On April 15, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruled against Christian Horizons, a Kitchener-based organization that works with the developmentally handicapped, telling the government-funded evangelical ministry that it cannot enforce its code of behaviour contract with employees. The contract prohibited adultery, pre-marital sex, homosexuality and “endorsing” alcohol and cigarettes.
A lesbian employee complained to the Ontario Human Rights Commission and the tribunal ruled that the contract’s morality statement unjustly discriminated against homosexuals. Christian Horizons says it will abide by the decision and no longer require employees to sign the lifestyle and morality statement, although it is appealing the tribunal’s requirement that it establish anti-discrimination policies and give staff human rights training.
On one hand, there is the argument that when you accept money from the state, the government gets to enforce its own rules and morality. But on the other hand, the state should be more tolerant of organizations conducting their business as they see fit and the evangelical ministry thought it best that its employees conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the organization’s explicitly Christian worldview.
The tribunal’s decision further marginalizes the role of religion in public life, requiring semi-private institutions to accept secularist and immoral precepts. The public square is indeed naked – at the behest of an unelected, unaccountable and out-of-control human rights industry that consistently finds Christian morality beyond the pale of what is acceptable.