A Christian nursery worker who was sacked for discussing the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality with a lesbian colleague has been cleared by an employment tribunal.
Newpark Childcare nursery in Shepherd’s Bush, west London, had accused Sarah Mbuyi of gross misconduct after she asserted that the practice of homosexuality is sinful when asked about Christian teaching on the issue.
However, the tribunal ruled that the nursery discriminated against Mbuyi on the basis of her religious beliefs.
Mbuyi expressed her “immense relief” at the ruling:
“I only ever responded to questions that my colleague asked me and wanted the very best for her. I give glory to God for the decision”.
She continued: “I hope that my previous employer and colleagues are well and will understand from this that my intention was for their best”.
Faith ‘worthy of respect
The employment tribunal stressed that Mbuyi’s colleague had questioned her about her church and moved the conversation to homosexuality, asking what God would think of her lesbian lifestyle.
It also acknowledged that Mbuyi’s Christian faith is “worthy of respect in a democratic society, is not incompatible with human dignity and is not in conflict with the fundamental rights of others”.
The decision was hailed as a “brave judgment” by Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the Christian Legal Centre – which supported Mbuyi’s case.
She said: “This 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 workplace. We have been in the employment courts for over a decade now and at last we have a sensible decision.”
Earlier this year an employment tribunal ruled against a Christian who was disciplined by an NHS trust for inviting a Muslim colleague to church.
Victoria Wasteney, a senior occupational therapist, was told that she had ‘bullied’ a Muslim colleague by praying with her.
She is appealing against the decision.