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UK: Defeat for anti-gay Christians at European Court of Human Rights

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  1. I am glad that both Ms Ladele and MrMcFarlane lost their cases. This was the right decision by the ECHR.

    Both Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane should now be gracious in defeat. They have lost both in the domestic courts and now in Europe.

    However, Mr McFarlane plans to appeal, again, and I suspect that he will again lose.

    1. bobbleobble 15 Jan 2013, 12:06pm

      I’m surprised it’s McFarlane and not Ladele who is appealing since Ladele’s result was a majority (5-2) but McFarlane’s was unanimous. Still if he wants to waste more of the Christian Institutes money then go for it.

      1. George Broadhead 15 Jan 2013, 5:37pm

        Although the BBC is undoubtedly biased in favour of religion, on this occasion its 1.00 pm TV News programme today did feature a comment from the Executive Director of the National Secular Society welcoming the decision against Ladele and McFarlane. By the way, I can reveal that both the ED and the president of the NSS are gay and the organisation deserves our support.

    2. Agree completely. I actually want them to appeal. The further and further they take this and the more times they loose will only serve to strengthen the message that you cant use religious rights to trample all over human rights

    3. “Mr McFarlane plans to appeal, again, and I suspect that he will again lose”.

      Interesting that this guy is in the counselling field and yet seems to have some real power issues and an obsessive agenda. It would be interesting to know what is really motivating him and stopping him from gaining insight into the unfairness of his stance.

    4. Why not complain to God and let him judge?

  2. BBC News is concentrating on the Christian woman who won the right to wear a cross. They’re playing down this win for LGBT equality.

    1. casparthegood 15 Jan 2013, 11:57am

      of course

    2. Just about to make the same point myself. My earlier complained this month to the BBC in respect of their coverage of the gay marriage issue was brushed aside, so I don’t think they care very much. Gay issues aren’t very important to them unless it’s a story about how ‘divisive’ we are. Even victims of homophobic crimes get nowhere near the level of promotion as those of other hate crimes. Generally I like the BBC but I think an argument for calling them institutionally homophobic can be made, sadly.

    3. Yes, that really annoyed me too. I went to their news site to read the verdict and the headline was trumpeting the win of the BA woman. The UNchristian Institute LOST 3 out of the 4 cases they brought yet the BBC picks out the one winner to put in its headline. Ridiculous!

    4. I have to admit I wouldn’t have noticed a particularly unsupportive bias from the BBC if it weren’t for all of you commenting on it, especially in the last few weeks. It really does seem to be unavoidably the case that they play down anything beneficial to LGBT people. Very annoying.

    5. It is now becoming very obvious to anyone with a brain that there is definitely a pro-religion agenda at the beeb.

      If they want to act like that fine but then let’s privatise them so I don’t have to go to prison rather than give them my money.

      Home of religious thought for the day, the beeb is becoming a disgrace.

      1. Bill Cameron 15 Jan 2013, 1:31pm

        Much as I like Chris Patten, it is clear that he and a few others with strong Catholic leanings have influenced BBC editorial policy in the last several years.

    6. I am waiting for a reply from the Beeb for two complaints I have raised about bias. Nothing yet apart from cut and paste assurances of balance.

    7. Cardinal Capone 15 Jan 2013, 1:44pm

      I just saw this on the lunchtime BBC news. They had a long sympathetic interview with McFarlane, and one line from the Secular society. No attempt to explain the effects and logical end result of the actual discrimination by these people. I like the Beeb, but the news has always been anti-gay.

    8. After nasty Tories assumed power, all their worries have been splashed on the front pages and are now aligning almost perfectly with the BBC’s, but don’t worry, that’s purely a coincidence. The BBC, the Daily Mail, telegraph, etc.. they just reflect the mood of the population and report the news. There is no bias. It’s all in your imagination.

