Christian registrar wins employment battle over civil partnerships

Publish Date: 11/07/2008

Lillian LadelePeter Tatchell, the gay rights and human rights campaigner, said that the ruling in favour of Lillian Ladele is "a dangerous subversion of the democratic principle that everyone should have equal rights and responsibilities under the law."

"If this judgment stands, it will pave the way for religious people to have the legal entitlement to discriminate on conscientious grounds against people of other faiths, unmarried parents and many others who they condemn as immoral."

We could soon find religious police officers, solicitors, fire fighters and doctors refusing to serve members of the public who they find morally objectionable - and being allowed to do so by the law." said Mr Tatchell.

"Public servants like registrars have a duty to serve all members of the public without fear or favour. Once society lets some people opt out of upholding the law, where will it end?"

Gino Meriano, founder of Pink Weddings and gay rights campaigner for same sex families, agrees saying "This is an outrage. It's not about bullying or religious beliefs it's about bringing the church into statutory duties, if Miss Ladele had such a problem with performing Civil Partnerships because of her faith and with the move in modern times and the inclusion of the Civil Partnership Act then the natural course of action would have been to resign and join a church as a celebrant. The process is very clear and the courts have made a bad judgement and may well cause a major problem across the UK in ruling such a ridiculous conclusion. This must be contested and further action taken. It is time we looked at finally separating church from state.

The Central London tribunal's landmark ruling that employees cannot be required to act against their consciences has implications for the 18,000 same-sex ceremonies conducted nationwide each year.

In coming to their conclusion, the tribunal said, "It is an important case which may have a wider impact than the dispute between the parties."

Islington council said it is considering an appeal.

You can contact them here:
Islington and London City Register Office
Islington Town Hall
Upper Street
N1 2UD
Tel: 020 7527 6350
Fax: 020 7527 6308