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Equality North East

Harriet Harman will not continue fight over gay church staff

Equality minister Harriet Harman has backed down over an amendment on who churches can employ.

She is thought to have made the climbdown to avoid a continuing dispute with church leaders in the face of the Pope's visit in September.

Provisions in the Equality Bill, currently passing through parliament, would have clarified the law requiring churches only to discriminate in terms of sexual orientation when hiring those who will teach doctrine or lead worship.

The 2003 Sexual Orientation Regulations mean that staff such as youth workers, janitors and administrative workers cannot be refused employment due to their sexuality.

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February 4, 2010

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