Two years after marriage was redefined in the U.K., Felix Ngole found himself in a discussion on Facebook. The topic was same-sex marriage, and during the discourse, the-father-of-four put forward the Christian position on the matter. At the time, Ngole was a postgraduate student, enrolled in a social work course at Sheffield University.
Two months after posting his comment, Ngole received a letter from the university informing him that he was under investigation. He was eventually summoned to a disciplinary hearing where he was told that he had breached social work guidelines regarding “personal conduct” and “brought the profession into disrepute.”
A ‘Fitness to Practice’ committee concluded that while Ngole was entitled to his opinion, he was in danger of causing offense by voicing it. As a result, Ngole was expelled from the university and barred from gaining professional qualifications.
In the letter expelling Ngole, a departmental official said, “The committee were clear to point out that their decision is not based on your views but on your act of publicly posting those views such that it will have an effect on your ability to carry out a role as a social worker… this action was extremely poor judgement on your part and had transgressed boundaries which are not deemed appropriate for someone entering the social work profession.”
In other words, “I may not agree with what you have to say, so I’ll fight to the death for the right to prevent you saying it.”