Pastor who alleged workplace discrimination for anti-gay views was rightly fired, tribunal finds

A Christian pastor's claim for religious discrimination has been rejected by an employment tribunal.

Colin Houston said he was being harassed because of his Christian faith and opposition to gay marriage. He claimed the reason his temporary contract with Swissport, a baggage handling firm operating out of Belfast International Airport, had not been renewed was down to discrimination towards his faith.

Reuters

But the tribunal heard Houston openly told one gay colleague there was a 'cure for gayness' and was told he had created 'succession of problems at work because of his aggression towards colleagues and supervisors and because of his attitude to his duties', according to the BBC.

When it came to evidence for his abuse, Houston pointed to a bumper sticker placed on his car that 'I'm so gay I can't even drive straight'.

He also said a can 'pink female deodorant had been placed on top of his block of lockers in the restroom/locker room area'.

The tribunal dismissed these allegations adding it thought his reaction to finding a woman's deodorant can in a mixed locked room seemed 'particularly paranoid and exaggerated'.

It added Houston did not strike them as a credible witness and did not appear to be able to understand the difference between an unsupported assumption and hard evidence.

The panel also noted that Houston thinks he is well known with a significant public profile in fighting against same-sex marriage and abortion. But none of the tribunal members had heard of him and they concluded he is 'not as well-known as he believes he is'. 

Houston stood unsuccessfully as a council election candidate for the UUP in 2014 but resigned from the party shortly afterwards.

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