British Humanists applaud court’s rejection of religious discrimination claim

  • post Type / Members and partners
  • Date / 11 August 2010

An evangelical Christian council worker who was
dismissed for gross misconduct has lost his claim of religious discrimination.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed the judgment as a sane
response to ill-founded and illegitimate claims of persecution of Christians in
the workplace.

The tribual found that Duke Amachree, whose case was
supported by the Christian Legal Centre, a Christian lobby group, was ‘fairly
dismissed’ from his job as a Homelessness Prevention Officer with Wandsworth
Borough Council. The council dismissed him following a complaint from a service
user who was distressed when, after she revealed that she had an incurable
disease, Mr Amachree used the opportunity  to evangelise for his religion
in the course of his job and encouraged her to “put her faith in god”.

Andrew Copson, BHA chief executive, welcomed the
judgment, saying, “When we take on jobs of service to others, we need to
understand that our own prejudices and preferences come second to the needs of
those we are employed to help and serve. The law has very properly upheld that
principle today.”

He went on to express the BHA’s concern about the increase in baseless legal claims such as Mr Amachree’s: “The growing trend for
political Christian groups to bring nuisance cases of alleged discrimination is
highly alarming. Even when the courts find–as they invariably have–no
evidence of discrimination, these lobby groups, instead of accepting this, go
on to claim instead that the whole system of law discriminates against them and
that the whole of the law should shift to accommodate their prejudices.
Theocratic arguments like this, advanced in the name of equality for
Christians, need to be exposed for what they are.”

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