  3. That There Other David 15 Jan 2013, 12:00pm

    Absolutely the right decision. They crossed the line by believing their religious feelings allow them to opt-out of aspects of their jobs. You only have to think forward to see the effects such a legal precedent could have on us had the Court ruled the other way. Would some of us suddenly find ourselves denied healthcare? Could our children be denied access to education?

    It would cause a ridiculous and even dangerous state of affairs to come into force, one which I’m sure Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane would welcome, but one which would cause real harm to people such as us.

    My advice to him now is to drop it. You’ve followed the process and at every stage it’s gone against you. Time to realise that your personal faith doesn’t trump society’s needs.

    1. Disgustingly, children can be denied access to education, religious schools pick and choose who they teach.

  4. Oh how I laughed when I heard this news…common sense from the judges…hopefully others who discriminate will learn from this but somehow I doubt it

  5. It is likely that he will lose any appeal. The two dissenting judges disagreed over the Ladele case largely because, when she started her job as a registrar, there was no requirement to undertake CP registration. However, this was not the case with McGarlane who effectively signed away his religious rights when he accepted the position as counsellor.

    1. McFarlane

      1. That There Other David 15 Jan 2013, 12:13pm

        Judy McGarland?

        1. Stop it there That There Other David – you made me spill my drink!!

  6. Jock S. Trap 15 Jan 2013, 12:14pm

    Excellent.. and so they should. Their blatant discrimination is not acceptable.

    Not probably for the endless appeals, coz they’ll never accept they were wrong!

  7. Long overdue, but then again they will appeal the ruling!

    Pull the other one Christians!

    I am sick and tired of so-called Christians complaining, jumping up and down and winging about there the ones being discriminated against!

    Surely Christians have better things to do in their time (perhaps not)!?

    Such as fighting poverty and spending all the tax-exempt money going shopping on things such as Jesus dolls and building more churches!

    I am gay and as a gay man I can not legally marry or donate blood!

    No wonder why I am agnostic!

  8. There both a disgrace and as for taking to appeal let them spent as much money as they can.

    There are people in need of clear water and food they money spent on this would have been far better spent on them.

    They don’t want to deal with gay people -tough.

    let not forgot the ladele was having sex outside marriage and gave birth kI thought that was against the teaching of the bible.

    homophobes the both of them.

  9. Can’t say I’m happy with Jane Hill on the BBC news channel. She repeatedly refers to “homosexual” couples. It seems like she’s been trained by the Christian Institute or something.

    1. That There Other David 15 Jan 2013, 12:34pm

      It should be pointed out to the BBC that gay people have been referred to as gay people for longer than the term “homosexual” has existed.

    2. And isn’t Jane Hill herself gay? Why couldn’t she have said ‘gay couples’ or ‘same sex couples’?

      1. Jane Hill is indeed gay, and she is in a civil partnership.

        1. Thanks, Neville. I *thought* she was but wasn’t 100% sure.

        2. That makes it worse – the BBC doesn’t have a policy to avoid the word gay, does it?

      2. I didn’t see the broadcast, so I don’t know in what context she used the term, but since when was homosexual deemed to be a pejorative?

        Jane Hill is indeed a lesbian and is open about her sexuality.

    3. I also noticed this and it made it sound like a broadcast from 1972. They have however adopted “faith communities” which never existed 10 years ago.

    4. Have to say that there is nothing wrong with the term homosexual and there are those of us who would much rather be called homos than gays . Who are these language police who claim the right to speak for us all ? Yes I am a Homosexual and no i am not gay .

  10. Keith Francis Farrell 15 Jan 2013, 12:34pm

    They now want to appeal the verdict, I wonder who is paying all their legal fees, I hope it is not the UK tax payer.If they want to take this case any further then it must come out of their own pockets. If a church is paying for this, then it is proof once again that the churches need to be taxed

    1. These Christian loons are being well funded by USA based extreme right wing evangelicals; the christian institute, christian concern [an oxymoron] and other similar hate groups benefit from their largess.

