Religious Rights Case

A marriage counsellor from Bristol, Gary McFarlane, who was sacked for saying he might object to offering sex therapy to homosexuals, took his case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Religious rights case: full report

A man from Bristol who was sacked for saying his Christian beliefs prevented him giving sex therapy to gay couples has lost his legal challenge at the European Court of Human Rights.

The judges found the decision by the guidance service Relate to sack Gary McFarlane WAS designed to ensure that no clients were discriminated against. The Christian Legal Centre, which took up his case, argued HE was the one who suffered. Bob Constantine reports from the group's offices in London.

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Marriage counsellor loses religious rights case

Former Relate counsellor, Gary McFarlane
Former Relate counsellor, Gary McFarlane

A marriage counsellor from Bristol, who was sacked for saying he might object to offering sex therapy to homosexuals, has lost his case at the European Court of Human Rights.

51 year old Gary McFarlane, had argued that his employer had contravened the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits religious discrimination and allow "freedom of thought, conscience and religion".

Mr McFarlane branded the ruling "regrettable" and said the issues would never have arisen if he had been of another faith. "The reality is if I were Muslim this case would not be where it is, it would not have been touched at all," he said.

And he said he was ostracised because of his beliefs which prevented him from working for the NHS.

Marriage counsellor loses Christian case

A marriage counsellor from Bristol, who was sacked for saying he might object to offering sex therapy to homosexuals, has lost his case at the European Court of Human Rights.

51 year old Gary McFarlane, had argued that his employer had contravened the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits religious discrimination and allow "freedom of thought, conscience and religion".