A devout Christian thrown off a university social work course after being accused of posting derogatory comments about homosexuals and bisexuals on Facebook has won a legal battle and says his victory is ‘great news’ for anyone who cares about free speech.
Felix Ngole, 40, from Barnsley, South Yorkshire, said he was expressing a traditional Christian view and complained that Sheffield University bosses unfairly stopped him completing a postgraduate degree.
He said his rights to freedom of speech and thought, enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, were breached when he was thrown out.
University bosses said Mr Ngole showed ‘no insight’ and the decision to remove him from the course was fair.
They said he had been studying for a professional qualification and they had to consider his fitness to practise.
A judge ruled against Mr Ngole after a High Court trial in London in 2017, but three Court of Appeal judges have overturned that ruling by Deputy High Court Judge Rowena Collins Rice.
They say university bosses should reconsider.
Lord Justice Irwin, Lord Justice Haddon-Cave and Sir Jack Beatson had analysed Mr Ngole’s appeal at a Court of Appeal hearing in London in March and ruled in his favour on Wednesday.
‘This is great news, not only for me and my family, but for everyone who cares about freedom of speech, especially for those working in or studying for caring professions,’ said Mr Ngole after the appeal ruling.
‘As Christians we are called to serve others and to care for everyone, yet publicly and privately we must also be free to express our beliefs and what the Bible says without fear of losing our livelihoods.’
Mr Ngole was enrolled on a two-year MA Social Work degree course in September 2014.
In September 2015, took part in a debate on a Facebook page about Kim Davis, a state official in the US state of Kentucky, who refused to register same-sex marriages, judges heard.
Source: daily mail