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Christian registrar loses employment tribunal appeal over civil partnerships

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  1. The initial ruling was an horrific precedent which made little sense and privileged religious belief above everything else. The idea that you can refuse to treat your employers clients fairly and with equality, because of your religious beliefs no matter what they might be and how irrational or hypocritical or selective is clearly ridiculous. This person was trying to win a right to discriminate and refuse or take away the rights of others. Her lawyer’s assertion that “The evidence showed that Lillian performed all of her duties to the same high standard for the LGBT community as she did for everyone.” seems odd. How can refusing to perform civil partnerships but performing weddings for straight people be performing duties to the same high standard. Again and again we see those who wish to deny our rights say that they are not discriminating that they are only upholding their own rights to practice and express their beliefs (discriminate). We lose our rights to equal treatment if they are allowed to discriminate, they only lose their right to treat us badly but are not forced to change their beliefs. There is and should be no carte blanche right to the expression of religious belief, the state does not allow stoning to death, or putting out an eye for an eye, it does not allow the keeping of slaves, incitement to murder, polygamous or forced marriage, it doesn’t allow female genital mutilation or circumcision or the refusal of services to those with guide dogs etc, all of which are desired as expressions of religious belief by some. I feel confident she will lose her appeal. the previous committee should be investigated for their erroneous ruling.

  2. James Malloy 19 Dec 2008, 1:28pm

    The appeal was correct and sound. That woman has no right to impose the misguided hate that comes from religious views on her civil duties. Allowing religion to interfere with politics and law should not to be tolerated.

  3. Perhaps Ms Ladele might now reconsider her “religious” behaviour, give thought to the teachings of Jesus, and find the spitituality which promoted loving ones’ neighbour.
    She might also reconsider the types of job she applies for and her willingness to conduct the role as it is described in the job description.
    I can live in hope…..

  4. John Mitchell 19 Dec 2008, 3:08pm

    Well all I can say is I am in shock! Will my partner and I went through a Civil Partnership in Derry in Northern Ireland. Not the most, emm shall we say forward looking part of the UK! Infact quite the reverse could be said. We can give nothing but praise for the staff at the Guild Hall and the people of Derry and indeed Co Donegal, part of Ireland and one of the most religious places in the world. For this to happen in Islington of all places has me dumbfounded! It will be interesting to see, if she now puts her strongly held Christian beliefs before her job and resigns!

  5. A victory for common sense. The woman should not blame her homophobia on Christianity.

  6. Alan Thorpe 19 Dec 2008, 3:54pm

    I agree with the above comments. We really cant go down the road that allows religious beliefs to transcend the law. Miss Ladele needs to find work more suitable to her narrow views and lack of understanding. Preferably not working with the public. Prejudice takes all forms and not just racial prejudice. I hope her Christian vision helps her to see that.

  7. There IS a God and He does NOT like homophobic hate-mongers; especially ones who have the unmitigated gall to claim their hatred is being exercised in His name!!!!

    What a beautiful Christmas present!!!!

  8. This is truly great news. I carry out training on sexual orientation issues within equality and diversity and the issue of religion vs sexual orientation often comes up. I always state that employees cannot be allowed to use religious belief as grounds for discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation. The appeal tribunal’s ruling backs this up and is very welcome.

  9. That reallt cheered me up – Merry Christmas One And All

  10. Fantastic news! Stop using the Bible to justify your own nasty little prejudices, Ms Ladele, and think about how YOU’D feel if someone refused to serve you because you were black and their religion said that you were a sinner because of your skin colour? They’d be a racist and you’re a homophobe. Thank God (excuse the pun) that the right decision’s been reached at last.

  11. Andrew Quick 19 Dec 2008, 5:35pm

    It’s made even worse by the fact she wasn’t even born in the U.K

  12. This judgement makes one thing clear: there is no hierarchy of equalities. This is an important legal principle that is worth defending and I am relieved that this has now been clarified.

  13. Bravo – Great result – it had to be for the sanity of the whole new regulations on fairness for all – bravo Islington for going that far with the case.

    – the chirstian groups wouls like an opt-out on CP – we can not get married in a church and then we have to be reduced by an opt-out ????
    Opting out is wrong – we all have to force ourselves ome time to overcome racism etcc….
    GREAT RESULT ISLINGTON

  14. Robert, ex-pat Brit 19 Dec 2008, 7:05pm

    At last, common sense prevailed! I’ve said this many times and I’ll say it again. Religion has absolutely NO place in politics or in the public sector. Unlike sexual orientation, religion is a choice, a personal decision and as such, should be confined to one’s home or place of worship. Socalled christians who take government funded employment especially should be made aware that their religious beliefs are not allowed to interfere in the execution of their jobs, otherwise, they should seek employment elsewhere. Well done, Islington Council.

