Sunday, October 23, 2011

Adrian Smith demoted for not backing gay marriage after criticising new law on Facebook | Mail Online

Sometimes I believe that a cause, protest, even the "right" for equality of same-sex marriage can go a little too far. Don't get me wrong, I believe that equality is needed for all of us and has to come about soon. And it is in many ways with same-sex marriage legal now in six states and civil unions in a few others.  But sometimes, in our zealous fight to win, we have collateral casualties that shouldn't be.

I believe this is the case with Adrian Smith, a Christian and employee of the Trafford Housing Trust, living in the UK, who placed a somewhat inocuous statement on his personal FaceBook page stating his belief that, "allowing gay weddings in churches was ‘an equality too far’." His statement and page were only viewable by his friends and not the general public, but apparently one of his co-workers complained, asking : "‘Does this mean you don’t approve?’ The following evening after work, Mr Smith, who attends an evangelical church in Bolton, responded: ‘No, not really. 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 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.

Recent legislation proposed in the UK would allow gay ceremonies to be held in churches and other religious places.

Adrian Smith
Lawyers for Mr Smith, whom friends describe as affable and non-confrontational, say his comments were merely expressing an ‘honest belief’ based on his Christian faith.

I believe that this is a fair expression of his personal beliefs and a violation of his civil rights . Unfortunately, his life has been affected by this as his employer suspended him, then  demoted him to money support adviser, handling rent collection. His pay was reduced from £35,000 to £21,396 a year, phased in over a year, and he was given a final written warning.

The question remains thus: can we sometimes, in our fight for equality, go too far and create the very same situation for people for which we are fighting for?

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