A church organist says he was told to “keep quiet” after discovering hardcore gay porn on a fellow congregation member’s official church computer.
Andrew McGarva is, er, was the organist at St. Columba’s Parish Church in Largs, Scotland. Until he was fired for speaking out about the (shocking!) discovery.
It all started back in 2007, when McGarva says he was asked to repair the office manager’s computer. That’s when he found dirty pictures and videos of sadistic gay sex, including one that showed a “rape in the back of a taxi” and another that appeared to show “young people” who may or may not have been underage. When McGarva informed senior church officials about it, he says they threatened his job, saying his position as organist would be “untenable” if word ever got out.
In 2011, McGarva, still miffed about being told to mind his own business, reported the porn to the Church of Scotland’s Safeguarding Service. This time, police were informed, but no further action was taken over the allegations. Afterwards, McGarva claims he was punished for speaking out. Not only did church officials treat him more coldly, but they stopped allowing him to conduct private organ lessons in the church. Then in 2014, he was let go from his job as organist. Now, he’s suing.
Employment Judge Lucy Wiseman said this week that the church had, indeed, breached its contract with McGarva when officials initially instructed him to “keep quiet” about the porn, but she ultimately ruled that because the musician stayed at his job for so many years in spite of the breach, and because the church eventually did inform police, albeit it seven years later, it was now moot.
The judgment states: “The claimant in the grievance raised the issue of the pornographic images and suggested that he had been told by Mr. Lewis that his job would be ‘untenable’ if the story got out into the public domain. The claimant believed this had been said to prevent his from taking further action on the matter, although that belief was difficult to accept in circumstances where the claimant had an opportunity to provide information to the police regarding this matter.”
A Church of Scotland spokesman called McGarva’s allegations “unsubstantiated” and claimed they “have been consistently refuted and remain unproven despite repeated investigation.”
h/t: Herald Scotland