  11. Does mc farlane have a law practice? if a gay person went to him would he refuse to provide a legal service to them?
    pleased you lose the law is simple you cannot discriminate because a person is gay

    1. Imagine if a client assigned to him refused to accept his services, because he is Christian, or because he is black?
      He would drag them through the courts! Yet he thinks it is OK to be bigoted against us!

  12. The Ladele case is particularly ridiculous-because a Civil Partnership is NOT a marriage and therefore has absolutely NO religious connotations whatsoever.

    From early this morning the BBC has been reporting that Miss Ledele was sacked for refusing to perform “gay marraiges”- which is completely untrue.

    Just how inaccurate do the BBC News bulletins have to get in order to favour our adversaries?

    Questions NEED to be asked of the BBC’s reporting of gay issues. Its almost as though they have their own agenda?

    1. Not only that, Ladele should never be marrying ANYONE in a registry office if she’s such a strict Christian as they’re not ‘true marriages under God’. And I bet she hasn’t had a problem with marrying atheists, those of other religions, divorcees, adulterers, non-virgin brides, etc etc.

      1. Oh, well said, Iris! My late mum always had a pang of guilt because she did not have a Church wedding. She felt she was not “properly” married.
        Ladele is a “cherry-picking” Christian. Devout until it affects her income or job prospects!

  13. Marriage is a state-sanctioned (civil) union over which churches have been granted the right to conduct ceremonies If a couple divorce, ONLY the state can dissolve their marriage. Under freedom of religion, The catholic church does NOT acknowledge divorce; Divorcees are excluded from marrying in the Catholic church – and this is genuinely ok. Therefore, if the catholic church does NOT want to recognise civil equal/gay marriage, then surely THAT is also genuinely ok.

    Why is the catholic church making such a fuss?! There will be NO REQUIREMENT for a religious organisation to recognise “civil equal marriage” – just as there is NO REQUIREMENT for the catholic church to recognise divorcees. A religious organisation is free to preaching to their flock as they see fit. Alas, here is the problem: the
    catholic church is NOT content on merely preaching to their own flock: the catholic church wants to preach to all of society!!

    1. john colling 15 Jan 2013, 1:03pm

      the discrimination allegations of the aforementioned christains involves public servants. Key word is “public”. they serve all of the “public” in a “public” role. Therefore, in their PUBLIC ROLES, they should be open to serving everyone – regardless of colour, religion or sexuality. It’s a no brainer!!

      However, Religious and other PRIVATE MEMBER organisations who wish to vitreolically reject same-sex marriage should be given the freedom to do so; Also, religious organisation who wish to embrace same-sex marriage should also be given the freedom to do so: Surely, Freedom OF religion goes both ways….

      Nonetheless, Freedom OF a religion is equaly as important as Freedom FROM a religion.

      the media has a duty to be unbiased, yet continually and accurately inform the public of the non-prejudicial equal marriage proposals

      Is equality in public life such a bad thing?

      1. In your first paragraph, “should” should read “must”. It’s the law, since 2010, and sexuality is a protected status, as much as religion or race.
        “Nonetheless, Freedom OF a religion is equaly as important as Freedom FROM a religion.” Yes, and the Equality Act specifically protects atheists and agnostics as much as believers.

    2. That There Other David 15 Jan 2013, 1:07pm

      The Vatican wants to control all of society, not just preach to it. They’ve never really got over the Reformation and all those “heretics” breaking away. If you remember how they reacted to opposition from Byzantium or Avignon their agenda has always been quite clear. The Pope is their Emperor, so they expect the rest of us to behave like subjects.

      That Christ guy isn’t even central to what they’re about. If he were they most certainly wouldn’t have covered up centuries of ongoing child abuse.

      You have to feel a bit sorry for Catholics. Conditioned to respect an organisation that doesn’t respect them in the slightest.

    3. There is no requirement for either of these obnoxious individuals to do the jobs they do. Indeed, if they cannot fulfill their job responsibilities, or observe the requirements of the Equality Act 2010, they MUST be sacked, and their employers are breaking the law if they do not do so.

