NORFOLK Constabulary are having a Ladele moment. We call it that because one of their constables – like our Lillian, a Christian zealot whose bigotry prevented her from doing her job properly – is about to lay the “victim” card before an employment tribunal.
Bizarrely, Ladele, a registrar who refused to conduct same-sex civil unions, went on to WIN a discrimination case against Islington Council, which is now appealing against the ruling.
The 49-year Anglican , who circulated emails to colleagues quoting biblical opposition to homosexuality, claims he is being singled out because of his beliefs.
The force responded by saying it will not tolerate any “homophobic behaviour”.
According to the Telegraph PC Cogman, a father of two, said reconciling his religious beliefs with his job was becoming more difficult because the force’s stance on homosexuality was at odds with his religious views.
The blatant support for homosexual rights in Norfolk Police makes being a Christian officer extremely difficult. I am not undertaking this action lightly but I have to make a stand when things become so blatantly biased against me just because I hold a faith.
After receiving the email, PC Cogman sent a reply to his fellow officers containing biblical quotations about homosexuality being a sin. He objected again the following year when a similar email was again sent to officers.
He was subjected to a disciplinary tribunal and fined 13 days’ pay.
A few months later, according to the Mail on Sunday, he was further questioned after he put a biblical text on his computer screen, reading:
Jesus is the light of the world, only the enemy kills, steals and destroys.
And in April, he was interviewed again about his beliefs after he circulated a link to an American Christian helpline on the internal communication system.
PC Cogman said he was trying to help by offering a counselling service for people struggling with their sexuality which a friend had found useful.
But a diversity adviser from the force’s headquarters in Wymondham said the website connected to the helpline was offensive.
A spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said that PC Cogman’s behaviour:
Fell well below the standard which we expect. Whilst the force fully respects the officer has strong beliefs, it is only correct that he respects the beliefs and wishes of others. The force will not tolerate any form of homophobic behaviour. Norfolk police’s commitment to fair treatment and equality of opportunity is non-negotiable.
In his claim to the tribunal, being prepared by barrister Paul Diamond – who unsuccessfully represented Nadia Eweida after she was suspended by British Airways for breaching dress codes by wearing a cross – this latest zealot to hit the headlines will argue that the police force, locally and nationally, has become obsessed with inclusiveness to the detriment of those who adhere to Christian beliefs.