  15. Davis Mac-Iyalla 19 Dec 2008, 10:47pm

    Well done, Islington Council.

  16. She can now get a job at Primark where she will doubtless attempt to take them to an employment tribunal for making her sell mixed fibres.

  17. Simon Bellord 20 Dec 2008, 4:33am

    This is a great shame, her rights have been trumped by the liberal fascists. Hopefully this will wake people up to fight for freedom even harder as the state onece again tightens its grip over us. Marx, Hitler, Stalin, Mao etc live on!

  18. If she were preforming a religious ceremony, I would be on her side. However, she is preforming a civil ceremony, that isn’t even called marriage. She should have quit or transferred to a new position altogether.

  19. Lincoln - Australia 20 Dec 2008, 4:44pm

    Lori didn’t protest how she earnt a living working in the public sector that is made up of money paid by LGBT taxes? It wasn’t too long ago that “God” condemned black people for being seperate from “his” flock – it gave slavery right of way with biblical blessings. This women is a nasty fool caught up in the homophobia that christianity promotes to give itself credibilty. What a great outcome for Islington Council as many gay couples can enjoy their special day without misguided christian damnation dampening their joy of love and partnership.

  20. It’s unfair to label Ms Ladele as ‘nasty’, ‘a bigot’ etc. (And how crass of Stonewall to line her up for an award against someone like Iris Robinson, who really is in a league of her own) I have no reason to doubt she is sincere in her beliefs, and honest. And there is nothing unchristian about her beliefs incidentally. Granted, there was no room for her to continue in her role. She was simply incapable of reconciling her deeply held beliefs with her role. I am not saying her views should be respected (they are indeed ridiculous beliefs), but her right to hold those views most certainly should be.

    But when people are found to be incompetent at work, or not up to the job, they should be let go with dignity. The reason why this got to an appeal stage is because she was treated appallingly by her colleagues at Islington Council, according to the initial trial. So the Council are partly responsible for letting this cricial case drag on. You can fiercely disagree with someone, or blow someone’s argument to pieces, and indeed terminate someone’s position, by being both firm, fair – even friendly – but above all reasonable about it. That didn’t happen, so it is quite possible that Ms Ladele deserves compensation.

    To quote again, Tom Paine: “The most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason. I have never used any other, and I trust I never shall.” Now that’s what I call a real golden rule.

  21. Ms Ladele should be afforded the same dignity in this case as that which she afforded to those whose ceremonies she refused to perform. None.

  22. Stewart Cowan 22 Dec 2008, 11:39am

    I made my comments into an article – “Gay rights” causing division again in the fight for tolerance! and there is a link at the bottom to my blog.

  23. There seems to be a shocking lack of understanding or tolerance here, which i find intersting as one would think that groups that have been dennied their right to follow a certain way of life would be understanding, kind of makes me think of the jews in israel. Anyway back to the point, just as people have the right to same sex marriages so people should have the right to think its wrong, what makes your belifes more valid then hers? From wht ive read there was no isse regarding her and her work untill some one made a complaint, it would be iteresting to find out who that person was.
    Now, and i know im going to get bashed for this but so what, i dont like homosexualtiy, i dont think its natural and i dont think its right (im not religous) these are MY OWN OPIONS which i feel im entilted too. Now before you all form a mob and chase me down and hang me, i understand that 1) just as i have a right to my opions and views and life stlye choices, so do other people and 2) as far as im concerned homosexualtiy does not define a person they are people who are gay, they are a person first and foremost, and their choice of sexual partner is only one aspect of their character, and one i dont dwell on too much, because of my opions, and funnily enough my gay friends, my gay family members and my gay work colleges are all fine with that, just the same as their are things about me they dont like. And they know ho i feel, imagine that. One more thing to ponder, in this age of pc ness it is becoming harder and harder to engage in open honest disscussion, why? Because if you discuss certain things nd you dont say the correct pc words, yo get branded a bigot, fascist, racist or worse, and that then leads to simple promotion of ideas with no thought process involved at all, how wonderfull is that hey eveyone forced to think the same way.

  24. Ah, I see the delightful Stewart Cowan is back again flogging his tuppence blog/rant.

    Steward the former alcoholic and bible basher…. yeah, we need moral guidance form a bottom feeder like you.

