British Red Cross sacks volunteer over protest opposing gay ‘marriage’
A British retiree has lost his volunteer position with the Red Cross after mounting a one-man protest against the legalization of same-sex "marriages". Brian Barkley, 71, says he’ll appeal the dismissal, while his legal costs are being covered by the Christian Institute, a pro-family lobby group and C4M, the Coalition for Marriage.
Barkley’s unpaid job for the Red Cross was to reunite and reconnect families torn apart by armed conflict. As a reward for his 18 years exemplary service, the Red Cross let him represent the organization at a garden party honouring volunteerism with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace in June.
On the same day, British Red Cross was sending Barkley his marching papers. His protest was a violation of the organization’s “fundamental principles which… do not take sides in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.” His “opportunity to volunteer” was forthwith permanently revoked.
Barkley’s response, reported by the Daily Mail: “What have I done wrong? I passionately believe that the institution of marriage is between a man and a woman and is the cornerstone of our society. Why is it wrong to say so in public?”
But Barkley didn’t just say it in public. He was photographed saying it, in March, on the day Parliament legalized same-sex "marriage", with a sign reading “No Same Sex Marriage,” and was photographed saying it by Pink, the country’s leading homosexual web news site, guaranteeing instant notoriety among gay apparatchiks staffing the country’s charities. Barkley, noted Pink in its coverage of the lone protester outside an obscure cathedral in Yorkshire, was also a “UKIP” candidate—that is, a candidate for the conservative United Kingdom Independence Party.
Barkley was offered an appeal that he promptly requested. So far, no response from the Red Cross.
But if the Red Cross knows anything it knows to mind its donor base, so it did respond to the hostile coverage in the Daily Mail. “Of course we …want to make it absolutely clear that the British Red Cross did not dismiss this volunteer specifically because of the views he has on same sex marriage,” they stated. “The Red Cross respects the right of individuals to hold differing views so long as this does not affect their ability to deliver our services impartially to all who need our help, as enshrined in our fundamental principles.”
While Barkley insists he helped plenty of homosexuals reunite with family members, this cut no ice.
“Where there are serious concerns that certain attitudes will have – or have had – a negative impact on the way services are delivered to a particular community then the Red Cross has no option but to act,” the organization’s statement continued.
“Our volunteer complaints policy clearly states that the British Red Cross expects behaviour that is non-discriminatory and promotes equality. We seek to ensure that our organisation and our services are relevant and accessible to all.”
Responds Barkley: “Freedom of expression is being stifled in this country. I have nothing against homosexuals. But I don’t believe Parliament was representing the views of the people when it changed the definition of marriage.”