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Bus driver faces disciplinary action over marriage petition

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A Christian bus driver is facing disciplinary action after circulating a petition backing traditional marriage at work during his break.

Arthur McGeorge, 58, from Consett, County Durham, was approached by his manager at the Go North East bus depot and told not to bring the petition into work.

Mr McGeorge was also accused of being 'homophobic' and told to apologise for the ‘offence’ that he had caused. After refusing to back down, Mr McGeorge now faces a formal disciplinary procedure.

He said: “I’m not prepared to be told what I can discuss in my breaks.”

The petition was launched by the Coalition for Marriage, a broad based coalition which seeks to defend the current legal definition of marriage as that between a man and a woman. It has attracted more than 180,000 signatures in a matter of weeks.

Freedom to defend marriage

Yet many of those who are standing publically in favour of traditional marriage have received abuse and vitriol.

Conservative MP David Burrowes, who publically supports the Coalition for Marriage, has received hate mail and even a death threat for his stance.

The Tory MP said: “I myself have been subjected to hate mail, to accusations of homophobia, and to a death threat as well, which is just extraordinary when one is affirming what the law is as it stands and has done historically for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.”

The Archbishop of York recently received threatening messages after he voiced his support for traditional marriage, sparking a police hate crime investigation.

Adrian Smith, a housing manager from Manchester, was demoted and had his salary cut significantly by his employers after he questioned whether same-sex marriage  was an ‘equality too far’ on his private facebook page, out of working hours.

And last week celebrity singer Will Young said on BBC Question Time that clergy who preached too strongly against same-sex marriage should be sent to prison, to widespread applause.

Further consequences

Critics of the proposed attempt to redefine marriage have warned that, should same-sex marriage be introduced, it could get even worse for freedom of speech and belief.

Church of England lawyers have warned that vicars may end up being sued under equality legislation should they refuse to marry homosexuals on their premises, as any safeguards against this are unlikely to be sufficient.

And Conservative MP Peter Bone has warned that if same-sex marriage is introduced then parents and teachers who objected to promoting the new arrangements in schools could be penalised.

“It is simply inconceivable in today’s world where political correctness runs amok in our institutions, that there would not be profound consequences for those who hold traditional views,” he said.

“Parents who object will be treated as bigots and outcasts ... discriminated against and persecuted because they hold views that have been enshrined in our laws and have been the cornerstone of our society for 2,000 years.

“And what of the teachers who object to teaching about same-sex marriage. Will they face disciplinary action? How will it affect their careers?”

Comment

Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:

“We are witnessing widespread levels of intolerance and sometimes abuse and discrimination against those with Christian or traditional views in the public sphere.

“Previous generations would be amazed that, in the UK, individuals can now face disciplinary action for sharing a marriage petition on a lunch break.

“We are seeing all the warning signs loud and clear. Something has gone very, very wrong with this nation. When the Christian faith is sidelined then basic freedoms start evaporating very quickly. This situation must be reversed.”

Source

Daily Mail

Resources

Coalition for Marriage Petition

Christian Concern: Religious Freedom

Andrea Williams Blog: Heaven on earth?

 

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