Tatchell backs man who opposed gay marriage

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The Independent Online

A Christian who was demoted in his job for posting his opposition to gay marriage on Facebook has taken his employer to court – and has found an unlikely ally in the gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell.

Adrian Smith lost his managerial position and had his salary cut by 40 per cent by Trafford Housing Trust after posting that gay weddings in church were "an equality too far".

The trust's action was swiftly criticised by many, including Mr Tatchell, who has previously said: "I am backing his bid for reinstatement and I'm prepared to testify in his defence. Strange but true." He added that if a gay employee had been treated this way "there would quite rightly be an outcry and accusations of homophobia. Why, then, are some lesbian and gay people supporting such a harsh penalty for Adrian Smith?"

Mr Smith gave evidence yesterday at Manchester County Court at the start of a two-day trial, where he is claiming his employer acted unlawfully in demoting him. The trust argues that he broke its code of conduct.