Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
A court trial is under way in the United Kingdom to determine if a Christian manager of a housing organization should be compensated for damages because his employer demoted and penalized him for stating his biblical beliefs on his private Facebook page.
Smith lost his managerial position and had his salary cut by 40 percent after his employer, Trafford Housing Trust, told him his private Facebook page posting, to which only he and his friends had access, violated its standards of conduct.
The case developed in February 2011 when Smith saw a news article titled “Gay church marriages get go ahead.”
He linked to the story and wrote, “An equality too far.”
One of his coworkers asked him to explain, and he responded: “I don’t understand why people who have no faith and don’t believe in Christ would want to get hitched in church. The Bible is quite specific that marriage is for men and women. If the state wants to offer civil marriage to the same sex then that is up to the state; but the state shouldn’t impose its rules on places of faith and conscience.”
Housing Trust officials said that statement violated their code of conduct and punished Smith The Christian Institute reported Trust officials were concerned they would lose a “gay rights charter award” unless they punished Smith.
The Facebook page could be viewed only by friends and family, not the general public. However, some of his coworkers were listed as friends and saw his posting.
The Housing Trust’s punishment has been criticized by many, including “gay rights activist” Peter Tatchell, who said if a “gay” worker had been treated in similar fashion, “there would quite rightly be an outcry and accusations of homophobia. Why, then, are some lesbian and gay people supporting such a harsh penalty for Adrian Smith?”
He pointed out, according to Christian Institute, that Smith’s comments were on his own time and on his own page.
“He did not personally discriminate against anyone. There is no evidence that he has treated any of his gay housing clients adversely. Smith voiced his opinion in a calm, non-abusive manner,” he said.
The case highlights a major battle in the U.K. – a demand from pro-homosexual activists that marriage for all intents and purposes be redefined to include duos of the same sex.
The institute reported that Christians and others who hold to a traditional biblical definition of marriage would be penalized all across society.
A judge in the case, Charles Khan of Manchester County Court, earlier this year ruled that Smith would not be allowed to argue that his human rights were violated, only that a contract was breached.
At the time, the institute noted, “This ruling … is deeply concerning. It reinforces the widely held perception that Christians are not afforded the same human rights as others.”
They continued, “If the shoe were on the other foot, if an employee had been disciplined for advocating gay marriage, it is inconceivable that human rights arguments wouldn’t apply.”
Earlier, Member of Parliament Stewart Jackson said the Housing Trust was “propagating state-sponsored intolerance.”
Similar issues already are developing in the United States, which has had a federal “hate crimes” law since Barack Obama assumed the presidency. The law applies additional penalties based on the “thoughts” of the perpetrator or the “perception” of a victim.
Also, in the state of California, lawmakers have adopted a long list of laws that ban any negative portrayals of homosexuality in schools, such as a classroom discussion about a shorter lifespan expectancy. They also require that school children celebrate the life of Harvey Milk, a homosexual politician who advocated for Jim Jones, whose congregation moved en masse to South America and eventually died in a mass suicide-murder.