Christian worker who told gay co-worker her life was a sin wins claim
A Christian nursery worker who was sacked after airing her views on homosexuality and marriage has won a discrimination claim against her former employer, her legal representatives said today.
Sarah Mbuyi, 31, was fired by Newpark Childcare in Shepherds Bush, west London, for gross misconduct after telling a lesbian colleague her gay lifestyle was a sin. She claimed the sacking breached European law on religious freedom.
The Belgian national, from Tottenham, north London, who was dismissed after a year working with children aged under one, denied harassment, claiming that the gay woman approached her asking about religion and same-sex marriage and was angry she had been barred from marrying her partner in a church.
The Christian Legal Centre (CLC), which supported Miss Mbuyi, said an employment tribunal at Watford had found she was directly discriminated against because of her belief that homosexual practice was contrary to the Bible.
The tribunal recognised that while the employer was "not anti-Christian" Miss Mbuyi had not been treated fairly and that the decision to sack her may have been made on "stereotypical assumptions about her and her beliefs".
Her belief was described by the tribunal as one which is "worthy of respect in a democratic society, is not incompatible with human dignity and is not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others" and that the employer's policy that there was a "prohibition on employees expressing adverse views on homosexuality and/or describing homosexuality as a sin" would have a "disparate impact on Christians holding similar views to Miss Mbuyi on the biblical teachings on practising homosexuality.
"That is not merely because a significantly higher proportion of Christians would hold such views but also because many evangelical Christians feel their faith compels them to share it".