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  1. #31
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EffEmDoubleyou View Post
    Part of standing up for your religious principles is enduring the blowback. It's something that the martyrs embraced. Lots of principled religious people were crucified, stoned, shot with arrows, drawn and quartered, and a bunch of other things. This guy lost a job. Boo hoo. It's part of the deal.
    It seems to me going to court over this and becoming an object of national ridicule would qualify as standing up for your principles and enduring the blowback.

  2. #32
    Habitual Fi LineStepper JocktheMotie's Avatar
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    I'm curious as to why his feelings simply weren't noted, and he was just not given work that included homosexual clients. What percentage of business are homosexual clients? I don't think it would be disproportionately high. It doesn't seem like he was a hateful zealot; he just recognized a conflict of interest, a conflict with principle, and felt he couldn't perform proper and responsible therapy under that specific situation. That's what I'd argue at least.

    I don't see why it had to immediately lead to the therapist's dismissal. Unless they wanted to fire him anyways and needed an excuse so he also wouldn't say, "They fired me because I'm black."



  3. #33
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a private company, correct? Then they have the right to fire him, just as Grocery stores haves the right to fire Jews and Muslims who refuse to handle pork products, and Best Buy has the right to fire people who refuse to work on Fridays for any reason. This isn't like wearing a skull cap or a Sikh turban, accommodating religious beliefs in these cases may place an undue burden on the employer's business practices.

    If he worked for a government monopoly, however, then this would be oppression, somewhat like the state firing a doctor who refused to perform abortions.

  4. #34
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a private company, correct? Then they have the right to fire him, just as Grocery stores haves the right to fire Jews and Muslims who refuse to handle pork products, and Best Buy has the right to fire people who refuse to work on Fridays for any reason. This isn't like wearing a skull cap or a Sikh turban, accommodating religious beliefs in these cases may place an undue burden on the employer's business practices.

    If he worked for a government monopoly, however, then this would be oppression, somewhat like the state firing a doctor who refused to perform abortions.
    I would agree with you, but it seems like the firing was solely based on his beliefs and nothing work related.

    Let's say a muslim works in a butcher shop from 1995 through 2001. All that time he is allowed to work and the employer doesn't require him to touch any of the pork b/c of his religious beliefs. After 9/11 the employer asks him if he's willing to work with pork products. The muslim tells the employer he can't because of his religion and then is promptly fired. Wouldn't seem that he was fired for his beliefs and not his ability to do his job?

  5. #35
    Senior Member lowtech redneck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beefeater View Post
    Let's say a muslim works in a butcher shop from 1995 through 2001. All that time he is allowed to work and the employer doesn't require him to touch any of the pork b/c of his religious beliefs. After 9/11 the employer asks him if he's willing to work with pork products. The muslim tells the employer he can't because of his religion and then is promptly fired. Wouldn't seem that he was fired for his beliefs and not his ability to do his job?
    Yes, and as such would be ethically objectionable but should legally be within the rights of the employer, as optimal business practices/plans are liable to change at any point in time, making continued accommodation burdensome on the employer. In the case of the OP, they have what I think should constitute a legally plausible basis for termination, as the ex-employee's beliefs may make scheduling difficult or may create a situation in which a gay couple is bluntly informed that an employee refuses to service them. I would be inclined to accommodate the employee's religious convictions myself, but that is not adequate as a legal standard.
    Last edited by lowtech redneck; 04-29-2010 at 05:26 PM. Reason: word choice

  6. #36
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Two thoughts -

    1) In theory, standing up for your beliefs and even getting in trouble is a "good thing" and usually lauded as an example to follow in the states. It's when you get down to the actual viewpoints that it gets sticky.

    2) It's one thing to refuse to do your job based on principle, but what about even going against the principle of your job? For instance, it's federal law that information from the US Census is kept private. Census workers are kinda like the liberal nerds or conspiracy theorists of the government. Yet, during WWII, the entire Census Department (if that's what it's called...) turned over demographic information including full names and addresses of people of Japanese descent so the US could put them in internment camps. The US Census Bureau later apologized. But, c'mon...really? I wonder if anyone working at the time quit or lost their jobs for refusing to hand over the information.
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  7. #37
    LL P. Stewie Beorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Yes, and as such would be ethically objectionable but should legally be within the rights of the employer, as optimal business practices/plans are liable to change at any point in time, making continued accommodation burdensome on the employer. In the case of the OP, they have what I think should constitute a legally plausible basis for termination, as the ex-employee's beliefs may make scheduling difficult or may create a situation in which a gay couple is bluntly informed that an employee refuses to service them. I would be inclined to accommodate the employee's religious convictions myself, but that is not adequate as a legal standard.
    Maybe that's what you think should be the law, but I'm pretty sure my muslim example would be a clear violation of Title VII under the civil rights act in america.

