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Gay marriage: ex-minister plans sets out to change law after Facebook case

Edward Leigh MPby John Bingham, Telegraph

A former minister is attempting to change the law to protect workers such as teachers, who believe in the traditional definition of marriage, from being disciplined or sacked.

Edward Leigh, the Tory MP, is calling for a change to the Equality Act to prevent a repeat of the case of a Christian housing trust manager who was demoted for airing his views on gay marriage on Facebook.

Adrian Smith, 55, was stripped of his managerial rank at the trust in Trafford, Greater Manchester, and had his salary almost halved after expressing the view that same-sex weddings in churches were “an equality too far”.

The posting, amid a discussion thread on his personal Facebook page, echoed what was Government policy at the time but a colleague took offence, prompting his demotion.

And even though he won a legal challenge against his treatment, the High Court had no power to order his reinstatement.

Mr Leigh fears that teachers and other public servants could be punished and “treated as outcasts” for refusing to promote gay marriage if it becomes law later this year.

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