Catholic loses discrimination case over wreath ceremony

A Roman Catholic has lost his discrimination action against a local authority that refused to stage a wreath-laying ceremony to mark the deaths of Christians murdered by IS.

The man took the discrimination action on religious grounds, against the un-named local authority. He wanted the wreath-laying to be part of a flag-raising ceremony for Pope Benedict.

The man made the request after the council staged a flag-raising and wreath-laying ceremony in the summer of 2016 to commemorate the members of the LGBTQ community murdered in an Orlando nightclub.

In the attack at Pulse nightclub, a security guard murdered 49 people in June, 2016.

The man taking the discrimination case said that he wanted the ceremony celebrating Pope Francis to also commemorate the massacre of Christians in the Middle East and the murder by IS of a priest in France.

Following the council refusal, the man alleged that he was treated less favourably, in similar circumstances, than the LGBTQ community, because of his religious beliefs.

In his ruling, WRC adjudication officer, Roger McGrath, stated that the man failed to adduce any evidence to demonstrate that he has been treated less favourably than another religious group.

He stated: “Rather, the complaint has compared his position, as a Roman Catholic, to that of members of the LGBTQ community. He has erred in doing so: the LGBTQ community does not constitute a religion: it is a social group that may/can consist of many different religions.”

The local authority refuted any allegation of discrimination made against it and submitted that such allegations “are unfounded, misconceived, and lacking in factual foundation”.

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