This story would seem to demonstrate not only a lack of freedom of religion in the UK, but active persecution of a Christian leader for upholding fundamental Christian teaching:
The Anglican bishop of Hereford has been ordered by a court to undergo “equal opportunities training” and pay a fine of £47,345.00, the equivalent of $92,106.00 Cn., for refusing to hire an active homosexual for a position of trust with young people. The ruling also stated that Hereford diocese staff “involved in recruitment should receive equal opportunities training”.
Update: But hold on. Reader Andrew says there is more to the story.
The church lobbied for the right to exclude certain employees (clergy, etc) from the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. They gained the right (the state does not tell them to employ someone who does not follow the church’s teaching). All they have to do is state on the advert that there is a GOR. The tribunal even ruled that the role of Diocesan Youth Officer falls into the exemption. However, they did not state in the advert that they didn’t want to employ a homosexual (i.e., they choose not to claim the exemption they had lobbied for). Why?
Because as the Bishop himself said to the tribunal, “This we do not wish to do as we wish to encourage people of any sexual orientation to play a full part in the life of the Church and to apply for all Diocesan posts.”
Yet when one applied for the post they then decided not to employ him on the basis of his sexuality.
So they decided not to use their opt out because they want to appear open.
They can’t have it both ways ….