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Fitzwilliam College 5.png
Fitzwilliam College 5.png
UK News

Christian group takes legal action after conference booking refused over gay marriage views

by Alex Collett

A Christian group are pressing ahead with a judicial review of the decision of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge to cancel an event for young professional Christians over its biblical beliefs on marriage.

The Christian Legal Centre has instructed lawyers who have said that by refusing the booking for the Wilberforce Academy, an initiative of Christian Concern, Fitzwilliam College has directly discriminated against the group on the grounds of its religious and philosophical beliefs.

The cancellation of the event, which was due to be held in February 2022, was justified by a senior member of staff at the college, on the grounds that the group did "not believe in gay marriage" was not "inclusive" and that Christian Concern's "general beliefs" were "not compatible with the values of the college."

Organisers of the Wilberforce Academy conference received an email from Robert Clarke, head of catering and events, on the cancelling of the event, who wrote: "Thank you for your interest in holding your conference in Fitzwilliam College. After careful consideration the College has decided not to accept the booking on the grounds that the event is not compatible with the values of the College."

The case comes following Worcester College, Oxford, admitting that it "misled" its students after cancelling the Wilberforce Academy for similar reasons in September 2021.

Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern said: "We are now living in a society where Orthodox Christian beliefs appear to be 'fair game' for secular activists who have a grip on what is acceptable and what isn't at the heart of our universities.

"The event was cancelled casually and abruptly as though Christian beliefs on marriage are illegal and therefore discrimination of this nature is an acceptable norm.

"For senior members of a world-renowned college to show such brazen discrimination of Christian beliefs should concern anyone who cares about Christian freedoms and free speech."

Premier Christian News has approached Fitzwilliam College for comment. 

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