Colin Bourne successfully appealed against the Judgment of the employment tribunal that had found the Claimant’s dismissal to be indirect discrimination on grounds of race and of religion or belief. The Claimant was a 26 year-old teacher in a school for 11-18 year olds. He began a relationship with a 16 year-old girl who was a member of the Youth Group in his Church of which he was leader. The relationship was romantic but there was no suggestion of sexual activity beyond kissing and cuddling. He claimed that he had been discriminated against because, as a devout Christian, he did not believe in sex before marriage. He also claimed that he had been discriminated against on grounds of his Pakistani origin because it was normal in his culture for there to be significant age differences between the man and the woman.
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