Gay former navy officer loses appeal of court decision in human rights case

A former navy officer who alleges the military discriminated against him because he is gay has lost an appeal in his case.

Paul Ritchie was appealing a Federal Court decision made last year to dismiss his application for a judicial review of a decision by the Canadian Human Rights Commission.

In the recent decision, Justice Andre F.J. Scott of the Federal Court of Appeal said three issues had to be determined, including whether new evidence could be introduced, whether the previous federal judge had erred in finding a decision by the commission was reasonable and whether the judge erred in finding it had not violated Ritchie's procedural rights.

The Federal Court of Appeal did not accept the evidence and also rejected Ritchie's allegation the commission decision was unreasonable because of ``numerous factual errors'' in the investigator's report.

Ritchie had alleged it was an error to say he had requested release from the Canadian Forces and claims he was released because of his homosexuality, despite records indicating he had applied for a voluntary release in June 2011 and then tried to rescind it.

The commission report found that, as the military admitted, Ritchie was at times treated differently but could not conclude it was due to his sexual orientation.