    I for one am glad to see that Justice has prevailed here. Despite Stewart’s attempts to blacken the posts here on his sanctimonious tripe of a blog, religious belief is not a valid reason for discrimination. If anything, its should be the opposite. The definition of irony, isn’t it?

    And Chris, we don’t care what you think. No one asked you, and yet you seem to think we need your BLOCK CAPITALS OPINION to be acknowledged. If you’re not gay, then don’t worry about gays… obsessing over gay people is usually a sign of a deep seated sexual desires, or at the very least, a mental disorder, so get over yourself, move on, and take up a hobby.

  25. A Roman Catholic priest will refuse to marry a heterosexual couple in his church if either has previously been married and then divorced – unless the Vatican has also granted an annulment – and he is perfectly within his rights in doing so. However, so far as I am aware, that doesn’t mean that a registrar who happens to be a Roman Catholic and who agrees with his/her church’s hard line in the matter of divorce and remarriage, can refuse to perform a civil marriage for a couple in similar circumstances. I therefore see no reason why a different criterion should apply when it comes to a civil partnership.

  26. Will, firstly the reason for the blocks capitals was not an attempt to draw attention to my opinions but more to highlight the fact that everyone is entilted to their own, so im sorry if it came across that way. Also i was under the impression that the purpose of comments pages such as this where to encourage discussion between people some times with different views, because that can lead to nw ideas and new ways of moving forward and creating understanding/tolerance (and no i dont mean agreeing or liking, more like a lets agree to disagree). As for “if your not gay dont worry about gays” what a wonderfully mature line, i worry about “gays” because they too are people, they are in the same socity i am and as a result we all have an impact on each other. Also if you call being interested in the world around you and the conflicts between different views, life stlye choices etc and the effect they have a hobby then i think your the one who really needs to take a long hard look at your self. Now you seem to be taking the line alot of minority groups take, the attitude of if we do it you must like and support us in it, followed by throwing your toys out when people disagree, and your attack using the classic “obsessing over gay people is usually a sign of a deep seated sexual desires, or at the very least, a mental disorder” would ust seem to prove this, that truley is a childish way of expressing yourself. Anyway to the majority of other people who have posted on here (those who havent resorted to temper tantrums, swearing or insulting others) regardless of my own feelings thankyou for providing some interesting and thought provoking views and thoughts, i guess we are just going to have to agree to disagree. Finally maybe one thing we can at least agree on and no one it going to get upset over, merry christmas to you all.

  27. “i worry about “gays” because they too are people, they are in the same socity i am and as a result we all have an impact on each other.”

    Yeah, so put your efforts to combating the REAL problems with society, and stop bothering us all with your tripe about how you pretend to “care” about gay people. When you say stupid things like “i dont like homosexualtiy, i dont think its natural” no one is fooled by your insistence that its in the intention of “moving forward and creating understanding/tolerance”

    Please, don’t insult my intelligence.

    And, yeah, being obsessed with gay people to the point that you feel a need to voice your enlightened “opinions” on a gay site IS a mental disorder its a form of OCD. Normal people don’t have that kind of need.

  28. Beccy Simpson 16 Jan 2009, 5:17pm

    Chris – try educating yourself about “natural law” before saying you don’t think homosexuality “is natural”; just because you don’t regard your opinions as being influenced from religious dogma does not mean they are your OWN OPINIONS (your capitalization) in that they are free from a variety of social and cultural influences and born from pure reason. Nobody’s are, but at lease examined opinions based on education and critical reflection, can make a useful contribution to debate. And don’t claim yours are: your comments on the “naturalness” and “rightness” of homosexuality betray their source, as indeed does your reaction to William’s statement that homophobes are usually repressing a dead-seated sexual desire. It is accepted psychological theory that aversions to traits in others is an expression of the attempted splitting of of one’s self in to an accepted and acceptable self; you can have an emotional response only to traits that you recognize in yourself. William’s comment was not childish but valid.

  29. To Chris:
    I think everybody is entitled to believe what they believe and think what they think, but ACTING on the belief to an extent that he/she rejects performing his/her prescribed duty and violates the job’s important principle AT LEAST proves that this person is not incompetent for the work.
    I believe that people have every right to THINK. But do they have every right to ACT upon whatever they think? I think not. Holding an opinion in mind is not the problem. Performing an opinion that leads to discrimination–this is the problem.

