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St. Paul's Collegiate
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4 Jul 2019 3 Respondents
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By David Seedhouse
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FAIR COMMENT?

FAIR COMMENT?

Mr Ngole was a student on an MA course that would have led to registration as a social worker. Mr Ngole is a devout Christian for whom the Bible is the authoritative word of God. He posted on Facebook in response to a US news story a series of comments such as:

“… [S]ame sex marriage is a sin whether we accept it or not”

“…Homosexuality is a sin, no matter how you want to dress it up”

“…[Homosexuality] is a wicked act and God hates the act”

The University of Sheffield brought fitness to practise proceedings against Mr Ngole. Mr Ngole was told that whilst he was entitled to hold his views about homosexuality being a sin, he was never entitled to express such views on social media or in any public forum. Mr Ngole was found to have lacked insight and excluded from his course.

However, Mr Ngole pursued the matter through legal channels. As a result the Court of Appeal made it clear that the mere expression of religious views about sin does not necessarily connote discrimination against service users; otherwise, no Christian believing as Mr Ngole did would be secure in a healthcare profession, unless they resolved never to express their views on this issue other than in private. Even then, the Court asked rhetorically: what if a private expression of views was overheard and reported?

Nonetheless, the right to freedom of expression in Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights is not an unqualified right: if Mr Ngole’s comments had been abusive, if he had used inflammatory language of his own, or made a personal attack, such words would fall to be regarded in the same way as would racist views, or inappropriate sexually explicit language.

What do you think? Was the University right to exclude Mr Ngole for his views on the ground that holding them makes him unfit to practice?

Source: https://www.plea.org.uk/latest-news.htm

It is proposed that the University was right to exclude Mr Ngole from the social work course

Gender

Disagreement