    Believe me I definitely have some libertarian leanings. I think the more you list rights the more you limit them. But, if they are going to get listed I'm going to make sure that religious rights don't end up at the bottom of the pile... which seems to be the case in britain.


    Quote Originally Posted by CzeCze View Post
    Two thoughts -

    1) In theory, standing up for your beliefs and even getting in trouble is a "good thing" and usually lauded as an example to follow in the states. It's when you get down to the actual viewpoints that it gets sticky.
    This is partly because non-profit legal defense groups on all sides are generally careful about the clients they choose to represent and avoid clients that may prove to be a publicity nightmare.

    There's a lot of people that stand up for their rights that are just plain a-holes. This definitely includes plenty of people in the religious right.

    That's why I'm always encouraged when someone isn't just making a fuss, but genuinely sacrificing for the sake of principle. This article shows the contrast between Mr. Peterson and Mr. Buananno. Mr. Peterson was fired by HP for putting up bible passages that condemn homosexuality in his cubicle as a response to gay diversity posters that were hung up by HR. I wouldn't agree with the posters, but his reaction just seems like a jackass thing to do. On the other hand Mr. Buonanno, an AT&T employee, refused to sign a diversity policy which required him to "respect and value the differences in all of us." Buonanno contended that he could respect and value the individual and he agreed not to discriminate against his fellow employees, but God's word said to him that certain things were sinful and he could not, therefore, value those things. When he refused to sign the statement he was fired.

    Peterson lost. Buonanno won.

  8. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by lowtech redneck View Post
    Yes, and as such would be ethically objectionable but should legally be within the rights of the employer, as optimal business practices/plans are liable to change at any point in time, making continued accommodation burdensome on the employer. In the case of the OP, they have what I think should constitute a legally plausible basis for termination, as the ex-employee's beliefs may make scheduling difficult or may create a situation in which a gay couple is bluntly informed that an employee refuses to service them. I would be inclined to accommodate the employee's religious convictions myself, but that is not adequate as a legal standard.
    I agree with this. Sometimes these places might run on one or two therapists. There could possibly be a time when a client was refused treatment as a result. If the business refused to treat a gay couple, the backlash and legal proceedings would be in a completely different league.

    The fact he was honest about his position makes me feel a little sorry for him though. If there was no malice or attempt to create a prejudice in the workplace, he did the best he could without completely changing himself and his beliefs.


    Just out of interest how would these two hypotheticals differ:

    1. Man who is white feels uncomfortable treating black clients, so asks to not have to.
    2. Man who is gay but is not out feels uncomfortable treating gay clients so asks to not have to.
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  9. #39
    Rainy Day Woman MDP2525's Avatar
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    This is pretty common sense to me.

    You can't do the job you don't get to keep it.

    Just because it's a religious belief doesn't mean it isn't an opinion nonetheless.
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  10. #40
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Just a little bit more info about Relate.






    Relate is the UK’s largest provider of relationship counselling and sex therapy which delivers its services through a Federation of local, independent, charities.

    Do I have to pay for Relate services?

    You will normally be expected to pay a fee. Relate Avon is a charity and we do not aim to make a profit from the services we provide, the fee is to cover the cost of running the services.


    RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING

    Who is it for?

    Relate counselling is open to everyone aged over 16. Whether you are married, living together, in a same-sex relationship, separated, divorced or single, our confidential service can help you to deal with your relationship difficulties. You can come on your own or with a partner.


    Charitable organization structure

    In 2008 there are a number of types of legal structure for a charity in England and Wales:

    Unincorporated association
    Trust
    Company limited by guarantee
    Another incorporation, such as by Royal Charter


    In the first two, the officers can be personally liable if the charity is sued or has debts. I am not sure what kind of charity Relate is though.



    Everyone should be entitled to his or her personal convictions, and to free speech about those convictions. However, when those convictions are enforced on another person, either through avoidance of care, through manipulation of care, or through assertion in some way onto another person, then discrimination has occurred.

    The gay couple was not trying to avoid or manipulate or assert any personal agenda onto the therapist; they were not judging him based on his religious preferences; yet the therapist was trying to avoid his duty as a worker and care giver, thereby putting him in the wrong, and making him discriminatory in that process.
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