Views from the News
Stephen Baker, Manchester
Police officer discriminated against for traditional beliefs
PC Graham Cogman, has taken his police force to an Employment Tribunal on grounds of harassment because of his traditional Christian values. The officer, 49, from Sea Palling in North Norfolk, has been with the Norfolk Police for 15 years, having previously served in the RAF for 12 years.
PC Cogman is taking the unprecedented action as a serving policeman after a series of complaints and investigations suggesting he is ‘homophobic’ – something he strenuously denies. He says that the ‘over the top’ promotion of homosexual rights within Norfolk Police makes being a Christian policeman, or an officer with traditional family values, extremely difficult, unless a person is prepared to ignore his or her conscience.
In 2006, PC Cogman was working at the force’s Great Yarmouth headquarters when gay liaison officers put ‘politically correct’ pressure on all colleagues to wear a pink ribbon supporting Gay History Month. PC Cogman claims police stations were flooded with homosexual literature and posters, including the promotion of a gay quiz night in pubs. As a member of the Police force, an organisation which he feels is charged with upholding traditional standards of freedom of speech and association, he emailed colleagues with an alternative view on the subject, stating his Christian views and reminding them that Christians, and other members of society, whom they serve as officers, believed homosexual acts were wrong in God’s eyes.
PC Cogman was subsequently accused of failing to be tolerant and banned from using the force’s internal email system. When the event re-occurred 12 months later, PC Cogman again protested, especially when the promoters wanted to use the Rainbow Symbol, which has special significance for many Christians. The officer was summoned to a full disciplinary hearing. On the advice of lawyers, and because he was told he would lose his job otherwise, he pleaded guilty to a breach of the police code of practice and was fined the maximum, £1,200. When PC Cogman then added a Christian text to his computer screen saver, he was questioned again and in April 2008, he was interviewed about his faith and beliefs. He now faces a further full disciplinary hearing and is in fear of losing his job.
Source: 3/9/08 christainlegalcentre.com
Brazilian law would prohibit Christian teaching on homosexuality
Rio de Janeiro, July 15, 2008 / 01:36 pm (CNA) – The Brazilian Senate is considering a bill approved unanimously and without debate by the country’s House of Representatives that aims to promote homosexuality and prohibit Christian teaching on the issue, under the guise of combating discrimination.
According to the Association of the Defense of Life, the bill would make it a crime punishable by five years in prison to impede expressions of ‘homosexual affection’ in public places or private places open to the public. It would also punish those who deny employment to openly homosexual teachers in schools with up to three years imprisonment, making it impossible for Catholic or Christian schools to prevent homosexuals from joining their faculties.
The bill would also impose prison sentences on any kind of moral, ethical, philosophical or psychological expression that questions homosexual practices. In this way, ‘a priest, a pastor, a teacher or even an average citizen who says in a sermon, a classroom or public conversation that homosexual acts are sinful, disordered or an illness could be denounced and detained’, the association said.