academic Freedom filed a lawsuit against Eastern Michigan University Thursday after school officials dismissed a student from the school’s counseling program for not affirming homosexual behavior as morally acceptable. The school dismissed Julea Ward from the program because she would not agree prior to a counseling session to affirm a client’s homosexual behavior and would not retract her stance in subsequent disciplinary proceedings.
“Christian students shouldn’t be penalized for holding to their beliefs,” said ADF Senior Counsel David French. “When a public university has a prerequisite of affirming homosexual behavior as morally good in order to obtain a degree, the school is stepping over the legal line. Julea did the responsible thing and followed her supervising professor’s advice to have the client referred to a counselor who did not have a conscience issue with the very matter to be discussed in counseling. She would have gladly counseled the client if the subject had been nearly any other matter.”
EMU requires students in its program to affirm or validate homosexual behavior within the context of a counseling relationship and prohibits students from advising clients that they can change their homosexual behavior. Ward has never addressed homosexual behavior in any form during counseling sessions with clients.
EMU initiated its disciplinary process against Ward and informed her that the only way she could stay in the graduate school counseling program would be if she agreed to undergo a “remediation” program. Its purpose would be to help Ward “see the error of her ways” and change her “belief system” as it relates to counseling about homosexual relationships, conforming her beliefs to be consistent with the university’s views. When Ward did not agree with the conditions, she was given the options of either voluntarily leaving the program or asking for a formal review hearing.
Ward chose the hearing, during which EMU faculty denigrated her Christian views and asked several inappropriate and intrusive questions about her religious beliefs. The hearing committee dismissed her from the counseling program on March 12. Ward appealed the decision to the dean of the College of Education, who upheld the dismissal on March 26.
“Julea has a constitutional right not to be compelled to speak a message she disagrees with. She acted as a professional counselor should–with great concern both for her beliefs and the client,” ADF Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco explained. “The two are not incompatible, but EMU’s policies are incompatible with the Constitution.”