We’ve known for quite some time that Facebook and Twitter, among other social media platforms, may be monitored by prospective employers. But who knew that the comments made on these platforms would inevitably be used to punish and penalize current employees?
The Blaze already brought you the story of Viki Knox, an embattled New Jersey high school teacher who is facing backlash after sharing her views about homosexuality on her personal Facebook page.
Now, it seems there’s another individual — this time in England — who is facing similar employment constraints after posting his views on Facebook.
Adrian Smith, 54, a Christian property manager in Manchester, England, has been demoted and will take a £14,000/year pay cut after posting his view that Christian churches shouldn’t be forced to marry gay couples.
In a Facebook comment thread, he wrote that allowing gay marriages in churches is “an equality too far.” LifeSiteNews.com reports:
Writing on his own Facebook page, which was not accessible to anyone other than his Facebook friends, Smith had responded to a BBC news item about a controversial new law that would allow churches to conduct same-sex union ceremonies. Asked if his comment meant that he did not approve of the proposed law, Smith wrote, “No, not really. I don’t understand why people who have no faith and don’t believe in Christ would want to get hitched in church.
“The Bible is quite specific that marriage is for men and women. If the State wants to offer civil marriages to the same sex then that is up to the State; but the State shouldn’t impose its rules on places of faith and conscience.”
The BBC has more:
Mr Smith went on to comment on his Facebook page that, “The Bible is quite specific that marriage is for men and women”.
“If the state wants to offer civil marriages to the same sex then that is up to the state; but the state shouldn’t impose its rules on places of faith and conscience”, he wrote.
Smith’s employer, the taxpayer-funded Trafford Housing Trust, summonsed him to a disciplinary meeting following a fellow staff member’s complaints about his Facebook comments. The company, which manages home sales in Sale and Greater Manchester, removed him from his managerial position and substantially cut his pay.
But Smith is fighting back. He has enlisted the help of the Christian Institute and he’s suing the trust for a breach of contract and violations to his free speech and religious liberty.
In a statement to the BBC, the trust explained that it had issued new rules for the use of social networking sites last year. Three months after these restrictions were put in place, Smith apparently posted his comments. Thus, the trust is defending its actions against the Christian man.
Now, it seems the two parties will be sparing it out in the courts.