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Christian Concern
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Christian Concern
World News

Christian social worker in court after being denied job due to refusal to promote LGBTQ+ rights

by Lydia Davies

An employment tribunal has begun hearing the case of a Christian social worker who has taken legal action against an NHS-endorsed care firm, after claiming he’s been denied employment due to his views on sexuality.

The £25,000-a-year position for a mental health support worker at Touchstone Support in Leeds was initially offered to Felix Ngole but later retracted upon the discovery of his Christian beliefs and previous legal battle for freedom of speech.

His legal team, Christian Concern, said despite passing the interview process, Ngole's job offer was withdrawn after Touchstone Support learned of his victorious court case defending his right to express his beliefs.

In a statement, the company cited his "strong views against homosexuality" as "incompatible" with its ethos and values.

Ngole's journey to this point began in 2015 when he was removed from his social worker training course for sharing Bible passages on Facebook that addressed same-sex marriage. However, in 2019, the Court of Appeal vindicated him, ruling that holding personal views did not equate to discrimination.

The 46-year-old father of three encountered further challenges when Touchstone required him to demonstrate how he would "embrace and promote homosexual rights," a condition he found unable to fulfil without compromising his faith.

Ngole has now sued Touchstone for direct discrimination, harassment, and breaches of the Equality Act 2010.

Christian Concern will argue that siding with Touchstone could set a dangerous precedent allowing companies to discriminate against Christians who interact with LGBT individuals.

Ngole said before the hearing: “I was told I was the best candidate for the job, then they suddenly I found I was unemployable because they discovered that I am a Christian.

“No one has ever told me that I have not treated them well in my professional experience. I have never been accused of forcing my beliefs on anyone. I have supported vulnerable individuals from all backgrounds, including LGBT”.

He added: “It is untenable for employers to be allowed to discriminate against Christian beliefs in this way and to force individuals to promote an ideology that goes against their conscience in the workplace.

“There was no mutual respect, and no tolerance and inclusion of me and my beliefs whatsoever”.

The hearing is expected to end on 10th April.  

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