Wednesday, June 6, 2001
Scottish Court overturns
appeals court ruling on gay RAF officer's unfair dismissal
A story published today by the Scotsman reports that a former Scottish royal air force
officer who won a landmark decision on an unfair dismissal case against the Ministry of
Defense after being dismissed for having gay affairs has seen the decision overturned
by the Court of Session.
Mr. Roderick MacDonald, of Glenallan Drive, Edinburgh, had risen to the rank of flight
lieutenant before revealing, during a security check for a new post in 1997, that he was
gay. At that time, the armed forces had a policy of banning gay people.
He had earlier claimed sexual discrimination and sexual harassment, but lost his case at
the employment tribunal before winning an appeal at the tribunal that found the act
covered discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation .
In his written judgment, Lord Kirkwood yesterday said Mr. MacDonald was "forced to
resign solely because he was a man who was sexually attracted to other men."
Lord Kirkwood added: "In my opinion the respondent was discriminated against on the
ground of his sexual orientation", but it was not a discrimination that was covered
by the 1975 act.
While Mr. MacDonald, will still receive
compensation for a breach of his human rights, the decision ruled that "sexual
orientation" was not covered by the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act.
The ban on gays in the armed forces since then has been lifted.
Sunday, June 3, 2001
UK's Church of England remarriage plan
A story released today by the Associated Press reports that nineteen of the 44 dioceses in
the Church of England have objected to a proposal to standardize the policy for divorced
persons remarrying in church.
The church teaches that marriage is for life and frowns on remarriage while the former
spouse is alive, but local priests have been free to conduct such weddings, and many do
A bishops' panel last year recommended allowing remarriage if "a reasonable
time" has passed, the divorced persons are honest about the previous marriage's
failure, adequate child support is provided and the new relationship did not break up the
The church's bishops will discuss the reactions this month.
Australian gay and lesbian
Catholics denied communion
A story released today by the Australian
Broadcasting Corp. reports that gay and lesbian Catholics and their supporters have been
refused holy communion at Melbourne's St Patrick's Church.
It is the first time the group has sought communion at
St Patrick's Cathedral since Archbishop George Pell left for Sydney.
Archbishop Pell had previously denied communion to gays
and lesbians for five years and the group was hopeful that things would change after his
However, when the rainbow sash clad people approached
Bishop Denis Hart, they were offered a blessing, but refused communion.
Michael Kelly of the Rainbow Sash Movement says it was
"We were saddened, we were not surprised that we
didn't receive communion," he said.
Bishop Hart says his stance does not indicate any ill
He says he is simply bound by the teachings of the
"Sex is restricted to marriage, it's not about to
change, I'm not able to change it," he said.