The old saying goes something like "you might disagree with what the f*cking idiot says but you'd fight for his right to go on about it". Well, not with today's Thought Police who have claimed another scalp in their PC war on idiots we disagree with but should really leave be.
Aeh? Well, "Trafford Housing Trust was wrong to demote and cut the salary of Christian housing manager Adrian Smith over remarks he made on his personal facebook page, opposing churches being forced to conduct same-sex marriages," said Peter Tatchell.
Mr Tatchell has written to THT, urging them to reconsider their decision.
DD SAYS! Most right thinking gays wouldn't dream of a church wedding for a million sensible reasons beginning with It Doesn't Want You There Getting Married to Another Man. Some churches don't mind which is great for Christian gays (sic) but forcing the rest aint fair and sacking a guy for just saying so in a personal capacity is as disgusting as gay guerilla brides wanting their day in a church so they can get nice pics. "Continue reading" for Tatchell's much saner take on matters...
"The demotion cuts Mr Smith's annual salary from £35,000 to £21,000 - in effect an indefinite fine of £14,000 a year. This is a very harsh punishment for an alleged minor infraction of the trust's rules regarding postings on social media.
"If a gay employee was treated this harshly by a Christian organisation for writing pro-gay comments on their personal facebook page, there would quite rightly be an outcry and accusations of homophobia. Why, then, are so many lesbian gay people, supporting such a harsh penalty for Adrian Smith?
"The Trust was acting with good intentions in a bid to ensure equal opportunities, non-discrimination and inclusive service provision. Although its commitment to equality for lesbian and gay people is commendable, its response to Mr Smith's remarks is excessive and disproportionate."
Mr Smith reportedly wrote on his private facebook (not the facebook of the Trafford Housing Trust):
"an equality too far.....the bible is quite specific that marriage is for men and women if the state wants to offer civil marriage to same sex then that is up to the state; but they shouldn't impose its rules on places of faith and conscience."
"This is not a particularly homophobic viewpoint. Adrian Smith actually supported same-sex civil marriages by the state. His opposition to churches being compelled to hold gay marriages is shared by much of the population, including many equality and human rights organisations," added Peter Tatchell.
"I am opposed to churches being forced by law to conduct same-sex marriages. I do, however, support an end to the legal ban on faith organisations holding gay weddings where they wish to do so. The Quakers, Unitarians and Liberal Jews want to perform same-sex marriages and they want the law changed to enable them to do this. I support their appeal for law reform.
"Adrian Smith reportedly made his comments in his own time on his personal facebook page, which is not viewed by the general public. He expressed an opinion. He did not personally discriminate against anyone. There is no evidence that he has treated any of his gay housing clients adversely.
"His only possible misdemeanour is that he made his comments on a facebook page where he identifies himself as an employee of the Trafford Housing Trust, allegedly contrary to the Trust's rules.
"His opposition to religious organisations being forced to conduct same-sex marriages is shared by the Prime Minister, the Equality Minister, the gay rights group Stonewall and the entire leadership of the Church of England. If Mr Smith is guilty, then they are all guilty.
"Mr Smith voiced his opinion in a calm, non-abusive manner. He was not threatening or intimidating.
"In a democratic society, he has a right to express his point of view, even if it is misguided and wrong. Freedom of speech should only be limited or penalised in extreme circumstances, such as when a person incites violence against others. Mr Smith's words did not cross this threshold.
"It would have been sufficient for Trafford Housing Trust to have warned him about making discriminatory remarks in forums where he is identified as their employee. I hope they will now do this.
"I urge Trafford Housing Trust to revoke his demotion and salary cut," said Mr Tatchell.
See this report in the Mail on Sunday:
Read the response of Trafford Housing Trust: