A job-hunter who said homosexuality was 'inclined to evil' has lost his discrimination case

Mark Savage claimed he was told to remove the line from his CV.

By Gordon Deegan

A DUBLINER WHO said “homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder inclined towards evil” on his CV has lost a discrimination case against a training agency.

The Workplace Relations Commission threw out the action taken by Mark Savage against Seetec Employment and Skills Ireland, which delivers jobs programmes to the unemployed.

The commission’s adjudication officer, Ian Barrett, found that Savage did not prove primary facts of enough significance to raise the inference of discrimination.

Savage’s CV was submitted for a vacancy in a healthcare firm and in the ‘key achievements’ section he wrote: “Standing up for and defending my religious beliefs, which include that abortion on demand is evil and homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder inclined towards evil.”

Savage claimed, upon reading this, the employment adviser at Seetec said: “You can’t say that, employers are biased.” That is the incident in which Savage alleged the discrimination occurred.

Savage said he was treated less favourably than someone else would have been treated on the ground of religion and that he was discriminated against in the provision of goods and services.

Seetec did not accept the employment adviser used these words and submitted that the advice given was constructive in nature, made without partiality or bias and was solely job-related.

It told the commission’s hearing that the adviser asked Savage why he had included the line, telling him that not all employers would share his views on abortion and homosexuality, and this might influence their decision to invite him for interview.

Savage said it was immaterial whether the comment was meant only as advice as the wording was detrimental to his prospects of getting an interview.

He stated he is proud of his achievements and being told that he could not include them on his CV “caused him emotional upset and distress”.

Marriage equality referendum 

At the hearing, Savage said that if a gay person listed as a key achievement on their CV that they had campaigned for a Yes vote in the marriage equality referendum then the employment adviser would probably not have cautioned such a person in the same way.

He said that he was discriminated against because of his religious beliefs and that the adviser’s employer is vicariously liable.

An operations director for Seetec explained that it is the company’s function to advise clients on the format and content of their CV to enhance their prospects of obtaining interviews and employment.

The Seetec representative said that at no stage did the adviser ask Savage to remove the text or wording but proffered his opinion that the content would diminish his employment prospects.

Seetec said its employees do not make judgements regarding the views or beliefs of any of its clients. However, they would be negligent in their duties if they did not provide professional opinion or advice to enhance their client’s prospects of gaining employment.


Seetec added that the company was unaware of Savage’s religious beliefs, which were of no relevance to the service they provided, saying the adviser had acted impartially and was not biased in any way.

Seetec said the evidence showed the wording used on Savage’s CV goes beyond an expression of his religious beliefs.

Furthermore the company alleged that at a review meeting between Savage and the adviser, in December 2016, Savage expressed his opinion that homosexuality is an intrinsic disorder inclined towards evil and gay people are “an abomination of nature”.

Seetec concluded by saying that Savage was unable to make a prima facie case that discrimination took place and did not link any of the points he raised to the alleged religious discrimination.

In his ruling, Barrett stated the evidence did not support the contention that Savage was treated differently or less favourably on the grounds of religion.

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