The Bishop of Hereford has been ordered to pay more than £47,000 after he was found to have discriminated against a man because he is gay.

He lost an Employment Tribunal case in the UK which was won by gay youth worker John Reaney whose appointment was blocked by the Bishop in 2006.

The Cardiff Employment Tribunal ruled last year that the Bishop acted unlawfully by blocking Reaney’s appointment to the post of Diocesan Youth Officer.

Reaney was interviewed by a panel of eight people for the post. However, a unanimous decision to appoint him was personally blocked by the Bishop.

The tribunal also heard last June that the Bishop had subjected Reaney to a humiliating and offensive cross-examination about his private life to which a heterosexual would not have been submitted.

Ben Summerskill, Chief Executive of gay rights organisation Stonewall, which funded Reaney’s case, said, ‘We’re delighted that the Tribunal has sent such a robust signal both to the Bishop and other employers. The substantial level of compensation sends out a very clear message. Not even a Bishop is above this law.”

The Tribunal ruling on Friday against the Bishop includes £33,000 for loss of future earnings and £7,000 damages specifically awarded for ‘psychiatric injury’.

The Bishop’s estimated costs in the case are a further £50,000. The Tribunal has said it expects the Bishop to fulfil an undertaking that he will undergo equal opportunities training.

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