Settlement for Pilgrim Homes
Pilgrim Homes, a Christian charity caring for older Christians, has won a moral victory against Brighton and Hove Council. The charity withdrew its legal action against the council after an out-of-court settlement meant the restoration of funding and withdrawal of allegations of discrimination. The charity’s case was backed by the Christian Institute’s legal defence fund.
The council had accused the 200-year-old charity of being ‘institutionally homophobic’ and wanted the charity’s home in Brighton to ask its elderly Christian residents about their sexual orientation every three months.
The council had threatened to withhold funding from the home if its demands were not carried through. This threat has been lifted and Brighton and Hove Council has agreed to restore funding.
Andrew Jessop, chief executive of Pilgrim Homes, said: ‘I am delighted to reach an amicable solution with Brighton and Hove Council, and that our lost funding is to be restored. We will be receiving a letter from Brighton removing the allegation of institutional homophobia, together with the requirement that we should ask our residents about their sexual orientation four times a year’.
He said the home was willing to ask potential residents about their sexual orientation when they applied for a place, on the understanding that they had the right to refuse, and that the home would not be required to act in a way that was contrary to its doctrinal stance. Mr Jessop added: ‘We are a Christian organisation for older Christians, and our chief concern has always been to protect their best interests’.