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Christian registrar wins employment tribunal over civil partnerships

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  1. So the bible now takes priority over english law. This is a black day for democracy, never mind gay equality.

    It will set a dangerous precendent, and should be resisted. She is not marrying people in the eyes of god but in the eyes of the state and she should either leave her superstition at the door or find a job she can do properly.

    If you are not careful you will end up with the same situation we have in the netherlands, where the only requirement is that in each district, thee be at least one registrar who can perform gay marriages…..

  2. If you read the whole judgement (on the Christian Institute website at which bankrolled her claim) it provides interesting reading about her beliefs on matrimony. It seems she was allowed to state those without being asked to square them with the day to day practicality of marrying divorcees, adulterers and non-believers. I should think that Islington Council would have a very strong case for an appeal if this dichotomy between of Ladele’s beliefs as a fundamentalist Christian and practice as a secular registrar was not explored. And even if it was, I imagine that there could be criticism of the three judges unanimous verdict that they did not think it displayed a complete failure in Ladele’s logic, not to say underlying homophobic reasons. What she was arguing for was not “Chritsian’ marriage per se but heterosexual partnerships only. That is quite another matter. Go for it Islington!

  3. The bible has been in existence longer than modern day English law. She probably was doing this job before the civil partnership law came into effect. At the end of the day no one has a right to make someone do anything against their will wether you agree of disagree with their opinions or beliefs.

  4. I feel that the registrar concerned probably did feel intimidated by other members of staff for her personal beliefs and I take a dim view of any harrasment on these ground no matter how repugnant a belief may see. However, I think its totally unacceptable to refuse to undertake a statutory duty on behalf of the state on any grounds. If a registrar refuses to provide services to a member of the public citing moral justifications, he/she rightly should be relieved from their duties. What other areas will this particular registrar refuse service, registration of a birth involving two Lesbians? I am outraged that our well respected registration service should be dirtied by the unprofessional few, after all this position of respect and trust should carry with it impartiality.

  5. Does the ruling just say that she was bullied etc, or that she doesn’t have to officiate at civil partnerships in the ruling? If she was bullied, then that was also wrong, but it cannot be correct that she can choose (as a public sevant) who to serve!!

  6. Why is a Christian happy to perform a CIVIL marriage?

    Has this person ever performed a marriage for DIVORCED people? Re-marriage in Christianity is an absolute no no, on a par with ADULTERY.

    Her religious beliefs, no doubt, are strictly limited to opposing civil partnerships.

  7. It may seem inoffensive enough to work round this, and swap duties round. But what about small local offices, in the case where all registrars had objections to civil partnerships? The council would have to employ another registrar to do that, and waste more money!

    The only sensible case is a clear ruling (which we sort of got in the case of that christian magistrate who wanted to opt out of some cases) that certain jobs (magistrate, registrar etc) have legal responsibilities and legal force atteched, and that a condition of that job and having that legal status is that the person administers the whole of the law, without prejudice. So, magistrates take on cases for gay and straight adoption, and don’t get to chose, and registrars do civil weddings for all, and civil partnerships for all. If you don’t want to do that because of your personal beliefs, then that job is not for you. If that means some registrars resign, so be it! Equal provision of goods and services has to mean just that, with all relevant employees applying the same. What else might we have if the religious right get away wit this? We could have office staff refusing to handle enquiries for civil partnerships, or the paperwork, and be reduced to having a special civil partnerships sub-office.

  8. Gino Meriano 10 Jul 2008, 2:10pm

    Gino Meriano Founder of Pink Weddings and gay rights campaigner for same sex families says “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.

  9. In the Ladele Registrar case it seems Ms Ladele gave an account of Christian marriage which she believes in and which she cannot compromise…and which she applies. This was given in evidence to the tribunal, i.e that marriage is between a man and a woman (presumably baptised), it is for ever (allowing no divorce) and forsaking all others (adulterers and people living ‘in sin’ need not apply). Isn’t it strange then that no one seems to have noticed Ms Ladele seems not to have ruled out performing civil marriage for anyone legally qualified though religiously they may not be. Does she even enquire? No, what the case shows that she was happy to register ALL heterosexual partnerships (whether they fulfilled the conditions for Christian marriage or not ) but not homosexual ones shows that this is not a case of religious freedom so much as a case for religious bigotry. If she were truly religious surely she would be able to bring herself to perform civil marriage in a large number of cases either.

    I certainly hope Islington Council appeals because on reading the transcript of their judgment it seems the three members of the tribunal did not question Ms Ladele closely enough on this obvious anomaly.

  10. Gene Touchet 10 Jul 2008, 3:40pm

    Here in the States, an Ethiopian Muslim immigrant taxi driver was not allowed to discriminate against persons he thought had some association with alcohol. This employment tribunal has let the nose of religious extremism into the tent.

  11. Erroll Clements 10 Jul 2008, 4:34pm

    Christian bigotry over rules again, ‘SHE’ calls herself a ‘christian’ yet she is discriminating against other sexes/people?! How many of the the ‘HETROSEXUAL’ people are christians for a start, how many are on their 2nd or 3rd marriage (against christian beliefs?) and how many will last past a year or two?!!

