LONDON — A student at a prominent university in the United Kingdom who was expelled over comments that he made on Facebook outlining the biblical stance on homosexuality has won his case upon appeal. The court expressed concern that Christians and others in professional careers would have to hide their faith in all of public life lest anyone discover their views.
“The university adopted a position from the outset of the disciplinary proceedings which was untenable: namely, that any expression of disapproval of same-sex relations (however mildly expressed) on a public social media or other platform which could be traced back to the person making it, was a breach of the professional guidelines,” wrote the Court of Appeal.
The University of Sheffield also “wrongly confused the expression of religious views with the notion of discrimination,” the three-judge panel concluded.
“The mere expression of views on theological grounds (e.g. that ‘homosexuality is a sin’) does not necessarily connote that the person expressing such views will discriminate on such grounds,” it said. “In the present case, there was positive evidence to suggest that the appellant had never discriminated on such grounds in the past and was not likely to do so in the future (because, as he explained, the Bible prohibited him from discriminating against anybody).”