A devout Christian social worker, Felix Ngole, who won a landmark free speech case over his religious beliefs, has had a job offer rescinded after his personal views clashed with those of his Stonewall-backed employer on LGBT rights. The Mail has the story.
A devout Christian social worker has had a £25,000-a-year job offer withdrawn after his employer discovered he had once won a landmark legal case over his right to freedom of speech.
Felix Ngole was thrown off a social worker training course at Sheffield University following his Facebook post which quoted passages from the Bible about same-sex marriage.
But in a major victory for free speech, he was allowed to return to his training when the Court of Appeal ruled in 2019 that Mr. Ngole would ‘never discriminate against anyone’ because of his personal views. His case was featured in the Mail on Sunday as part of our Fighting For Free Speech campaign.
But now the father-of-three faces further hardship as a result of his religious beliefs. He successfully applied for a job at Leeds-based Touchstone Support as a mental health support worker but the offer was rescinded weeks later when the organisation discovered his involvement in the previous case. The company, which is backed by LGBT lobby group Stonewall, claimed his ‘strong views against homosexuality’ did not align with its ‘ethos and values’.
It argued Mr. Ngole posed a ‘significant risk’ to its patients and reputation and it would only consider employing him if he gave assurances that he would ‘embrace and promote LGBT rights’.
Mr. Ngole told the Mail on Sunday how senior staff at Touchstone had ‘interrogated’ him over his Christian values in a second interview after accepting the role. “It was an attack on my faith,” Mr. Ngole said. “While they fell short of calling me homophobic, they portrayed me as someone who doesn’t like people from the LGBT community and was going to cause them harm. I was distraught. It’s not who I am as a Christian. I would never discriminate against anyone – that’s the opposite of what the Bible teaches. Sadly, they didn’t give me that same respect in return. I can’t pledge allegiance to the LGBT flag to be offered a job – and I don’t believe, as a committed Christian, I should be made to do so.”
Mr. Ngole, who claimed asylum in the U.K. from violent political persecution in Cameroon, was delighted to be offered the ‘dream job’ following an interview in May last year. But several weeks later, after receiving a start date and further details about the role, he received an email from Touchstone’s Deputy Chief Executive, Kathryn Hart. It said he was unsuitable for the position and they had ‘unfortunately identified some significant areas for concern’ which did not ‘align with Touchstone Leeds’ ethos and values’.
Worth reading in full.