A charity worker has been suspended after telling a colleague about his Christian beliefs against homosexuality, even though he says he is not homophobic and was merely responding to questions from a colleague about his beliefs.

David Booker, 44, who works at a Christian hostel in Southampton, a charity, was asked about his faith by a colleague, Fiona Vardy during a late shift last month.

He told her he was opposed to same-sex marriages and to homosexual clergy but denied being homophobic and said that he had homosexual friends.

The next evening, Mr Booker was suspended from his post as a hostel support worker with Society of St James, where he has been employed for the last four years. The hostel told him the action was taken for “events that happened last night”.

A few days later he was told he had “seriously breached” the charity’s code of conduct “by promoting your religious views which contained discriminatory comments regarding a person’s sexual orientation”. The action had been taken “to safeguard both residents and staff”, he was advised.

Mr Booker, an evangelical from Southampton, who is being advised by the Christian Legal Centre, now faces an enquiry and a disciplinary hearing.

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