Christian Social Worker in UK Denied Job for Refusing to 'Pledge Allegiance to the LGBT Flag'
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A Christian social worker in the UK is pursuing legal action after his healthcare employer rescinded its job offer due to his biblical beliefs on sexuality and marriage.
Felix Ngole landed his "dream job" at NHS after being recruited as a mental health support worker by Touchstone Support Leeds, a healthcare organization.
The job offer was quickly withdrawn after leadership learned of Ngole's recent victory in a landmark case over his right to freedom of speech.
As CBN News reported, Ngole won an appeal in a UK appeals court after he was expelled from his college for expressing his faith on sexual ethics in a debate on social media.
He was dismissed from the University of Sheffield in 2016 for his participation in a 2015 Facebook discussion opposing same-sex marriage.
Being a devout Christian, he quoted biblical verses confirming the traditional Christian views on marriage.
A complaint was filed against Ngole by an anonymous source several months after the Facebook discussion. He was told by the university that he "lacked insight' into the effect of his Facebook posts. The expression of his Christian views was found to be unacceptable by the university, and he was required to stay silent on the subject while attending school.
Ngole was also told not to express his Christian views in public, including in a church. He was ordered to never express his viewpoint in a work situation even if directly asked.
Ngole brought a legal challenge against the school.
The Court of Appeals rebuked the university saying that people should not live in fear when expressing their views. The court said, "The mere expression of religious views about sin does not necessarily connote discrimination."
Ngole is now facing discrimination again, this time claiming Touchstone Support took away a job offer because his faith-based beliefs did not align with their "ethos and values".
"In particular, we can see that you have very strong views against homosexuality and same-sex marriage, which completely go against the views of Touchstone, an organization committed to actively promoting and supporting LGBTQ+ rights," read an email sent to Ngole by Touchstone's chief executive, Kathryn Hart.
She said the company would reconsider its decision if Mr. Ngole was "able to give us assurances that [his] role would not be compromised by [his] views."
"What I cannot do, and you cannot reasonably expect me to do without yourselves being discriminatory, is make my participation in the 'promotion of homosexual rights' a condition of my employment," Ngole responded.
He maintained he had no intention of ever discriminating against anyone.
Ngole was invited back for a panel interview, although he had already been offered the job, and questioned at length about his beliefs.
At the conclusion of that discussion, leaders from the company decided to stick with their decision.
The father of three is now challenging the withdrawal with a UK employment Tribunal with the help of the Christian Legal Centre.
"When I received the email telling me that the job had been withdrawn it was a shock. I was very confused and distraught, and I wanted to know why," Ngole explained in a statement. "The reasons they gave for withdrawing the job offer were an attack on me and my faith. They made it seem that 100% of the people I would be helping would-be LGBT, and that I had to pledge allegiance to the LGBT flag and forget about my Christian beliefs."
He added, "It is untenable for employers to be allowed to discriminate against Christian beliefs in this way and to force individuals to promote an ideology that goes against their conscience in the workplace. There was no mutual respect, and no tolerance and inclusion of me and my beliefs whatsoever."
"I have no choice but to pursue justice again because if this is happening to me it will be happening to Christians and individuals from all beliefs and backgrounds across the country," he continued.
Andrea Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, says this type of discrimination is rising in the UK.
"Telling an employee that they must 'embrace and promote' homosexuality as a condition of employment sets a dark and troubling precedent. If left unchallenged it would see Christians who manifest their beliefs barred from working in the NHS and other institutions," she explained.
"What we see here is the confident totalitarianism of an organization that has been captured by Stonewall and will do anything to keep their Stonewall ranking as high as possible," Williams continued. "Viewpoint discrimination is escalating in the UK at an alarming rate...Anyone who does not comply and celebrate LGBT ideology must become a 'non-person.'"
CBN News has reached out to Touchstone Leeds for comment. At the time of publication, they had not responded.
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