Human Rights Commission Won’t Protect Faith – Just Orientation
Two years after Rogers Sportsnet anchor Damian Goddard was sacked soon after coming out in favour of “traditional” marriage, the Canadian Human Rights Commission has dismissed his longstanding claim that the firing was discriminatory.
In a decision released this week, the commission threw out the sportscaster’s case against Rogers Communications Inc. after finding no link between “the complainant’s religion and the termination of his employment contract,” according to Mr. Goddard.
“Even though the human rights commission has made their decision, I’m not finished in getting the truth of the matter out,” said the former host of Connected, speaking from his Oakville home.
In a May 2011 Twitter post, Mr. Goddard wrote “I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.”
The message was issued in response to widely criticized comments by hockey agent Todd Reynolds, in which he claimed that same-sex marriage “will always be wrong.”
Sportsnet immediately distanced itself from Mr. Goddard’s tweet and, on May 12th, publicly announced the sportscaster’s dismissal.
“[I]n recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization,” Sportsnet spokesman Dave Rashford said in a statement issued at the time.
“Mr. Goddard is aware of the reasons — which are well documented — why he is no longer with Sportsnet,” the company added.
Mr. Goddard is aware of the reasons — which are well documented — why he is no longer with Sportsnet . Mr. Goddard took his case to the Canadian Human Rights Commission in June of that year, with his lawyer, William Gale, alleging in a statement that Rogers violated Mr. Goddard’s freedom of religion and “cemented the impression that his Catholic beliefs are inappropriate and grounds for dismissal.”
In the years since leaving Rogers, Mr. Goddard has become a public face for anti-same-sex causes. In 2011, he began appearing in ads sponsored by the National Organization for Marriage, a U.S.-based group advocating against same-sex marriage and gay adoptions.
He also established DamianGoddard.com, a multimedia website and blog designed to “embolden people to live out their faith in this world.”
“To this day, I believe my firing was the making of me … I am forging ahead on a spiritual journey through a treacherous wilderness that appears to be claiming many souls,” reads a brief bio on the site.
On Tuesday, Mr. Goddard said he was looking into appealing the commissions’ decision.
“If we turned the tables, and someone had been fired for tweeting for gay marriage … what ground would that hold up on?” he said.
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