Man unfairly demoted for gay marriage views


A Christian in England who was demoted for posting his opposition to gay marriage on a private Facebook page yesterday won his legal action for breach of contract.

Adrian Smith (55) lost his managerial position, had his salary cut by 40 per cent and was given a final written warning by Trafford Housing Trust after posting that gay weddings in churches were “an equality too far”.

The comments were not visible to the public and were posted outside work time, but the trust said he broke its code of conduct by expressing religious or political views which might upset co-workers.

Mr Justice Briggs, in London’s High Court, said the trust did not have a right to demote Mr Smith as his Facebook postings did not amount to misconduct.

He added that the postings were not – viewed objectively – judgmental, disrespectful or liable to cause upset or offence and were expressed in moderate language.

As for their content, they were widely held views frequently to be heard on radio and television, or read in the newspapers. He said he had “real disquiet” about the financial outcome for Mr Smith, whose compensation, less than £100, was limited to the small difference between his contractual salary and the amount actually paid to him during the 12 weeks following his assumption of his new, but reduced, role. – (PA )