This Blog does not support bullying or any abuse of LGBTQ persons and gives
full support to LGBTQ persons having all the rights stated in the Jamaican Charter of
Testifyingtotruth wonders however, if the speaker in this video supports
conscience rights for Christians and other religious persons ?
European Court defeat for registrar Lillian Ladele who refused to ‘wed’ same-sex couples
Published: 18 January, 2013
by TOM FOOT
CAMPAIGNERS are celebrating after a landmark European Court judgment ruled Islington Council was right to sack a Christian marriage registrar who refused to officiate gay couples in the Town Hall.
But two of the seven European judges dissented, and likened Lillian Ladele, who lives in Skinner Street, Finsbury, to a “conscientious objector”.
Ms Ladele believed “same sex unions” contradicted “God’s law” and argued that forcing her to officiate at civil partnership ceremonies was a breach of religious freedom.
The council said it could not employ a public servant holding discriminatory views against others.
Speaking after the ruling in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Tuesday, Ben Summerskill, chief executive of the gay rights charity Stonewall, said: “Today’s judgment rightly confirms that it’s completely unacceptable for public servants to pick and choose who they want to serve on the basis of sexual orientation.”
But judges in Strasbourg failed to reach a unanimous verdict – with two out of the seven accusing council chiefs of preaching “obsessive political correctness”.
Ms Ladele had married hundreds of couples in the the Town Hall from 1992 before the Civil Partnership Act came into effect in December 2005. She wanted to be excused from the ceremonies because of her religious belief but was told she would lose her job if she did not sign up to new terms and conditions.
Islington had in earlier court appearances argued that its “Dignity For All” employment code prevented staff from holding discriminatory views in public office. The ECHR found the council had “not exceeded the margin of appreciation available to them” when it came “to striking a balance between competing rights”.
In 2007, Ms Ladele’s case was upheld in an employment tribunal but it was overturned when the council appealed.
Bank-rolled by the Christian Institute, campaigning to preserve religious freedoms, Ms Ladele lost further hearings at the Royal Courts of Justice and the Supreme Court.
On Tuesday, the Institute’s spokesman Mike Judge said he regretted the verdict – which brings down a final curtain on a long-running dispute – but was encouraged by a statement of two dissenting judges.
The statement added: “A combination of backstabbing by her colleagues and blinkered political correctness of the Borough of Islington, which clearly favoured ‘gay rights’ over fundamental human rights, eventually led to her dismissal.”
In March 2006, two gay colleagues complained about Ms Ladele’s beliefs and said her refusal to conduct civil partnerships was a breach of the council’s employment policy. In July 2007, she was asked to sign a new job description adding the ceremonies to her duties. She refused and took the council to an employment tribunal, which upheld her claim. At the time, Ms Ladele claimed a victory for religious freedom, adding that the “experience has shattered me”.
The ECHR, in its final judgment, upheld the original decision by the Employment Appeal Tribunal, which ruled that “Ms Ladele’s objection was based on her view of marriage, which was not a core part of her religion”, and “Islington’s requirement in no way prevented her from worshipping as she wished”.
The case was brought against the British Government, not directly to Islington Council.