Teachers and Others Threatened With Dismissal if They Didn’t Endorse Gay Marriage

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: September 12, 2012

If gay marriage is legalized, teachers and others could be forced out of their jobs if they fail to endorse such unions, a top lawyer says. Parents would have no right to insist that their children are withdrawn from school lessons across the curriculum that approve of same-sex marriage. Chaplains who work in the NHS or the Armed Forces could be dismissed if they preach that marriage is between a man and a woman.

Foster-care givers could be barred from fostering children if they say they disagree with allowing two people of the same sex to marry. And religious groups could be banned from using public buildings because of their support for traditional marriage. Leading human rights lawyer Aidan O’Neill QC has written a legal opinion on civil liberty implications if marriage is redefined. He says that clergy could be taken to court if they refuse to conduct a gay wedding, and churches may be better protected if they stopped hosting any weddings at all. He also says the Church of England would be less likely to face litigation if it broke off all ties with the state. A summary of the legal opinion has been published on the website of the Coalition for Marriage, a campaign group that opposes redefinition. The document shows the far-reaching consequences of the Government’s plan to redefine marriage ahead of the 2015 general election. Reacting to the news, Dr. Sharon James of the Coalition for Marriage said: “Mr. O’Neill’s expert summary is incontrovertible proof that legalizing gay marriage is not only a legislative minefield but an unparalleled attack on the freedom of conscience Britons have under the law. Thanks to the Christian Institute for reporting. Sources: Christian Institute: http://www.christian.org.uk/news/teachers-face-sack-if-they-don’t-endorse-gay-marriage/?e140912 Coalition for Marriage: http://c4m.org.uk/