Christian childcare worker claims she was unfairly sacked for talking about gay marriage with lesbian colleague
A Christian children's worker who believes she was sacked because of her religious views is making an unfair dismissal claim against her former employer.
Sarah Mbuyi alleges that a conversation she had with a lesbian colleague about gay marriage ultimately resulted in her being removed from her role at Newpark Childcare in Shepherd’s Bush.
It is expected that she will argue at a employment tribunal that she has the right, under EU law, to enter into conversations with adult co-employees subject to the normal principles of engagement in speech.
Miss Mbuyi claims that in January last year, a colleague raised the issue of what the Bible teaches on homosexuality.
The colleague allegedly felt unhappy that the Church did not allow her to marry her female partner, and said that she thought God condoned homosexuality.
Miss Mbuyi explained: "When I said 'No, God does not condone the practice of homosexuality, but does love you and says you should come to Him as you are', she became emotional and went off to report me to my manager."
At an internal disciplinary hearing on January 8, Miss Mbuyi was confronted with her colleague's allegations including that the woman had taken offence at being give a Bible as a gift by Miss Mbuyi.
She was dismissed for gross misconduct by nursery directors who are said to have told her that she had breached the equality policy of the nursery.
Belgian-born Miss Mbuyi claims that she had previously discussed matters of faith and religion without any offence being taken, the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) said.
She is now bringing a case before Watford Employment Tribunal in Hertfordshire, claiming that her rights under European law have been breached.
Saying that her disciplinary hearing was "hopelessly one-sided" Miss Mbuyi added: "It is obvious that we live in a climate where being Christ-like-following the Bible as much as we can-and being open and honest about that, is a problem now."
Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre, said: "Sharing Biblical truths out of genuine love for colleagues is being outlawed in the workplace by an oppressive 'cultural correctness'. There is a culture of fear which shuts down freedom of speech and the expression of faith.
"It's indicative of the sad state we're in that we're using EU Law in Sarah's case because she was prevented from living out her faith in a country which once led the world in freedom and justice."
Belfast Telegraph Digital