Gay marriage comment man wins action

First published in News

A CHRISTIAN who was demoted for posting his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook has won his breach of contract action.

Adrian Smith lost his managerial position, had his salary cut by 40 per cent, and was given a final written warning by Trafford Housing Trust (THT) 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 Smith, who attends the evangelical Salt Church in Bolton, brought breach of contract proceedings, saying the trust acted unlawfully in demoting him. And Mr Justice Briggs ruled in his favour at London’s High Court.

The judge said the trust did not have a right to demote Mr Smith as his Facebook postings did not amount to misconduct, and the demotion constituted a breach of contract.

Mr Smith said in a statement: “The judge exonerated me and made clear my comments about marriage were in no way misconduct. I didn’t do this for the money — I did this because there is an important principle at stake.”

Matthew Gardiner, chief executive at the housing trust said: “We fully accept the court’s decision and I have made a full and sincere apology to Adrian.”

Mr Smith is still employed by the trust.

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