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Christian social work student loses appeal over homosexuality comments

Fri 08 Apr 2016
By Alex Williams

A Christian who lost an appeal against being removed from his university course is to seek further action, legal representatives say.

Former-social work student at Sheffield University, Felix Ngole, quoted on Facebook part of Leviticus 20:13 which reads: "If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination."

The 38-year-old also participated in a discussion on the internet about US civil servant Kim Davis who refused same-sex couples marriage licences even though the law had changed allowing it.

Mr Ngole's case was brought before the institution's Appeals Office after a 'Fitness to Practise Committee' concluded his behaviour was inappropriate and would impact his ability to work as a social worker.

According to legal representatives at the Christian Legal Centre, the second year Masters student was told by the Appeals Office his expulsion was proportionate.

The Appeals Office said Felix's actions were inappropriate in consideration of professional conduct standards set out by the Health and Care Professions Councils (HCPC).

Mr Ngole said: "At no stage when entering university were students told that their social media would be 'vetted' or that the university had a sole right to decide who should and should not go into their chosen profession.

"All students would expect every professional body to have their own set of codes and practices and when the time comes, and each student would decide whether they felt comfortable in applying to that professions, given those codes.

"It should not be the role of a university to arbitrarily 'vet' who should enter a chosen career.

"I shall be seeking to take further action as my case raises all sorts of legal questions as to whether Christians can any longer hold traditional biblical and moral beliefs and still enter mainstream professions such as social work, medicine, teaching and law in this country."

Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and founder of the Christian Legal Centre, said: "Mr Ngole has worked with those who identify as homosexual in the past and has always treated them with respect, never discriminating against them. There is no evidence that Felix's biblical views would have negatively impacted his work.
 
"We have become used to registrars, nurses, teachers, magistrates and counsellors being disciplined in their jobs for acting according to conscience, but this is the very first time a Christian student has been stopped even before he enters his chosen vocation to help others - simply for holding traditional Christians views on marriage and sexuality.
 
"This case raises fundamental issues which is why further action is vital."

You can hear Andrea Williams from the Christian Legal Centre speaking to Antony Bushfield on Premier Christian Radio's News Hour programme by clicking below.

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