Man Demoted For Pro-Marriage Facebook Comments Denied UK Human Rights Laws


The UK Christian Concern:

A Judge has ruled that a Christian who was demoted for posting private comments on his Facebook page criticising the introduction of “gay marriage” in churches cannot rely on his human rights to defend himself.

... Mr Smith had posted a comment on his private Facebook page, out of working hours, suggesting that the introduction of “gay marriage” was “an equality too far.”

... A spokesman for the Christian Institute, which is supporting Mr Smith, said:

“This ruling, while not fatal to Mr Smith’s case, is deeply concerning. It reinforces the widely-held perception that Christians are not afforded the same human rights as others.

“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.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, commented:

“Adrian Smith has been demoted and has received a big pay cut just for expressing a privately held opinion outside of work, an opinion that merely supports the current legal definition of marriage.”

“This ruling highlights the continuing reluctance of the judiciary to recognise and uphold the rights of Christians to express their beliefs freely. It also confirms the suspicions of many that the introduction of same-sex ‘marriage’ will deeply damage freedom of speech and freedom of belief in this nation.”


  1. Ash
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I pray that he succeeds, irregardless of the judge's ruling that he can't use human rights as a basis for his suit.

    Still shocked at the severe punishment he received for such a respectful comment!

  2. Paul Mc
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Same sex marriage cannot affect freedom of belief unless I missed the part where gays put mindbending drugs into the water supply. It may, however, prevent those beliefs from infringing on the freedom of others. And rightly so.

  3. Katherine Harms
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    This man's right to express himself does not infringe on the freedom of others, as Paul Mc implies. His right to express himself only means that he can say his point of view. You apparently have a different point of view, which you also are free to express. However, when an employer can demote someone for having a private opinion during his non-working life, things have degenerated sadly. And for that matter, as the article pointed out, the legal definintion of marriage is the definition he supported. I can see how his church might be upset if he disagreed with them, but why should you care if he has an opionion? I hope he finds a different church.

  4. AM
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    This man was demoted in his job for expressing the following opinion on his facebook:

    “If the state wants to offer civil marriages 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,” he said.

    How long before it's a crime to be Christian in the UK?

  5. Jezwinda
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    It seems you can express any opinion you want, unless it is Christian! Then you're just a narrow-minded bigot.

  6. Little man
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    I am so glad (not gay) i don't live in England. What a mess of a country, and getting invaded by Muslims who have several unofficial 'wives' (up to 3) because their own population doesn't want to reproduce - just live it up..

  7. Posted March 28, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    SSM necessarily undermines freedoms of religion and speech, denying the latter and watering down the former to meaninglessness.

  8. will brealey
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 4:38 am | Permalink

    I support equal partnerships for gay and hetero couples. (I believe whether churches support or carry out gay marriage is a matter purely for the churches). But this seems like an over-reaction.

    I understand that he broke company guidelines by identifying himself as a manager for the housing trust. Under the housing trust's code, staff are expected to ensure that their opinions cannot be mistaken as being the opinions of the trust.

  9. Little man
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    will brealey: That's why he posted on his personal Facebook software, man... Splitting hairs?

  10. LonesomeRhoades
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    People need to stand up to the fools and idiots and demagogues who are imposing clearly immoral and sinful and perverse ideas on society.

  11. Zack
    Posted March 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Hey I thought the UK promoted "free speech"?

  12. Barb Chamberlan
    Posted March 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    In the UK, it seems, everyone is free to agree with Big Nanny. Otherwise, forget it. "Human rights" is such a pretty phrase, but obviously meaningless.

  13. yoshi
    Posted March 30, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Unlike the US - the UK doesn't have a written Constitution or a strong history of protection of religious liberty.

    But that won't keep NOM from crying wolf here in the US anyways.