  14. Excellent news! But will it shut the whining UNchristian Institue up? I doubt it. They’ll just use this as further proof of poor little ‘christians’ being victimised because they’re not allowed to discriminate against others. The CI is using these people and they’re too stupid to see it.

    Why doesn’t the CI use its money to help the poor instead of attempting to persecute and discriminate?

    1. bobbleobble 15 Jan 2013, 1:06pm

      They won’t stay quiet at all. They’re already talking about appealing to the Grand Chamber and remember they’ve already said that they’re taking the B&B cases all the way if they have to.

      No doubt it will now become a plank of their ‘Christian’ worship for us to leave the ‘ungodly’ ECHR.

      1. That There Other David 15 Jan 2013, 1:09pm

        How will that help them though? The UK Courts have already rejected their arguments, that’s why they took it to Europe in the first place.

        1. bobbleobble 15 Jan 2013, 1:10pm

          It helps feed into their narrative of being victims and sufferers of persecution.

    2. Robert in S. Kensington 15 Jan 2013, 2:16pm

      No, it won’t Iris. The CI and that bunch of C4M hate mongers will spin this as yet another “abuse of religious freedom” card. I can almost hear the nonsense coming already.

  15. Ladele was perfectly willing to marry two divorcees. She was also an unmarried mother living in sin with another man, What a revolting hypocrite. The two judges that supported her case were probably from Poland or some other east European country.

    1. bobbleobble 15 Jan 2013, 1:08pm

      Actually the Polish judge was in the majority along with the Bulgarian judge. The two dissenters were from Montenegro and Malta. They only dissented on Ladele though, not McFarlane due to what they saw as specific factors in Ladele’s case.

    2. de Villiers 15 Jan 2013, 1:49pm

      That is an uncalled-for slur on the integrity of a whole nation and the whole of East-Europe.

      The dissenting judges were:

      BRATZA (UK) – northwest Europe
      BJÖRGVINSSON (Iceland) – northern Europe

      who stated that there had been violations in respect of Ms Chaplin and no others.

      The other two dissenting judges were

      VUČINIĆ (Montenegro) – southern Europe
      DE GAETANO (Malta) – south-east Europe

      who stated that there had been violation in respect of Ms Ladele.

      1. bobbleobble 15 Jan 2013, 1:57pm

        Actually Bratza and Bjorgvinsson’s dissent was that there had been no violation in respect of Eweida. The result for Chaplin was unanimous that no violation had occurred.

      2. She’s still a revolting hypocrite.

  16. This is all incredibly encouraging, and I write as a Judge. I was hopeful, given the exceptionally high quality of the domestic rulings, but nothing is guaranteed. If you want to read it all for yourselves, and it’ll take some time, go to

    Let’s wait for the rather misguided “leave the EU” chorus to get into voice again.

  17. DANGERMOUSE 15 Jan 2013, 1:15pm

    just heard Mr McFarlane in an interview on Radio4. HE’S AS CAMP AS A ROW OF PINK TENTS !!!!!!!

    1. I thought that too but discretion prevented me from commenting…LOL

      1. Yet FURTHER proof, as if it was needed, of the direct link between homophobia and closet cases. If you are a self-hater, where better to seek backup for your loathing than within an organisation which promotes homophobia? Religion ….

  18. I’m absolutely astonished by the WatO reporting of this but I’m utterly sick of complaining to the BBC about its bias.

  19. 75% marks to the European Court for common sense. I do feel however that the counsellor bloke was entitled to withdaw from an area which he felt uncomfortable with regardless of the rights or wrongs of his feelings. That is the fundamental right of a counsellor as it is of their client. But then if Relate was a professional organisation the situation would not have arisen. It would have been sorted out at the normalsupervision sessions.

    1. As a pharmacist, I frequently encounter vulnerable young women who have been refused contraceptive advice from other pharmacists/doctors on the grounds of “religious conscience”.

