Posted by: becketfund | February 7, 2009

UK: Home for Retired Missionaries Wins Legal Case

BRIGHTON – Brighton and Hove council has agreed to restore  funding to Pilgrim Homes after the organization launched a legal action for religious discrimination, the Telegraph reported on February 7. The council had cut £13,000 of funding after accusing the home – which has former missionaries and a minister among its residents – of “institutional homophobia.” Officials had told Pilgrim Homes to ask the pensioners about their sexual orientation four times a year under its “fair access and diversity” policies developed from New Labor’s equality laws. It also wanted the home, which has 39 single Christian residents aged over 80, to use elderly gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in its leaflets. The home, run by a 200-year-old charity that cares for older Christians, has now agreed to withdraw its legal action after the council said it would restore the funds – which paid for a warden, retract the homophobia accusation, and drop the request for details of residents’ sexual orientation. Andrew Jessop, chief executive of the charity that has 10 Christian homes across the UK, said he was “delighted” and “relieved” that the council had backed down. “We are a Christian organization for older Christians, and our chief concern has always been to protect their best interests,” he said.

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