Scotland: Police chaplain claims to have been forced from job over his anti-gay marriage views

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

A Christian police chaplain in Scotland says he was forced out of his position after expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Reverend Brian Ross made the claim in a written submission to a Commons committee looking at the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill for England and Wales.

Mr Ross said that his three-year voluntary position with Strathclyde Police came to an end just before last summer after a senior divisional officer read his views on marriage as a “God-ordained institution between a man and a woman” in his personal blog.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: “Whilst the force wholly respects the Rev Ross’s and, indeed any employees’ personally held political and religious beliefs, such views cannot be expressed publicly if representing the force, as it is by law an apolitical organisation with firmly embedded policies which embrace diversity and equality.”

Andrea Minichiello Williams, chief executive of the anti-gay organisation, Christian Concern, said: “The government’s proposals to redefine marriage threaten to alienate a huge section of the public. A number of Christian employees have already been penalised for expressing their genuinely held belief that marriage can only be between one man and one woman.”

She added: “This situation is likely to become far worse should the government’s proposals pass into law.”

Ministers have repeatedly insisted that no one should be sacked from their job for voicing opposition to same-sex marriage.

In February, MPs in the British Parliament voted in favour of the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill by 400 to 175, a majority of 225.

The bill is now receiving further parliamentary scrutiny before a third reading by MPs and House of Lords approval.