2017-05-01 05:56:11 UTC
A London court of appeals ruled Tuesday against a Christian
registrar who refused to conduct a same-sex civil union ceremony
because it violated her religious beliefs.
Lillian Ladele claimed she suffered discrimination, including
being ridiculed and bullied, while working for the Islington
City Council. Ladele had worked for the council for nearly 16
years, but did not experience discrimination until after she
refused to perform the gay civil union.
Ladeles attorney said she never wanted to undermine the rights
of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender
community. But human rights laws dont only protect members of
the LGBT community, but also peoples right to hold views about
Ladele said she was essentially forced to choose between her
religious faith and her $50,000-a-year job.
The decision of the Court of Appeal is another setback for
Bible-believing Christians, said Andrea Minichiello Williams,
director of U.K.-based Christian Concern for our Nation, in a
statement. If this kind of legal precedent is followed it will
prove increasingly difficult for Christians to participate fully
in public life without contravening their conscience.
Initially, the Employment Tribunal had ruled in favor of Ladele
after the first court hearing in July 2008. The tribunal found
that the council failed to respect its employees rights to her
Christian beliefs. Moreover, the tribunal said the council could
have other registrars who dont hold the same beliefs to provide
first-class service to same-sex couples without Ladeles
The council placed a greater value on the rights of the
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community than it placed
on the rights of Ms. Ladele as one holding an orthodox Christian
belief, the tribunal said.
But a December 2008 ruling by the Employment Appeal Tribunal
overturned the initial decision, stating that the council had
the right to require all its registrars to conduct all the
services. On Tuesday, the court of appeals affirmed the appeal
Our public services are increasingly using equality and
diversity policies to leave Christians sidelined and punished,
Williams said. In effect this amounts to a religious bar to
U.K. Christians have recently voiced alarm over the encroachment
of their religious liberty in the name of equality.
In November, a court ruled against a Christian marriage
counselor who refused to give sex therapy to a gay couple.
Counselor Gary McFarlane said he believes the Bible teaches same-
sex sexual practice is immoral and could not personally endorse
homosexual relationships. He did not object to other counselors
giving such couples advice.
However, his employer eventually fired him in early 2008 because
of his religious views on homosexuality and his refusal to
provide services to same-sex couples.
This week, the Christian Institute released a new report that
asserts that Christians are being marginalized by equality and
diversity laws which leave them the first to be punished and
the last to be protected. The report noted the growing sense
of intolerance felt by Christians in the United Kingdom.
Christians wonder why they are not being treated equally and
why diversity does not include them, said Mike Judge, the head
of communications at the Christian Institute. This has led to a
growing feeling that equality and diversity is code for
marginalizing Christian beliefs.
Even the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, has
accused U.K. lawmakers of treating Christians like oddballs.
The Anglican leader also accused the government of treating
religious groups as slightly fishy interest groups and said he
would be very glad if they spoke up for faith this Christmas.
Williams made the comments in a recent interview with The