You won’t believe what happened when these people opposed same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage was pushed through the UK Parliament on a wave of fashionable opinion.
Endorsed wholeheartedly by the mainstream media, it was presented as a moral imperative and a harmless new piece of legislation.
However, for those who refused to accept the redefinition of marriage, the change was far from innocuous.
This list includes ten people, from various walks of life, who stood up against same-sex marriage – and were punished for expressing their views.
1. The bakers
The McArthur family, who own and run Ashers Baking Company in Belfast, were taken to court by the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland in 2015 because they declined to decorate a cake with the campaign slogan ‘Support Gay Marriage’. After appearing in two Northern Ireland courts, the case looks set to go to the UK Supreme Court.
2. The housing manager
Manchester housing manager Adrian Smith was demoted and had his salary cut by 40 per cent, all because he said gay weddings in churches would be “an equality too far”. He wrote those four words in 2012, outside work time on his personal Facebook page, which was not visible to the general public.
3. The charity volunteer
British Red Cross volunteer Bryan Barkley was dismissed after 18 years’ service for holding up a sign saying “No Same Sex Marriage”. In 2014, the Red Cross said Mr Barkley’s views were not in line with their ‘neutral’ position on the issue.
4. The nursery worker
In 2014, nursery worker Sarah Mbuyi from London was fired for answering a question from a colleague about whether she believed in same-sex marriage.
5. The teaching assistant
Last year Victoria Allen, a 51-year-old teaching assistant, was disciplined for expressing Christian views on same-sex relationships. She had simply responded to a question on what she thought of same-sex marriage in class.
6. The politician
Former MP and SNP leader Gordon Wilson lost his position on the board of Dundee Citizens’ Advice Bureau in 2011 after other board members objected to his criticism of the Scottish Government’s attempt to redefine marriage.
7. The church leader
Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu received hate mail – some of a racist nature – after he spoke out against Westminster plans to redefine marriage in 2012. North Yorkshire Police investigated the correspondence as hate crimes.
8. The police chaplain
Police chaplain Brian Ross was ‘forced out’ of his job as a volunteer chaplain for Strathclyde Police in 2013, after officers complained about comments he made on his personal blog, objecting to the redefinition of marriage. He had stated that marriage is “between a man and a woman”.
9. The marriage registrar
In 2009, Lillian Ladele was pushed out of her job as a registrar at Islington Council for asking her managers to accommodate her belief that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.
10. The bus driver
In 2012, bus driver Arthur McGeorge faced disciplinary action by his bosses in northern England because he shared a petition backing traditional marriage with colleagues at work during his break time.