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ICC Note: In May 2015, a prison worker named Barry Trayhorn who led chapel at a UK prison referenced 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, which includes references to sexuality. Following a complaint that the minister spoke against homosexuality, Trayhorn was barred from participating in future chapel services shortly after. Trayhorn filed a case alleging that he was forced out of his position as a result of religious discrimination; however, a recent appeals tribunal ruled that he was not discriminated against.

By Heather Clark

08/04/2017 United Kingdom (Christian News Network) – A Christian prison worker in the U.K. who was barred from participating in chapel services after quoting a Scripture that references homosexuality has lost his appeal, as an Employment Appeals Tribunal was not convinced that he had suffered discrimination.

The tribunal concluded that the policies at HMP Littlehey, a prison for sex offenders, were legitimate in light of the prison’s desire to maintain order as some inmates could find the quoted passage offensive.

“Justice Slade upheld the Employment Tribunal’s ruling that the quoting of [certain verses in] the Bible in a chapel service could ‘legitimize … mistreatment’ of homosexual prisoners,” the organization Christian Concern also advised via a press release on Wednesday.

“The ruling means that certain parts of the Bible may be regarded as off-limits for quoting and preaching from in a chapel service,” it lamented. “In effect, the state is determining that some parts of the Bible are acceptable to quote and some are not. If you quote the wrong part, you could face consequences.”

As previously reported, Barry Trayhorn, an ordained Pentecostal minister and gardener at HMP Littlehey, had volunteered his time and talents during the chapel services at the facility since 2012 at the invitation of the prison chaplain.

In May 2015, while leading worship, Trayhorn felt led to quote from 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and exhort prisoners that forgiveness is available to those who will repent.


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