ENGLAND — A healthcare provider in England withdrew a job offer to a social worker after it discovered that he held Christian beliefs and views on marriage and human sexuality.
Felix Ngole was told by Touchstone Support Leeds that unless he could demonstrate how he would ‘embrace and promote homosexual rights’ at the organisation, the job offer would be withdrawn.
Felix is now challenging the withdrawal of the job offer at the Leeds Employment Tribunal with the help of the Christian Legal Centre.
To me it was a dream job, it was a new project, it was a wonderful opportunity for me to just go out there and show kindness to people. So yes, the dream got shattered when my employer or prospective employer decided to withdraw the job offer. It just fell short of calling me homophobic because of my Christian views.
Christian social worker Felix Ngole was excited to have been offered a new job working as a hospital discharge officer for Touchstone Support Leeds. But when Touchstone discovered Felix’s Christian beliefs on marriage and human sexuality, they withdrew the job offer.
It almost felt like we are an equal opportunity employer, but we don’t accept people like you who believe in the Bible. I am back because it’s all about justice. The first time it happened with the University of Sheffield, this time around, is an employer who is drawing from the case of the university, not because I have said anything, but because I’m a Christian, and that in itself is very dangerous.
Hello, I’m Felix Ngole. I’m the student who was expelled from the University of Sheffield for expressing my faith, and I’m really excited today that the judges finally ruled in my favor.
In 2015, the University of Sheffield expelled Felix Ngole from his social work course because of his Facebook comments upholding the Bible’s view of sex and marriage. Of the years of legal challenge, in 2019 the Court of Appeal ruled in Felix’s favour, allowing him to return to his course. The landmark ruling made clear that Felix could hold his beliefs without discriminating against anyone.
When I won my case at the Court of Appeal, I almost, oh yeah, let me pack my bags and go home. It’s all done now. No need to worry, Felix. You know, you, you, you, it’s all there. You took the university court and you won. I thought that would be the end of it. And I also felt that, oh, Christians can go to bed tonight and know that they can express themselves and they won’t be pursued by either a university or an employer. But here I am again.
Felix applied to work at Touchstone Support Leeds in a role where he would manage the discharge of patients with mental health conditions into the community.
When I saw the job advert I really went through it and I read everything that was there and I saw things like we are an equal opportunity employer so I thought, oh, so these people they are going to accommodate me as well as a Christian who perhaps might be different from other people, but if you’re an equal opportunity employer, then it means I too am welcome into the organisation. So that’s what really attracted me to the job. I felt it would be a wonderful opportunity to get in and to help and to support people.
Felix scored the highest marks on an equality and diversity assessment and was offered the role. However, the offer was rescinded weeks later when the organisation discovered Felix’s landmark free speech case victory against the University of Sheffield.
I waited to hear from Touchstone. I waited and waited. And normally, from my experience, once you’ve been offered a job, it doesn’t take that long. So something didn’t feel right. So I waited and waited, and I was becoming a little bit impatient. And then one day I received an email from the office where they were asking for an additional reference. And And I was thinking, but why are they asking for another reference? I provided, was it three or two? I cannot remember. And I think it was two. Why are they asking for one more?
So I provided them with an additional reference only for them to come back and say, we’ve decided to withdraw the job offer because we also came across information about you on Google about your views on marriage and homosexuality, and those views do not actually tie in with ethos and stuff like that, and it just carried on.
Felix is challenging what happened to him with the support of the Christian Legal Centre.
I think there are deeper implications to this case, so I could as well pack my bags and I say, “Well, I had so much trouble with the University of Sheffield, “Let me just carry on and get another job and go quietly.” But if we all do that, if we don’t challenge injustice, if we don’t step forward and say, “No, this is not right,” then we are basically setting a new pace whereby people can make that decision for us and say, “Well, you hold a different belief, “so we’re gonna sack you,” or, “You think differently, so we’re gonna sack you.” And I don’t think that would be the right precedent.
I feel bringing this challenge is predominantly important because justice is something that God actually put in our hearts when he created us. And so we should pursue justice. And so that is what I’m doing.
Source: Global News Alliance, Christian Social Worker has job Offer Withdrawn for Views on Marriage