What is a matter of opinion and what is a conflict of interest/human rights issue?
A 38-year-old Christian postgraduate student in the U.K. has been expelled after he made a Facebook post supporting Kim Davis and protesting same-sex marriage.
Felix Ngole is a former Cameroon resident who received asylum from the U.K., received two degrees, and became a teacher. In the post, he quoted a bible verse from Leviticus in support of his antigay beliefs as a part of a discussion thread.
After another Sheffield University student complained about his post, he was called to a disciplinary hearing. As The Telegraph reports, this is where things get…complicated:
He said he was initially not even told what he was accused of doing. He was eventually told that it involved breaching social work guidelines on “personal conduct” and “bringing the profession into disrepute.”
At a further hearing, a university “fitness to practise” panel concluded that he was entitled to his opinion on the issue of gay marriage but that there was a danger he “may have caused offence to some individuals” by voicing it.
As a result of the hearing, the panel had doubts about Ngole’s ability to be effective as a social worker, and he was expelled.
Ngole claims that he was the one discriminated against:
“The way I was treated made me feel that their duty of care to me immediately ended from the day they received that complaint.
I am not against people who are in same-sex relationships, that is their choice, but I am a Christian and if asked for my views I should be free to express that. I didn’t intimidate anyone and I didn’t treat them in a discriminatory manner.
I don’t see how you can end somebody’s professional career based on something that is untested and unproven.”
Ngole has appealed the decision and may launch a larger legal fight if he isn’t reinstated.
We’re (duh) all about equal rights for the LGBT community, but there’s something icky about derailing someone’s career based on a Facebook post. It’s a little too 1984 for our tastes.
What do you think? Is it right to punish a homophobe or did situation go a bit too far? We’re dying to know what you think.
Originally published on Queerty.
Photo: Getty Images