A Christian Chief Executive Officer from Glasgow, Scotland who was fired from the company he works for over his stand on marriage won his case in court last Friday.
The Christian Post said Kenneth Ferguson won his case filed at the Employment Tribunal for being unlawfully fired last March 2020 by The Robertson Trust Chairwoman Shonaig Macpherson because he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman.
The Robertson Trust, a renowned grant-making trust in Scotland having been established since 1961, provides funding and support to charities. The company also provides aid to communities and people experiencing trauma.
Ferguson's case, handled by The Christian Institute's legal centre, was found to be "suspicious" by the Tribunal since documents have shown that Macpherson has been trying to find waysto get rid of their CEO for a long time. The Christian Institute said the Tribunal found Ferguson to be "unfairly dismissed" by the company and was "subjected to religious discrimination."
"It finds in favour of the claimant on the claim of unfair dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996 and by majority for direct discrimination under section 13 of the 2010 Act, that being in relation to the dismissal itself. It also finds that the claims that arise against the second respondent under sections 109 and 110, and the claim in relation to the statement of particulars, as having succeeded," the 133-page final judgement of the Employment Tribunal on Ferguson's case said.
The Tribunal, however, dismissed both parties' claim of harrasment and declared that a "remedy hearing" will pursue next to determine the amount of charges Ferguson will demand from the company for his illegal dismissal and the religious discrimination done on him. The schedule of the said hearing has not been determined since it requires both parties to "tender evidence" for the said hearing.
According to The Christian Institute, Ferguson was an elder of the Stirling Free Church, an evangelical church, who had a rental contract with The Robertson Trust for the use of it's premises for Sunday worship.
Macpherson terminated the contract when she discovered it and then dismissed Ferguson. She initially pointed out they had a policy that disallows the use of company premises for the purposes of politics and religion but could not produce the said policy when demanded of it by the church.
Eventually, the company's Head of Finance revealed that the there is no "explicit policy" that exists on it but decisions on it were really on a "case to case basis."
Ferguson, in an interview with The Herald, stressed how Macpherson was "so angry" and went "ballistic" that she was "almost unable to speak" upon learning their company rented out the venue to the church. One of the senior management disclosed to Ferguson that Macpherson said she will not allow the church to rent their premises because "they don't believe in same sex marriage." The Robertson Trust reasoned that "performance issues" were behind Ferguson's dismissal.
"We had negotiated with the Trust in good faith and their contract expressly refers to us using the premises for religious worship. We had no problems with Trust staff during our negotiations. The staff seemed embarrassed when they had to tell us they were terminating our arrangement. We have had no other option but to resort to legal action," Stirling Free Church Minister Reverend Iain MacAskill told The Christian Institute in April when the case was filed.
"The Free Church believes marriage is between a man and a woman--a mainstream Christian belief shared with the Church of Scotland and the Church of England," MacAskill added.
The Christian Institute pointed out that what Robertson did was "unlawful" because local legislation demands non-descriminatory practices on the basis of religious beliefs for venue facilities providers. Similarly, the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman is said to be protected by the United Kingdom under its equality and human rights law.
In line with the Tribunal's decision, Ferguson expressed relief and satisfaction that justice was rendered him. He expressed gratituted to those who supported him.
"I'm just relieved this is over. It's been a very difficult time for me and my family. I was treated by The Robertson Trust in a way I had never been treated before in my whole professional life. But I'm satisfied that justice has been done. The Tribunal has ruled that they were wrong to behave that way and I'm grateful," Ferguson said.
"I also want to thank those who have supported me and prayed for me, especially those at The Christian Institute who have been such a blessing to me," he added.