Pastor who said Pride is ‘harmful to children’ is suing primary school he worked at because his ‘religious freedom’ was violated
A UK pastor who said that Pride events were “harmful to children” is suing the primary school he also worked at as a caretaker because he said it left him with no option but to resign.
Keith Waters from Ely, Cambridgeshire, made the comments on Twitter during the first-ever Cambridge Pride festival and was investigated by his employer, the Isle of Ely Primary School, in June 2019.
“They promote a culture and encourage activities that are contrary to Christian faith and morals. They are especially harmful for children.”
Waters said that after making the comments, he received death threats and had funeral directors sent to his home to arrange his funeral. He added that the school gave him a final warning, which he said violated his religious freedom.
He is now suing the primary school for constructive dismissal, because although he resigned he claims the school forced him to by creating a hostile environment. He is also suing for indirect discrimination and breach of public sector equality duty.
Waters told the BBC: “I maintain my tweet did not discriminate against anyone. It was directed to Christians and it did not criticise individuals or the LGBT community, only Pride events.”
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Active Learning Trust, which runs the school, also said: “The trust and its schools value, appreciate and celebrate equality, multiculturalism and diversity in education.
“We were made aware of the social media posts from concerned parents in June 2019. These posts were investigated through the trust’s standard HR procedures.
“We’d like to emphasise that Keith Waters resigned from his position with the school. While legal proceedings are ongoing it would not be appropriate for the Trust to comment further at this stage.”
Waters has made many comments similar to the tweet about Pride. Last month, he wrote on Twitter that allowing a trans child to live according to their gender identity was “child abuse”. He said: “How can raising a boy as a girl not be child abuse? It is emotional, mental & sexual abuse surely?
“We must get serious about praying for a society, such as ours, which has plumbed such depths in parenting & care for our children.”
He has also said that students who are taught LGBT-inclusive lessons are being “indoctrinated and thereby abused”, that children should not take part in “the evil of Halloween” and has promoted on more than one occasion an organisation that instructs Christians to resist “same-sex temptations and gender incongruence”.