[by Dean Smith] England’s BBC reports a government tribunal has ruled a childcare nursery discriminated against a woman because of her Christian beliefs when it fired her in January 2014. At the heart of the issue was a Christian’s freedom to talk about homosexual issues.
Sarah Mbuyi, an evangelical Christian, worked for Newpark Childcare nursery in Watford, England. According to BBC News, Mbuyi was fired three days after she answered a co-worker’s question who wondered what God thought of her lesbian relationship.
Mbuyi, 31, who first framed her answer with a statement that God did not hate the woman, answered that “God is not OK with what you do.” Mbuyi considered the lesbian woman a friend.
When the nursery found out about the discussion, it dismissed Mbuyi claiming harassment.
Mybuyi, represented by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), challenged the firing before the government’s Employment Tribunal. The Tribunal ruled that though the nursery was not anti-christian it nevertheless had “stereotypical assumptions about her [Mbuyi] and her beliefs.”
It also ruled that Mbuyi’s statement was not harassment and she had the right to express her opinions on the subject when asked. It added that as an evangelical, Mbuyi would feel compelled to share her beliefs and the nursery’s decision to fire Mbuyi would not only put a damper on her freedom to express a Christian opinion, but if not overturned would hinder the free speech of all Christians in the workplace.
The Tribunal ruled that Mbuyi’s beliefs are:
“worthy of respect in a democratic society, is not incompatible with human dignity and is not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others.”
Though Mbuyi has since taken other employment she was delighted by the ruling. CLC lawyer Andrea Minichiello Williams, who represented Mbuyi, added that many people believe if Christians view an act as sinful, then they are haters and bigots, and that is simply not true.
- Christian nursery worker: Ruling shows I’m not anti-gay: BBC
- Christian nursery worker sacked over anti-gay views wins tribunal case: The Guardian
- UK Employment Tribunal: Christian Nursery Worker’s Sacking over “Anti-Gay views were discrimanatory: Gospel Herald