Pensioner Dismissed from Red Cross After Protesting Same-sex Marriage

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: November 1, 2014

Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance

Attack against: Morals

Area of case: Private / Workplace

71-years-old Bryan Barkley was dismissed from the British Red Cross after his one-man protest in front of his church holding a placard saying “No same sex marriage” and “No redefinition of marriage”. His views were found incompatible with the principles of impartiality and neutrality of Red Cross.

Bryan Barkley is a 71 years old pensioner who had volunteered for the British Red Cross helping to reunite families in Britain with their relatives in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. After he was seen holding a one-man protest in front of his church with a placard saying “No same sex marriage” and “No redefinition of marriage” he received a letter from the charity inviting him to a disciplinary hearing. During this hearing Mr Bryan Barkley was told that he violated the Red Cross´ fundamental principles of impartiality and neutrality. Finally, he was dismissed from the charity.
Mr Barkley wonders: “What have I done wrong? I passionately believe that the institution of marriage is between a man and a woman and is the cornerstone of our society. Why is it wrong to say so in public? …Freedom of expression is being stifled in this country. I have nothing against homosexuals. But I don’t believe Parliament was representing the views of the people when it changed the definition of marriage.”