he Claimant was reportedly dismissed for gross misconduct in January 2014 for harassing a married lesbian colleague by telling her, her sexual orientation was a "sin". She denies harassment, claiming that the gay woman approached her asking about religion and same-sex marriage (see link).
Discrimination on the basis of religion and belief is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 as is discriminating against or harassing a person based upon their sexual orientation.
It is not the first time that these two rights have come into conflict. In the highly publicised case reported here, the court ruled it was unlawful when the claimants who were a gay couple in a civil partnership were refused a room at a hotel because of the owners’ Christian beliefs.
This has led certain groups to claim that there is less tolerance to Christianity than for other religions.
However, as Lady Hale observed in that case, "to permit someone to discriminate on the ground that he did not believe that persons of homosexual orientation should be treated equally with persons of heterosexual orientation would be to create a class of people who were exempt from the discrimination legislation. We do not normally allow people to behave in a way which the law prohibits because they disagree with the law".
This is intended for general information only and should not be considered as giving advice in relation to any individual case nor be taken as applying to any particular case. No liability is accepted for any such use of the information contained.