The manager of a public housing group was demoted and his pay slashed nearly 40 percent after he criticized a new gay rights law on his personal Facebook page.
Adrian Smith was found guilty of gross misconduct by British court for saying that a new law allowing homosexual weddings in churches was “an equality too far,” the Daily Mail reported.
A disciplinary hearing found that Smith’s comments could be interpreted as saying ‘gay people are not as equal as people who are not gay’ and therefore his comment could be viewed as homophobic, the newspaper reported.
Smith worked at the Trafford Council and Trafford Housing Trust for 18 years and managed more than 9,000 homes in Manchester. Now, he’s been demoted to a rent collection position.
Christians across England are denouncing the punishment.
“It is a complete overreaction by a housing trust that is clearly drenched in political correctness,” Mike Judge, of the Christian Institute, told The Daily Mail. “We’re not talking about a Christian who shoves his opinions down the throats of his colleagues. Mr. Smith made completely tame and inoffensive remarks outside of work time on his personal Facebook page. His bosses should get some sense of perspective.”
Despite widespread support for Smith, the government agency is not backing down. They said that all employees are expected to act respectfully – in person and on social media.
Kate Burgess, a vicar with the Church of England, slammed the decision.
“I do feel that Christians are persecuted in this country, and this may be another example of that,” she told the newspaper.
The Daily Mail issued an editorial denouncing the attack on Smith, calling it a threat to freedom.
“Much of our public sector is run by intolerant leftists and governed by severe speech codes based on ‘equality and diversity,’” the newspaper wrote. “They have a special hostility towards Christians because Christianity is what they seek to supplant and replace.”