  30. To Chris:
    I think everybody is entitled to believe what they believe and think what they think, but ACTING on the belief to an extent that he/she rejects performing his/her prescribed duty and violates the job’s important principle AT LEAST proves that this person is not incompetent for the work.
    I believe that people have every right to THINK. But do they have every right to ACT upon whatever they think? I think not. Holding an opinion in mind is not the problem. Performing an opinion that leads to discrimination on other people’s legitimate rights–this is the problem.

  31. To Chris (contibued):

    “I have no reason to doubt she is sincere in her beliefs, and honest. “–I agree with AdrianT on this.

    And there are (or least were) people who sincerely believe that Jews are sinful and deserve to be condemned because of the “crime” their ancestor committed. –i also have no doubt that these people’s belief is sincere, but does it legitimate anything?

    To be honest, I am in the same pair of shoes with you–but I’m in the opposite one of yours. I don’t like heterosexuality. I think it’s nasty, unnatural, and wrong to accept the genital from the opposite sex in or around your own genital except for the purpose of reproduction. I cannot control but feel a moment of being grossed out when I hear my male friends talking about their girlfriends or my female friends talking about their men. Such instant feeling of gorss hits my so natually that although I’ve tried very hard to change my opinion just so that I can consider myself more open-minded, i failed. I guess you can call me a heterophobia in terms of these emotional and cognitive reactions.
    However–
    Do I respect and support straight sex based on love between two individuals (which is againt my stubborn thought that inter-sex intercourse is dirty)? -Yes I do.
    Do I respect and support infertile straight couple’s right of marriage although they can only perform heterosexuality without contributing to the human population(which violates my sincere belief that inter-sex intercourse is unnatural without the function of reproduction)?–Yes I do.
    Will I dislike an employee and feel reluctant to put her in an important position just because she talks about her man instead of her woman (which offends my emotion, because it gives me an uncontrollable uncomfortableness)? –No, I won’t.

    I hope these help you understand the difference between bias and discrimination–the former is a thought & feeling, whereas the latter is an action.
    What caused the council to conflict with Ms.Ladele is her discrimination.

    Did she refuse to carry out her duty because the couple’s requirement was illegal? -No.
    Did she differentiate her treatment on the couple from other clients MERELY because their sexual orientation? -Yes.
    –This forms a discrimination and also maks her an incomponent employee/religous registrar whose dismissal is reasonable and legitimate.

    Did the council dismiss Ms.Ladele MERELY because her sexual orientation? -No.
    Did the council dismiss Ms.Ladele MERELY because her belief? -No.
    Did the council dismiss Ms.Ladele because she, as a (former)religous registrar, reject her duty and commit discrimination towards clients? -Yes.

    You get the idea.

  32. The battle here is not that of words but of conscience. It is a battle between light and darkness. I praise the courage of this registrar. We all shout down people who choose to hold religious convictions on issues just because Satan has filled our lives with lies and delusion.
    Let it be clearly said…same sex marriage is evil in the eyes of the LORD and GOD of the Bible. It doesn’t matter whether we believe it or not. God doesn’t work with a majority …..He could choose to, but often He doesn’t.
    Go and look at the story of the children of Israel….if you have a Bible. Only 2 of the original 3 million left Egypt made it to Canaan. The rest were offspring of the millions who died in the wilderness because they would not follow GOD.
    Rebellion against the light of the gospel is not new and I will be surprised if nobody calls me names for writing this. But know one thing for sure…if this woman’s decision is sanctioned by God…..she will be PROMOTED BY GOD while those who discriminated against her will be put to shame.

    Why don’t we stop and think…..we have lost our peace as a nation. We have tried all we an to take god away from public consciousness….. we have taken prayer and GOD out of the schools …… no wonder our children are vagabonds, no wonder we are empty, no wonder we hear of terrible vices increasing everyday, no wonder we have no peace , no wonder we are ashamed of the things we do in private, no wonder we are the way we are, no wonder things will get worse except we repent!!!

    Let me close by asking a question. Why do we condemn pedophiles today. What makes the sexual perversion of a pedophile greater evil than that of a homosexual. Mark my words, one day even the pedophiles will gain so strong a voice and enough people in parliament in parliament and in public life that someone will tell us there’s nothing wrong with being a pedophile. And anyone who speaks against them might even risk an arrest.

    If an issue is wrong, let’s speak against it. Same sex marriage marriage might be right in the law of the UK, but IT IS WRONG IN THE LAW OF GOD. PERIOD.
    I rest my case.

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