23 December 2008
Straight man wins harassment case in landmark ruling
A heterosexual male has won a landmark harassment ruling after suffering a series of homophobic taunts due to living in Brighton.
Stephen English, 56, took his case to the Court of Appeal after both an employment tribunal and an appeal tribunal rejected his compliant regarding derogatory homophobic comments made by work colleagues, despite knowing he was married.
Ruling in his favour, Lord Justice Sedley said: "You cannot legislate against prejudice [but] you can set out in specified circumstances to stop people's lives being made a misery of it."
Mr English worked in sales at Thomas Sanderson Blinds, near Portsmouth, and based his complaint on regulation five of the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Act of 2003.
Two previous hearings rejected his claim on the grounds that Mr English's colleagues knew he was straight, claiming the law only applies to those who are harassed based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation.
Thomas Sanderson Blinds has been in operation for 17 years and is Europe's largest manufacturer and supplier of conservatory blinds.