  12. She has a right to her beliefs and views but as a government offical she has her job then at stake. She can choose to say no but then her employeer then has to ask is this fair is this right is this within the law. She should step down. In the states we had a state offical step down because he would not lower the flags for the late Sen Jesse Helms. His response was how can I honor anyone who has chosen to lead in discrimination and bigotry. She should step down if she does not agree.

  13. Why should she have to give up her livelihood, the thing that keeps a roof over her head and food on her table? If we want equality for gay people, we should want it for everyone and part of this should be the right not to be asked to do something which is against your faith. 20 years ago (or so) someone who wanted to be a soldier and be openly gay had to choose, you say this is wrong, so if it’s wrong for someone to have to choose between being gay and being a soldier, it’s also wrong that someone should have to choose between being a Christian and being a registrar. And lets face it, the majority of the population isn’t Christian and would be happy to marry a gay couple so it’s not going to affect provision of services.
    Also a few people have said this could affect the provision of other services- no it couldn’t, whilst the bible condemns the act of homosexual sex (note it’s the act of sex that is condemned not the feeling of being in love with someone of the same gender) it does not condone discrimination, but says that a Christian should care for and love everyone- so there would be no biblical grounds for denying things such as medical care to gay people. In addition someone has argued it opens the door for people to have moral arguments against al sorts of things, for example mixed race marriages, again not true, there’s clear biblical instruction, understood and recognised by the majority of the mainstream Christian churches against homosexual partnerships, there is no such ruling in the bible (or the Torah or the Koran) against mixed race marriages so someone would have a hard job convincing a tribunal that it was against their religious beliefs. Christianity has clear rules and s concrete moral code (whether you agree with it or not) so nobody could just convince a tribunal that some arbitrary act was a problem from a religious point of view.
    If you want Christians (and lets not leave out Jews and Muslims too) to respect you and tolerate your lifestyle (which is as unacceptable to them as theirs is to you) then you need to afford them the same respect and tolerance.

  14. Oh and also, there is no biblical code that says you have to be a Christian to be married so no religious reason why she wouldn’t want to marry a non-Christian couple, and as for adulterers divorcees etc I think that she would probably say that when they are getting married they are promising to be faithful and stay married for ever, they have no intent to “sin”, in fact the opposite, their marriage is a declaration that (whatever their history) from now on they are going to be faithful to one another alone, something God would be in favour of. In contrast, from a Christian point of view, a gay marriage is a declaration that someone is going to remain in a relationship with someone of the same gender for the rest of their life, and is in effect a celebration of something God wouldn’t be in favour of. SO there is a difference which I am sure the tribunal judges would have understood.
    Gee I bet you all hate me now. But the whole argument isn’t really about who is right, the gay rights or the Christian rights person, but it’s really about whether we can co-exist. I think that with a bit of love and acceptance on both sides we can.

  15. Damian in UK 11 Jul 2008, 9:13pm

    I see this as a clar case of homophobia on the part of those judges. In the job she was doing this woman was under an obligation to carry out the law of the land by officiating at Civil Partnerships, for which her own personal religious beliefs were of no consequence at all. If she objected so much on these grounds then she should have done the decent thing and resigned from the job. This is outrageous – a total disgrace. It’s sheer homophobia at work, nothing less.

  16. It’s no more homophobia than your view is “anti-Christian” If you had a career that you’d had for 16 years and that paid you a good salary but your boss suddenly said that as part of your job you had to go to church on a Sunday and publicly advocate the views of Christianity – including it’s stance on homosexuality would you “do the decent thing and resign” or would you say “no it’s absolutely wrong that I’m being made to stand for something that goes against my own ethical code and I shouldn’t lose my job because I’m not prepared to do so”
    For years gay rights protesters have called those against homosexuality “narrow minded” but you’re being narrow minded now, accept that people have differing views on what’s right and wrong, she feels as strongly about her views as you do about yours- just try to put yourself in her shoes, and get a practical grip on how we deal with our differences as a society. People are getting fed up of political correctness and this is creating a lot of bad feeling and even violence in the UK, and one of the reasons for this is reactions like that above. This woman did nothing homophobic at all and this kind of over-reaction just makes people roll their eyes at the word “homophobic” and not take real cases of discrimination seriously. For years she worked alongside gay people, she didn’t insult or offend her gay colleagues (in fact I believe she actually became the victim of bullying herself) and didn’t do anything to discriminate against them, she simply refused to participate in something she disagreed with. Disagreeing with your view does not make someone homophobic, it just makes them different to you.
    Most Christians, including this lady from what I understand, respect the free will God has given people to choose how they want to live their lives, and this means that most Christians respect the rights of gay people including their right to enter into a civil partnership. But there is a vast difference between respecting someones rights to a civil partnership and actively participating in that partnership. The world is a big place and there’s room for all of us, there’s no reason why Gay people in Islington (or wherever it was) couldn’t enjoy their freedom to legally bind their partnership and this lady enjoy her freedom to continue her job whilst being obedient to her God.

  17. You can’t say “her religious beliefs were of no consequence at all” to say this shows you have no concept of what a religion is. A religion is a way of life, to say someone shouldn’t take their religious beliefs to work is akin to saying they shouldn’t take their arms to work. If you believe in something it’s of consequence to everything you do, including your work.

  18. james hadley brown 12 Jul 2008, 3:39am

    So comments are edited or is this blatant censorship?

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