A Christian mayoral candidate is taking her employer to a tribunal after they sacked her for having “hurtful and offensive” views on marriage.
Maureen Martin's views were labelled “bigoted” and “hateful” on Twitter after she described marriage between a man and a woman as “the fundamental building block for a successful society.”
The ordained minister from Lewisham, London, had worked for Housing Association L&Q for 13 years as a housing manager with an unblemished record, and stood for mayoral election before.
Despite not naming her workplace on the leaflets or manifesto, Miss Martin, who lives with and cares for her elderly parent, was dismissed for gross misconduct.
The Christian People’s Alliance candidate, and president, said: “I was devastated, but also sadly not surprised that L&Q would treat me in this way. I have been an exemplary employee, and I believe my Christian beliefs have been an asset to L&Q. I have always gone above and beyond to help the people L&Q serve.
“I have a right to express my own Christian beliefs in my own private time and should not be required to self-censor valid beliefs... I would not treat people in any way other than professionally. It was a general statement I made and I am quite within my right to make it.”
Miss Martin, 56, said she was determined to fight for justice, adding: "The message this is sending is if you want to engage politically and make a difference in your community, if your views don't line up with the liberal agenda, you can potentially be fired from your job.”
Miss Martin is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre. Its chief executive, Andrea Williams, said: “We have never seen a case like this which sends a crushing message to anyone who believes in Christian marriage and wishes to express those beliefs at work or in public office.”