Commentators at three of Britain’s biggest newspapers have criticised the treatment of a Christian employee who was disciplined and almost sacked over comments he made about legislation for gay weddings in churches.
Ally Fogg, writing on The Guardian’s website, said that Trafford Housing Trust “couldn’t have got things more badly wrong”. Writing in The Daily Telegraph Cristina Odone warned that “secular individualists” were trying to push believers out of the public sphere. And a Mail on Sunday comment piece accused the Trust of “despotic behavior”.
On Sunday it emerged that Adrian Smith had been demoted and had his salary slashed by 40 per cent because he commented online that registering civil partnerships in churches was “an equality too far”.
And reflecting on the case on The Guardian’s website Ally Fogg criticised the treatment which Mr Smith had received for expressing “some relatively mild views”. He said: “If the trust was concerned about its reputation for inclusiveness and tolerance, it couldn’t have got things more badly wrong.”
. . . And a comment piece in The Mail on Sunday said: “The sinister process by which he has been denounced and then impoverished is deeply disturbing. His beliefs have nothing to do with his performance of his duties. It continued: “If the Trust’s high-handed and despotic behaviour goes unchallenged, all of us will be significantly less free.”