Christian registrar’s same-sex discrimination case dismissed

Christian registrar’s same-sex discrimination case dismissed

A London borough has won its appeal against a ruling that it unlawfully discriminated against a Christian registrar who refused to perform same-sex civil partnerships.

The ruling was issued in favour of Islington Council just before Christmas, and has delighted both secular and Christian equalities campaigners.

Ms Lillian Ladele had said that she could not carry out same-sex ceremonies “as a matter of religious conscience”.

In July 2008, an employment tribunal found that Islington Council in north London had discriminated against her. But on 19 December 2008 an appeal tribunal (EAT) upheld the council’s appeal aginst this judgment at a central London hearing.

It ruled that the earlier tribunal had “erred in law” and there was no basis for concluding that any “discrimination had been established”.

The appeals tribunal declared: “The council were not taking disciplinary action against Ms Ladele for holding her religious beliefs; they did so because she was refusing to carry out civil partnership ceremonies and this involved discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation. The council were entitled to take the view that they were not willing to connive in that practice by relieving Ms Ladele of the duties, notwithstanding that her refusal was the result of her strong and genuinely-held Christian beliefs.”

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