A Christian nursery worker who was fired after she told her lesbian co-worker that her gay lifestyle was a sin has won a discrimination claim against her former employer.
Sarah Mbuyi, 31, was fired by Newpark Childcare in Shepherd’s Bush, West London, for gross misconduct after making the statement. Mbuyi is a Belgian national who is from Tottenham, north London. She had been working for a year with children less than 1 year old.
Mbuyi denied she had harassed her colleague and maintained that her colleague had approached her with questions regarding same-sex marriage. The woman was angry that she wasn’t able to marry her partner in a church, according to The Guardian.
The sacking breached the religious freedom laws of European law, Mbuyi claimed. The Christian Legal Centre, which supported Mbuyi, said that an employment tribunal at Watford had found that she was discriminated against because her belief that homosexual practice is against the teachings of the Bible.
Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and chief executive of the CLC, said, “This is a brave judgment and comes as a great relief to Miss Mbuyi and to all of us at the Christian Legal Centre”
“This judgment is a ‘common sense’ judgment which shows understanding of the Christian faith and Miss Mbuyi’s freedom to live and speak it out in the work place,” Williams said.
Though the tribunal found the case to be based on discrimination, they acknowledged that Mbuyi’s former employer did not have any anti-Christian policies, but that it had failed to treat Mbuyi’s views with impartiality, reported Metro.
An internal investigation by her employer into the exchanged did not check out, the tribunal ruled. Mbuyi’s employer had “pre-judged the outcome accepting unchallenged evidence that supported the stereotypical assumption and/or interpreted Miss Mbuyi’s evidence in an almost impossible way.”
Tiffany Clutterbuck, a director of the company, told The Sunday Times the court’s ruling disregarded “robust policies and rules to ensure our nursery is inclusive and supportive for our children and staff.” She also said that the decision to fire Mbuyi was made “with a view to protecting that culture.”
The ruling comes after more than 10 years in employment courts. Mbuyi is now working as a nanny elsewhere.
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