****Ontario court clarifies religious hiring rights
Written by Michael Swan, The Catholic Register
Monday, 31 May 2010 09:23
TORONTO - A Catholic teacher in a Catholic school can be required to maintain a consistent Catholic lifestyle, but the janitor in the same school doesn’t have to toe the religious line, according to a May 14 Ontario Divisional Court ruling.
The ruling is a victory for religious organizations because it re-establishes rights that were thrown into doubt by a 2008 Ontario Human Rights Tribunal ruling, said Susan Adam Metzler, a partner in the law firm of Miller Thomson.
“It’s very nice that we now have a court ruling saying that the Tribunal’s interpretation of (Section 24[a] of the Ontario Human Rights Code) is wrong,” said Metzler, whose firm handles human rights cases for several Catholic bodies.
An appeal to the Ontario court was launched after the Tribunal had ruled in April 2008 that Christian Horizons, an Evangelical Christian agency that operates homes for intellectually and physically disabled people, could not fire Connie Heintz because she had begun living with her homosexual partner, even though Heintz had signed a lifestyle and morality code when she was hired in 1995.