A Christian teacher from London is under investigation because she refused to give a lesson telling children that all opponents of gay marriage are homophobes.
The unnamed teacher didn’t think that it was a “fair characterisation of the debate”, she says, but is now under investigation at her school.
She is also under suspicion for being a member of a church, and a colleague is demanding to know whether it impacts her job.
The case was raised in the House of Lords during a debate about the Government’s controversial same-sex marriage Bill.
Lord Dear told Peers: “I will quote from a letter that was sent to me at the end of last week by a firm of solicitors in Witney in Oxfordshire.
“It stated: ‘I am happy to confirm the attached letter, addressed to you by Mrs X, in relation to an investigation against her in her school, which is an honest summary of a genuine incident. I am aware of the facts of the case. I am also aware that Mrs X wishes to remain anonymous at this stage because an investigation is ongoing’.”
Lord Dear went on to quote directly from the teacher’s letter:
“‘I am a teacher at a … girls’ school in South London. I have been employed by the school for 17 years. During March … I was instructed to deliver a presentation, which included material stating, in effect, that any disagreement with same-sex marriage was de facto homophobia. I felt this was not a fair characterisation of the debate and it was one that conflicted with my own deeply held religious beliefs. I raised my concerns with the teacher in charge.'”
Breaking off from the letter, Lord Dear said: “I will shorthand the next bit. She complained to the teacher in charge, who allowed her her position and let her teach elsewhere. However, another colleague raised a complaint”.
Quoting again from the teacher’s letter, Lord Dear said: “‘The head teacher investigated the incident and concluded there was no case to answer.
‘Another colleague, who is also a union rep, then followed up the complaint, and has formally raised additional concerns about my Christian beliefs and my membership of a church.
‘The union rep has demanded an investigation of my beliefs and my membership of the church, and whether it had any negative impact on my job as a teacher.
‘That investigation process is currently underway, and at the time of writing I do not yet know the outcome'”.