En lærer som nektet å bruke kjønnsnøytralt pronomen til en transkjønnet student ble fengslet i Irland for forakt for retten.
Enoch Burke, en evangelisk kristen, ble suspendert med lønn av Wilson’s Hospital School i Co Westmeath for å nekte å kalle eleven “de”.
“Jeg elsker skolen min, med mottoet Res Non Verba, handlinger ikke ord, men jeg er her i dag fordi jeg sa at jeg ikke ville kalle en gutt en jente,” sa han til dommeren før han ble fengslet for å ha brutt en rettskjennelse om å ikke gå eller prøv å undervise ved skolen Church of Ireland.
Retten hørte mandag at Burke hadde nektet å holde seg borte fra skolen under permisjonen så lenge disiplinærprosessen foregikk. I stedet ville han sitte i et tomt klasserom og erklære at han var der for å jobbe.
Dommeren sa til historie- og tysklæreren at han måtte bli i fengsel til han godtar å følge vilkårene i forføyningen, som hadde til hensikt å fjerne hans forakt hans for retten.
Burke sa: “Transgenderisme er mot min kristne tro. Det er i strid med Skriftene, i strid med etosene til Church of Ireland og skolen min.
Hva vi ser, er diskrimineringslover i praksis.
Avisen Telegraph skriver videre:
It is insanity that I will be led from this courtroom to a place of incarceration, but I will not give up my Christian beliefs.”
Lawyers for the Church of Ireland school said it was forced with “a heavy heart” to take action leading to Mr Burke’s jailing after he broke the court order it secured last week.
Earlier Burke, who represented himself, had told the court he would return to the school, despite being arrested there on Monday.
Judge Michael Quinn said he was only ruling on whether there had been a wilful breach of the court order, which is meant to prevent disruption at the school at the start of the new term, rather than on Burke’s beliefs.
“I am a teacher and I don’t want to go to prison. I want to be in my classroom today, that’s where I was this morning when I was arrested,” Burke said in his defence.
He said it was “extraordinary and reprehensible” that his religious beliefs could lead to his suspension by the school.
He added: “Transgenderism is against my Christian belief. It is contrary to the scriptures, contrary to the ethos of the Church of Ireland and of my school.
“My religious beliefs are not misconduct. They are not gross misconduct. They never will be. They are dear to me. I will never deny them and never betray them, and I will never bow to an order that would require me to do so. It is just not possible for me to do that,” he told the court.
The school has said it is abiding by Ireland’s 2000 Equal Status Act by not discriminating against any student and was focused on the welfare of its pupils.
Burke will be back in court on Wednesday, when the injunction is to be reviewed.