Monday 8 July 2024

Christian educator in Ireland spent more than 400 days in prison over refusal to use transgender pronouns

 A Christian teacher in Ireland has been released after spending more than 400 days in prison for his noncompliance with a school order to use a female name and pronouns for a male student who was transitioning.

In May 2022, Enoch Burke, a history and German language teacher at the Church of Ireland-operated Wilson's Hospital School in Multyfarnham, County Westmeath, faced controversy for his noncompliance with the school principal’s order to use a preferred feminine name and pronouns for a student who was transitioning to female. This refusal set off a chain of events leading to his imprisonment.  First, Burke was placed on paid administrative leave in August 2022 while the school board conducted a disciplinary process. However, he continued to come to the school despite being ordered to stay away, which led to his arrest for contempt of court on Sept. 5, 2022.

As a result, Burke was sentenced to jail until he either pleaded his contempt of court or the court decided otherwise. After 108 days, the High Court in Dublin ordered Burke's release, with the judge arguing that Burke was using his imprisonment for his ends.

In January 2023, the school dismissed Burke, but he continued to present himself at the school, incurring a daily fine of 700 euros ($756), which led to his re-imprisonment in September 2023 in Mountjoy Prison in Dublin.

After spending more than 400 days in Mountjoy Prison, Justice Mark Sanfey of the High Court ordered Burke's release on June 28 due to the summer recess of Irish schools. Sanfey warned that Burke could return to jail if he violated the conditions of his release, which include a ban on returning to Wilson's Hospital School. 

Burke and his fellow Christians defend their religious beliefs against transgender movement

The case has become a contentious issue in Ireland as transgender ideology gains more prominence in society, especially with the ongoing tension between the country's highly religious society and the demands of government institutions to comply with transgenderism.

Some argue that Burke's jail term results from his persistent refusal to accept his dismissal by the school and that he could be released if he agreed not to return to the school. However, others view Burke as a public champion opposing the increasing acceptance of transgender ideology in Ireland.

"Enoch Burke has defeated the Irish woke EstablishmentHe has been released from Mountjoy Prison without having to purge his so-called 'contempt.' Enoch Burke has been unjustly imprisoned for over 400 days for refusing to call a boy a 'girl.' Enoch Burke is a Christian hero," Nick Donnelly, a vocations and formation director for the permanent diaconate, posted on X.

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