Police chaplain forced out over same-sex views
A Christian minister and police chaplain has been forced out of his position and he expressed his views on same-sex marriage.
A Christian police chaplain has been forced out of his position after expressing his views on the Government’s proposals to introduce same-sex ‘marriages’ on his personal website.
Rev Brian Ross (68), who worked as a volunteer with Strathclyde Police, said that there was no mandate for the change and described marriage as a “God-ordained institution between a man and a woman”.
Despite making the comments on his 'Crazy Rev' personal blog, he was told by a senior officer that his remarks were representative of the force’s views on the issue and violated its “equality and diversity policy”.
He was forced to step down after being told the he would need to comply with the policy in order to continue in his role as a force chaplain.
A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: “Whilst the force wholly respects the Rev Ross's and, indeed any employees' personally held political and religious beliefs, such views cannot be expressed publicly if representing the force, as it is by law an apolitical organisation with firmly embedded policies which embrace diversity and equality.”
In a written submission to MPs currently scrutinising the Government’s Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill, Rev Ross said that his case was “typical of the kind of situation that could, and would, arise” should marriage be redefined.
He said: “This was a role that I enjoyed immensely, and I was extremely active in regular visitation, and in identifying myself with officers and staff.
“I submitted a monthly article to the different divisional bulletins, and attended all of the force, and divisional, events as invited.
“The result of my endeavours was that I gained the trust of those I sought to serve, and was being used by some in pastoral situations.”
He added: “Just before the summer, a particular senior officer in one of the divisions read my personal blog and objected to my expressed support for traditional marriage as, it was claimed, it went against the force's equality and diversity policies.
“I was summoned to a meeting, the end result of which has been that my services have been dispensed with.
“This, I would emphasise, is before any legislation has been placed on the Statute Book.”
Colin Hart, campaign director for the Coalition For Marriage said: “This is just the start of things to come.
“We have already seen Adrian Smith have his wages docked and get demoted in Trafford.
“Now we have this appalling case of Rev Ross, Chaplain to Strathclyde Police being forced out because he backs the traditional definition of marriage.
"We have consistently warned that ripping up the current definition would lead to all sorts of consequences including people getting sacked and forced out of their jobs because of their beliefs.”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, Chief Executive of Christian Concern, said:
“The Government’s proposals to redefine marriage threaten to alienate a huge section of the public.
“A number of Christian employees have already been penalised for expressing their genuinely held belief that marriage can only be between one man and one woman.
“This situation is likely to become far worse should the Government’s proposals pass into law.”