A registrar will face her employer, Islington Council in an employment tribunal this week as she demands the right not to marry gay couples.
Lilian Ladele, a civil registrar in Islington, north London has been told that she could lose her job unless she agrees to perform civil partnership ceremonies for gay couples.
Miss Ladele claims that this constitutes “discrimination or victimisation on grounds of religion or belief.”
She told the Sunday Telegraph: “I feel strongly about maintaining my Christian beliefs and conscience.”
Adding: “I can’t go against what it says in the Bible. I don’t understand why the council can’t use other people who have no problem with the ceremonies.”
The local Labour Emily Thornberry the local Labour MP has earlier stated: “I cannot sit by whilst others attempt to undermine equality in the provision of public service on any basis.”
The 2004 Civil Partnership Act allows gay couples to hold civil ceremonies which entitle them to the same rights as married couples. The Equality Act also gives gay and lesbians the right to equal service in the provision of goods and services.
If Miss Ladele wins her case, it could set a precedent that will allow people with strong religious convictions to opt out of the provision of services to gays, lesbians and bisexuals.
The council say that they will robustly defend their position at the tribunal hearing,