UK Christian Politician Wins Payout After Being Fired for Her Biblical Beliefs on Marriage
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A U.K. Christian mayoral candidate who was fired from her job last May for publicly expressing her biblical beliefs on marriage during her election campaign has settled the lawsuit against her former employer.
As CBN News reported, Maureen Martin from the Lewisham area of London, who is also an ordained minister, included her stance on several topics, like marriage, last year as part of her election campaign.
Under her pledge, she wrote: "Marriage: I pledge to cut through political correctness and simply state the truth that natural marriage between a man and a woman is the fundamental building block for a successful society, and the safest environment for raising children."
After sharing her campaign brochure on social media, gay rights advocates accused Martin of "breaking laws" and "actively promoting prejudice and discrimination" against gay people, Church Leaders reported.
L&Q reportedly received several complaints after Martin posted the pamphlet and launched an investigation. Officials with the company also raised concerns about previous social media posts where she had commented on transgender athletes and the rainbow pride flag.
Martin's employer, LONDON & Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q), fired her for allegedly spreading "hate speech" because her campaign leaflet supported the traditional, biblical definition of marriage.
In her dismissal letter, she was told that her views could be "perceived to be discriminatory, hurtful, and offensive views towards members of the LGBTQ+ community, non-traditional families, and abortion."
Represented by attorneys with the Christian Legal Centre, a project of the U.K. watchdog Christian Concern, Martin filed a lawsuit against L&O on the grounds of discrimination, harassment, indirect discrimination, and unfair dismissal.
Following her dismissal, 42,000 people signed a petition calling on the U.K. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to amend the Employment Rights Act 1996 to protect free speech.
Martin's Case Described by Attorneys as an 'Attack on Democracy'
Just a couple of days shy of the one-year anniversary of her firing, Martin has now settled her case against L&O. Her attorneys said her dismissal was in breach of her right to political speech under Articles 9 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and that her dismissal was "outside the band of reasonable responses" in all the circumstances of her case, according to Christian Concern.
They added that L&Q maintained an entrenched position during disciplinary procedures and that the protected characteristic of sexual orientation took priority over that of religion or belief. The case has even been described as an "attack on democracy."
L&Q houses over 250,000 people in the southeast part of the country and widely advertises its objectives to maintain a high ranking in Stonewall's Equality Index. The index is advertised as a "definitive list showcasing the best employers for lesbian, gay, bi and trans staff," according to Wikipedia.
Martin's settlement with the housing association takes into account the loss of earnings as a result of her termination, injury to feelings in relation to "discriminatory dismissal" and "pre-termination treatment," according to Christian Concern. Martin's case is believed to be the first of its kind to see a political candidate sacked by their employer for their Christian beliefs.
The amount of the settlement was not publicly disclosed. However, The Daily Mail reports Martin's settlement was "substantial."
Mayoral Candidate: 'The Bible Simply Does Not Condone Same-Sex Marriage'
"I am pleased that L&Q has paid out such a substantial sum following the sacking. I know God brought me through this situation and I cannot emphasise more the importance of Christians taking a stand when being discriminated against," Martin said in a press release.
"It was chilling what happened to me, but I am now stronger for it. Much of our culture is now anti-Christian and believes that biblical beliefs, especially on marriage and human sexuality, are 'hate speech' and therefore illegal," she warned.
Martin said it's disturbing how Christian beliefs on marriage, are being silenced and treated with such hostility and disdain in the United Kingdom.
"I should have had a right to express my own Christian beliefs in my own private time and should not have been required to self-censor my beliefs or be forced out of my job," she said.
"The Bible simply does not condone same-sex marriage. If you try and take the middle ground on this issue, as the Church of England has tried to do, you quickly become compromised. As a Christian party, we are not in a popularity contest, we are in a truth contest, and when it comes to truth, we always win," Martin continued.
She also announced her candidacy for Lewisham's mayor's seat in 2024.
"Maureen is a courageous woman treated appallingly for having the guts to declare her belief that marriage between a man and a woman is best for children and our society," said Christian Legal Centre Chief Executive Andrea Williams.
"For speaking about a positive vision of life and marriage as a building block for the good of our society she was silenced and de-platformed in the political space for boldly speaking about her faith in Jesus," Williams explained.
"We had never seen a case like this which sent a crushing message to anyone who believes in Christian marriage and wishes to express those beliefs at work or in public office," she noted.
"LGBT ideology fuelled by Stonewall activists has captured institutions to such an extent that free speech and Christian freedoms have been intimidated into silence," Williams continued.
"No Christian political candidate must face such treatment again," she concluded.
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