Charity wins funding battle following 'homophobia' row

Brighton & Hove Council withdraws threat to withhold £13,000 from a Christian care charity

Brighton & Hove Council has reversed a decision to cut a £13,000 grant to a Christian care charity following a row over whether the charity's residents should be asked about their sexual orientation.

The council withdrew funding for warden services at Pilgrim Homes' Brighton centre after the charity refused to circulate quarterly questionnaires among residents that included questions about their sexual orientation.

The council accused the charity of institutional homophobia and said the information was needed to satisfy equality requirements around the funding it provides.

However, Pilgrim Homes claimed the questionnaire was intrusive and that the home shouldn't be denied funding because of the charity's religious beliefs, a spokeswoman said. It threatened the council with legal action on the grounds of religious discrimination.

After talks with the council, the charity agreed to give equality monitoring forms to potential residents but maintained that applicants would have the right to refuse to answer questions on sexuality.

A council spokeswoman told Third Sector it was happy with the arrangement. In a statement, Pilgrim Homes said it had dropped any legal action.

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