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Christian business to appeal human rights ruling

A Christian organization found to have discriminated against a lesbian employee will appeal the decision.

Christian Horizons (CH), a Kitchener-based evangelical organization providing care for developmentally disabled people in group homes, was found by the Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in April to have violated the province’s human rights code by firing an employee because she is a lesbian.

The OHRC also ordered CH to stop requiring employees to sign a lifestyle and morality contract that, among other things, prohibited homosexual relationships.

The OHRC tribunal ruled that because CH accepted clients of all backgrounds and because sexual orientation was not relevant to the job, the organization could not discriminate against Connie Heintz.

The ruling did not address the fact that CH is funded almost entirely by the Ontario government or whether it would have made a difference if its clients were exclusively Christian evangelicals.

The appeal will be heard by the Ontario Divisional Court.