Barbara Hall rules on employee lifestyle and morality statement

CNW Group Portfolio E-Mail


Transmitted by CNW Group on : April 25, 2008 13:02
Tribunal rules on employee lifestyle and morality statement

TORONTO, April 25 /CNW/ – The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario released its decision in the case of Connie Heintz v. Christian Horizons. The decision has a significant impact for faith-based and other organizations that provide services to the general public. Such organizations must ensure their hiring policies and practices do not unreasonably restrict or exclude the employment of persons based on grounds under the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Ms. Heintz, an individual of deep Christian faith, and a model employee for five years with Christian Horizons, was providing care and support to individuals with developmental disabilities. Like other employees, when first hired, Ms. Heintz was required to sign a Lifestyle and Morality Statement, which prohibits, among other things, homosexual relationships. After several years, Ms. Heintz came to terms with her sexual orientation as a lesbian. When Christian Horizons discovered this, they advised her that she was not complying with the Statement and required her to leave the organization.

Christian Horizons describes itself as an Evangelical Christian Ministry that provides care and residential services to 1,400 developmentally disabled individuals of all races, creeds and sexual orientations. With over 180 residential homes across Ontario, and
2,500 employees,  Christian Horizons is the largest provider ofcommunity living services in the province, funded almost exclusively by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services.

The Tribunal ruled that Christian Horizons could not require its employees to sign the Statement. It found that Christian Horizons is primarily engaged in serving the disability-related needs of its clients, and the prohibition on homosexual relationships was not a legitimate job requirement for providing quality care and support to disabled residents.

In addition to awarding Ms. Heintz lost wages, general damages and damages for mental anguish, the decision sets out that Christian Horizons will: no longer require employees to sign a lifestyle and morality statement; develop anti-discrimination policies; provide training to all employees and managers; and review all of its
employment policies to ensure that they are in compliance with the Code.

“This decision is important,” commented Chief Commissioner Barbara Hall, “because it sets out that when faith-based and other organizations move beyond serving the interests of their particular community to serving the general public, the rights of others, including employees, must be respected.”

For more information, please visit the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s website:

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4 thoughts on “Barbara Hall rules on employee lifestyle and morality statement

  1. My first response to this post was that it was simply wrong to punish Christian Horizons. But maybe I was wrong. I’m reminded of the verse,
    “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28. Sad to say, this ancient truth is nowhere to be seen in the modern Industrialized arena. Do we discriminate against women, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, people of different sexual orientation, etc., etc.? What a strange world that we still have issues regarding discrimination. Like sexual harassment, the true victims rarely report it while the abused suffer in silence. This is a problem. Huge Problem. In my book, Wingtips with Spurs, I devote a chapter to pay discrimination and how it is often over-looked or swept into a dark corner. And yes, it still exists in this ole so modern world of ours. While we pour more stupid laws into the books to prevent such painful actions, we fail to fix the real problem, that is, the root. In addition, we have been conditioned by lawyers to believe that legal and moral are the same thing. So sad. Whenever a human is treated differently than the masses, we should take a cold, hard look at the situation. A hard look indeed. Maybe even the mirror. Michael L. Gooch, SPHR

  2. This decision is nothing but discrimination against Christians in general and anyone that does not wish to be associated with or work with so-called “gays”.

    This is a clear infringement against religious freedom of conscience since no Christian organization ought to be legally (but still immorally) forced to break its own moral foundational rules of conscience on employment or anything else.

    Should they be required to hire pedophiles as well?
    Oh, but that’s different you will scream.

    Well no it isn’t. Not any more.

    Recently, pedophilia was described as just another “sexual orientation” (a term itself invented by radical activists to twist the reality of various sexual anomalies into normalities).

    Adding pedophilia to the growing list of “sexual orientations” is coming to North America big time.
    So when will it be zoophilia (bestiality)? Necrophilia? Just a matter of time.

    It’s all a question marketing and the Overton window. Kirk and Masden’s gay agenda propaganda book “After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90’s” has been executed to perfection for years and is working as planned. The whole thing is otherwise known as public brainwashing.

    Where will this insanity stop?

    It won’t. With people pretending to defend human rights (except religious rights … er wait a minute, Muslims rights are fine), all while promoting of every kind of moral abuse and state sanctioned impositions of silence and compliance, and the legalized oppression of anyway who dares resist or speak out, well forget it.

    Welcome to the Union of Soviet Socialist Provinces of Canada.

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