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Christian student expelled for gay marriage views on Facebook: "I stand by everything"
A Christian student expelled from his university course for opposing gay marriage on Facebook has told Premier "I stand by everything".
Felix Ngole, 38, was contributing to an online discussion about the American civil servant Kim Davis, who refused to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples after the law had changed allowing it.
Mr Ngole, who was studying for a Masters in Social Work, had signalled his opposition to gay marriage before posting part of Leviticus 20:13, which says: "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination."
A complaint was subsequently made and a Fitness to Practice Committee, which interprets the guidelines set by the national body which accredits social workers, ruled that he was not fit to practice.
It said: "Members of the committee expressed serious concerns about the level of insight you had demonstrated with regards to the comments you posted on Facebook.
"The committee were clear to point out that their decision is not based on your views but on your act of publicly posting those views such that it will have an effect on your ability to carry out a role as a social worker.
"Members were in agreement that this action was an extremely poor judgement on your part and had transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.
"It was their belief that this may have caused offence to some individuals."
Speaking on Premier's News Hour, Felix Ngole said: "I'm a Christian. What I said on that Facebook page is actually my view, as a Christian, and I don't think that will ever change.
"I stand by everything that I put on Facebook on that particular day.
"I'm not the only Christian social worker... If the university succeeds in this, it will put them in a position where they cannot actually air their Christian views, and I don't think that is right at all.
"I mean I've worked with so many gay and lesbian young people, and to be honest I've had contacts with people in same-sex relationships who've said: 'Felix, what you said, I'm not offended at all'.
"I haven't had any problem whatsoever supporting them and helping them."
Felix Ngole is appealing the university's decision.
In a statement, the University of Sheffield said: "The individual concerned is currently appealing the decision of a Fitness to Practise Committee, relating to professional registration and the standards of the relevant professional body.
"These standards are nationally determined by the Health and Care Professions Council.
"As the case is subject to appeal, the University of Sheffield will not comment on this case at this time."
Listen to Premier's Alex Williams speaking to Felix Ngole on the News Hour: