Demoted for not backing gay marriage

By Jonathan Petre, Mailonline

A housing manager has been demoted, and his salary slashed, after he criticised a controversial new gay rights law.

Adrian Smith, a Christian, was found guilty of gross misconduct by his publicly funded housing association for saying that allowing gay weddings in churches was ‘an equality too far’.

He posted the comment in his own time, on his personal page on the Facebook website, which could not be read by the general public.

But after a disciplinary hearing, he was downgraded from his £35,000-a-year managerial job to a much less senior £21,000 post – and avoided the sack only because of his long service.

Mr Smith, 54, is now taking the association to court, arguing that his punishment was out of proportion and his right to free speech was ignored.

Friends said last night the father of two had been ‘shocked and distressed’ by his treatment and would now face financial hardship.

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