Charity in chagrin; admits McFarlane wrongfully dismissed

A part two to a story I mentioned earlier this week – Relate has relented on the dismissal of Gary McFarlane for refusing to provide sex advice (and psycho-sexual therapy) to gays and lesbians.

Mr McFarlane, who started training with Relate in May 2003, was suspended in October 2007 but reinstated in January 2008 after Relate say he agreed to abide by an equal opportunities policy.

He says that he then became the victim of a campaign after a letter was circulated around the centre which labelled him a homophobe and called for him to go.

Following a further disciplinary hearing, after Mr McFarlane reiterated his earlier stance, he was dismissed on 18 March.

Relate claim that Mr McFarlane’s inability to give sex advice to homosexuals was a breach of their equal opportunities policy and made it impossible for him to continue working as a counsellor.

But Mr McFarlane maintains that his beliefs were part of a personal journey and that he was forced into admitting his religious struggle before he had fully accepted it himself.

He claims Relate could easily “filter” heterosexual clients to him for sex therapy but Relate argue that this would damage clients as they may feel rejected on the basis of their sexual orientation.

After the hearing Mr McFarlane said he was happy that Relate had conceded that they had wrongfully dismissed him.

Okay, but the guy really does need to get over his aversion to same-sex relationships. I don’t care if a few verses in an old book say it’s wrong. That book says a lot of things are wrong, but how come only certain verses still get preached to the masses? Much of the book is devoted to laws and ordinances that are woefully out-of-date and continuing to promote them as right and proper and moral behaviour means there will always be these kinds of situations. People try to move forward, move human rights and freedoms forward, and here are these other people pulling on the reins in a vain attempt to stop it from happening, trying to reverse it, and it can’t be done.

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