Norfolk Police sack Christian bigot

Norfolk Police sack Christian bigot November 26, 2008

Constable Graham Cogman, 49, of the Norfolk Constabulary, is looking for a new job this week – preferably one that doesn’t involve contact with anyone gay.

Ex-PC Graham Cogman
Ex-PC Graham Cogman
Cogman, you see, is one of those – a frothing fundie who believes that homosexuality is “sinful”.
The potty pc first came to our attention in July when he was threatening to take his employers to an industrial tribunal for failing to accommodate his bigotry. At the time he wailed:

The blatant support for homosexual rights in Norfolk Police makes being a Christian officer extremely difficult.

Cogman’s clashes with his employers date back to 2005 when a gay colleague sent emails round to staff encouraging them to support Gay History Month by wearing a pink ribbon.
In response the constable circulated emails quoting the Bible, suggesting homosexual sex was “sinful”.
As a result of his behaviour, a disciplinary tribunal fined him 13 days’ pay and barred him from using the internal messaging system.
Despite the ban, PC Cogman posted a link to some ghastly American Christian “helpline”. When he was quizzed by his bosses about his action, he said he had done it to help people “struggling with their sexuality”.
Cogman, according to this report, was then brought before a disciplinary hearing, held yesterday.
He was found guilty of failing to comply with a lawful order over the use of police computers, and failing to treat a colleague with politeness and tolerance.
The hearing followed an investigation led by the force’s professional standards department and supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Deputy Chief Constable Ian Learmonth said:

This officer’s behaviour fell well below what we expect of our people. The outcome follows a thorough investigation with evidence presented to a misconduct panel of three, two of whom were independent of the constabulary.

Stand by for a press release from Christian Voice.
UPDATE – Nov 27: Well, the Christian Institute has managed to get its voice heard ahead of Stephen “Birdshit” Green. Its director, Colin Hart told the Daily Mail today:

It is very difficult for serving police officers to square their religious conscience with a lot of the propaganda that is put about. Very often their own religious beliefs are not respected and gay rights trump religious rights.

The Mail reports that Cogman is considering an appeal against his sacking, and will proceed with his plans to take Norfolk police to an industrial tribunal.

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  • mn

    Wow! Great Britain sounds really that – great ! The atheist messages on buses, getting rid of this guy … Eastern Europe (where I live) is far, far away.
    Just comparing situations – we’re electing members of Parliament and stuff like that this week and a lot of the politicians flaunt their “Christian values”, go to the churches in the rural areas to meet the poor, uneducated voters (the “big fishes” don’t dare to run for mandates in the urban areas).
    Priest here shamelessly support political parties (the politicians just voted that priests’ collaboration with the ex-communist regime can be made public ONLY at the request of the patriarch – a commie himself), a politician has a slogan with something like “For God, Justice and …” whatever. Those two words in the same sentence … So much respect for an imaginary being, so little consideration for actual people (this is a country mimicking democracy, whatever that’s supposed to be).
    It’s very trendy to be religious here …
    Agh… Just venting. It’s hard to find an atheist in this corner of the planet…

  • Michael

    Yes holy Green will probably blow a fuse

  • Rocky Balboa

    Whatever has happened to freethinking?!? Surely this poor man has done nothing more than express his opinion! Is there any hint that he has tried to spread hatred or encourage gay-bashing in any way? He merely disagrees with the prevailing view in this country on the sinfulness or otherwise of homosexuality. If you asked him he would probably oppose other sorts of sexual behaviour as well, like pedarasty and heterosexual promiscuity. No true liberal can support this action any more than they could if it was being taken against an individual on account of holding the opposite opinion, that homosexuality is not morally flawed. Years ago, I suspect the Freethinker would have stood up for people like this.
    Maybe you should change the name of your organ.

  • carlo

    well, these are the good news, the bad ones are that muslims fundies aren’t treated in the same way

  • valdemar

    Carlo, I think it’s only a matter of time before somebody grasps the nettle with Muslim bigots, too. Multi-faith nonsense is looking pretty threadbare these days, mainly because none of the ‘faithful’ actually believe in it, except for a few cranks like Prince Charles.

  • Barry Duke

    “Surely this poor man has done nothing more than express his opinion!”
    No Rocky, the man was not canned for expressing an opinion. The report makes clear that he was “found guilty of failing to comply with a lawful order over the use of police computers, and failing to treat a colleague with politeness and tolerance.”
    There’s a world of difference between expressing an opinion and breaking the rules.
    Cogman, like the Christian registrar Lillian Ladele who refused to carry out same-sex civil unions in Islington, is typical of a breed of religious zealots who demand that employers bend the rules to accommodate their bigotry.
    These people are clearly not fit for purpose, and should rightfully be sacked.

  • Sorry, I’m with Rocky Balboa on this. Stupid and ignorant as this PC’s opinions might be, if we start sacking people for being stupid and ignorant then the recession’s going to even more pronounced than expected.
    If he had a prolonged history of insubordination then that’s another matter, but if his offence was misusing the police computers then another docking of pay seems an appropriate response.
    I’m afraid we have to learn how to deal with bigots in the workplace. We all come across them from time to time. Laughing at them might be more productive than sacking them.

  • There are elements of the police who are homophobic bigots?! WHOA!
    This also just in; The pope IS a Catholic, I repeat he IS a Catholic. And bears do, in fact, shit in the woods.

  • tony e

    I’m with Rocky and Peter on this. Though this PC’s views may be dated, if we start to impose our views on others then we are no better than the religious twats we so often condem on this site.

  • Tony,
    For many occupations I would agree, but this man is in a position of authority and trust to see justice served that most of us don’t have.
    Could he, for instance, deal with a queer-bashing or the harassment of a gay couple by vandals to the best of his ability if he thinks the victims are sinners who need mental healing more than a hospital bed?

  • tony e

    Stuart W – I completely agree with you, but this is a democracy and, although out of touch with most people, he has the right to his closely held beliefs. Though he may think that gays are sinners, as long as he carries out his job without bias that should be ok. If we are to say what is right and wrong for people to believe then we are beginning to sound a bit like the churches we critisize. A fine and a warning should have been enough.

  • newspaniard

    I second Tony E

  • Barry Duke

    Good as it is to see tolerant non-believers siding with Cogman, I wonder how many of them have actually worked alongside a Bible-pest. I have – on three occasions – and let me assure you that the arrogance and priggish self-righteousness they brought to their jobs, along with biblical texts left on colleagues desks, led to terrible disharmony and arguments.
    I should not be in the least surprised if Cogman’s behaviour followed the same pattern, and that it was this that led to his sacking.

  • Dan

    Peter Hearty wrote:
    >>Sorry, I’m with Rocky Balboa on >>this. Stupid and ignorant as this >>PC’s opinions might be, if we start >>sacking people for being stupid and >>ignorant then the recession’s going >>to even more pronounced than >>expected.
    disclaimer: I don’t know the details of the case.
    People are sacked for being stupid and ignorant – i.e incapable of doing their job properly – all the time. Depends on the work and whatnot, but so long as it’s done fairly and legally there isn’t much to complain about.
    In particular, being stupid and ignorant at work means that other people have to put up with you being stupid and ignorant, i.e. probably a bully, not to put too fine a point on it. Nobody should have to put up with bullying, especially not at work.
    Free speech is one thing. Freedom to be a stupid and ignorant police officer feels like another thing.