Tuesday, March 11, 2008
CATHOLIC COUPLE WIN FIRST ROUND IN CIVIL PARTNERSHIP ROW WITH POLICE
A DEVOUT Catholic couple who object to their marital status being listed alongside civil partnerships have won the first round in an employment tribunal action against Scotland's largest police force.
Lucille and Frank McQuade, who have been married for 26 years, claim that Strathclyde Police is guilty of religious discrimination after altering its civilian employee records to change their status from "married" to "married/civil partnership".
Speaking after an earlier tribunal hearing, Mrs McQuade, 46, who until recently worked as a CID clerk with the force, said: "The concept of homosexuality is not compatible with our faith." Mrs McQuade, now with the Catholic Parliamentary Office and Fertility Care Scotland, which teaches natural family planning, added: "We find it offensive that people don't know if we are married or civil partners."
Mr McQuade, 49, a communications officer with the force, added that no slur was intended on the gay community.
The couple, from Motherwell, told the original tribunal hearing in Glasgow last October that the change to their "true legal and religious status" amounted to sex discrimination and religious discrimination.
The McQuades argued also that they had been treated less favourably than single colleagues who have not been affected by any change in status.