Rev. Dr. Bernard Randall, a minister of the Church of England, told Fox News that he was left "blacklisted" and unemployable after he was fired and slandered by Trent College in Derbyshire, England, where he served for five years.
In 2019, he gave a sermon explaining the Church's stance on gender and sexuality to students between the ages of 11 and 17, telling them that they are entitled to hold their own beliefs on the subjects despite the demands made by left-wing LGBTQ activists.
"I gave a sermon in chapel saying you don't have to accept anybody's ideology, you make up your own mind," Randall told Fox News. "On certain issues, LGBT activists and Christians are in full agreement: there should be no discrimination, no one should be attacked personally or whatever. But there are issues where there's disagreement."
He added that he delivered the sermon after a student asked him to speak in chapel about why they "have to accept" LGBTQ ideology at Trent College, which is affiliated with the Church of England.
The Christian school had previously hosted Elly Barnes, founder of Educate and Celebrate, which promotes "equip[ping] you and your communities with the knowledge, skills and confidence to embed gender, gender identity and sexual orientation into the fabric of your organization." Barnes was brought in to train school staff, urging them to chant "smash heteronormativity."
The reverend said that school officials "dragged" him into an "interrogation" about his sermon before terminating his employment. In addition, the school reported him to Prevent, a wing of the UK's The Counter Terrorism Advisory Network. According to the website, the government-led, multi-agency program is to "prevent vulnerable people being drawn into criminal behavior," specifically aiming "to stop individuals [from] becoming terrorists."
However, after a review, the watchdog group found that he did not pose a terrorist threat, according to Fox.
"After a legal hearing at East Midlands Employment Tribunal last September, Employment Judge Victoria Butler handed down a ruling against Randall last week that argued 'the duty to safeguard pupils from the risk of harm and the requirement to comply with the Independent Schools Standards Regulator outweigh the Claimant's right to express his beliefs in the manner he did in a school environment,'" reported the outlet.
According to Randall's legal counsel at the London-based Christian Legal Centre, their client was also "blacklisted" by the Bishop of Derby, the Rt. Rev. Libby Lane, and was slandered as a "moderate risk to children" after his termination from Trent.
"I’m being charged with wrongthink," Randall said before the preliminary hearing for his lawsuit started on Thursday. "There is no allegation that my behavior toward any person has ever fallen below proper standards. Only my thinking is being checked. Even the Spanish Inquisition told people what the charges were."