Cambridgeshire

Homophobia row preacher loses HMP Littlehey tribunal

Rev Barry Trayhorn and HMP Littlehey Image copyright South Beds News Agency/Google
Image caption Rev Barry Trayhorn read from scripture at HMP Littlehey which said homosexuals "will not inherit the Kingdom of God"

A prison minister who resigned after a row about "homophobic" Bible quotes which he read to inmates has had his claim for unfair dismissal rejected.

Reverend Barry Trayhorn, 51, told an employment tribunal he had read the verses at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire in 2014.

He was told complaints were made by gay prisoners and he alleged he was unfairly dismissed.

An employment tribunal rejected his claim in its written decision.

He told a hearing in November he "often focused on Christian teachings about sin and repentance".

'Prisoner complained'

He confirmed the Bible passage in question was 1 Corinthians Chapter 6 Verses 9-11 which includes the lines "neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor coveters, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God" and he read it on 31 May 2014.

Mr Trayhorn, of Sandy, Bedfordshire, said he heard later that a gay prisoner had complained or was upset and there was "some sort of campaign" to remove him from chapel services.

"But I fear and do not believe it is right to alter the Christian faith so as to tailor it to any modern view of sexual ethics," he told the hearing.

He said he was told he could no longer volunteer at chapel services, complaints were then also made about his gardening work and he was told to attend a disciplinary hearing in a letter which said he had made a "homophobic statement".

He was signed off work in August 2014 with stress and resigned in November saying he had been harassed because of his Christian faith and it was impossible for him to return to work.

He brought his claim for constructive unfair dismissal against the Secretary of State for Justice.

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