      Public servants have NO right to refuse services to people. In our public every-day lives, we all need to treat oneanother with respect and dignity. We may not agree with oneanother’s choices in lives.. but that is no reason to single people out and discriminate by refusing treatment.

      Secularism is the only solution.

    2. And if a client belonged to the BNP, and refused the services of a black man, because he/she was “uncomfortable”? Is that OK?
      Or if the counsellor had refused to work with a Moslem, or a Jew? Still OK?
      Bigotry and discrimination cannot be excused by recourse to belief systems or “comfort zones”

  20. McFarlane seems to think that he has a God-given right to discriminate against gay people and that his personal believes trump everything else. He’s the worst kind of bigot.

    1. typo: personal beliefs

  21. Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane are both guilty of thinly veiling their own personal prejudice (Bigotry) behind religious belief. Because the veil is truly down & we as society can distinguish between the two ,they feel personally persecuted. Well welcome to the 21st century Ms Ladele and Mr McFarlane you cant justify your intolerance any longer, or hide behind a book or many books.

  22. He knows he won’t win the next round either. He’s just being a vindictive twat.

  23. McFarlane seems to think that he has a God-given right to discriminate against gay people and that his personal beliefs trump everything else. He’s the worst kind of bigot

    1. ‘McFarlane seems to think that he has a God-given right to discriminate against gay people’ – eh ?

      How can he ‘discriminate’ against people who can’t possibly have sex in the first place (rather than some inverted version) , who aren’t physically compatible, emotionally compatible, who are not complimentary male and female ?Who can never be in union ?

      What next ? : non-discrimination against someone going up the wrong side of the motorway(right-ophobic)?,non-discrimination against the 56 year old who demands a place at his local nursery class for himself (ageism)?, nondiscrimination against the person who demands expensive cancer drugs from the NHS but has not got cancer or even ill ?

      It’s a distorted world with an upside down , inverted topsy turvy Law which flies in the face of reason and only caters for a mixed-up unhappy minority.

      1. From your post you sound pretty mixed-up and unhappy too, Ray (but thanks for making the effort to share your thoughts with us, I’m sure it was kindly meant). Fortunately, I’d guess you’re in a minority too.

      2. Suppose this counsellor, or a nurse or doctor or lawyer had refused to work with you, Ray, because you were white? Or fat, old, ugly, whatever? No difference, in law or morality.
        He broke the law and was guilty of gross insubordination. Either is subject to a penalty of instant dismissal.

        You moral compass is spinning like a top to accommodate your (literally) antediluvian views. Human beings are all equal.

  24. Dot flat nosed bitch shouldn’t even be in church

    For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous,

  25. While I’m delighted this backfired, I get the feeling they raised this case knowing this would happen. This is not about winning for them. It’s just another vehicle for seeking attention and reprising their role as victims.

    1. Cardinal Capone 15 Jan 2013, 3:57pm

      Hence Hong Kong just had a big anti-gay rally by Christians objecting to any anti discrimination protection for LGBT’s there, based on goal misinformation about “reverse discrimination”. See article here:

  26. I danced in joy! Where is the God of LOVE this Christian seems to worship? Like all religions; it’s a Pick’n’Mix shambles to suit their own ends.

  27. Cardinal Capone 15 Jan 2013, 3:51pm

    Spot the US Evangelical intervenor among these:

      “The following individuals and organisations were given leave by the President to intervene as third parties in the written procedure (Article 36 § 2 of the Convention and Rule 44 § 2): the Equality and Human Rights Commission; The National Secular Society; Dr Jan Camogursky and The Alliance Defense Fund; Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali; The Premier Christian Media Trust; the Bishops of Chester and Blackburn; Associazione Giuseppi Dossetti: i Valori; Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians in Europe; Liberty; the Clapham Institute and KLM; the European Centre for Law and Justice; Lord Carey of Clifton; and the Fédération Internationale des ligues des Droits de l’Homme (FIDH, ICJ, ILGA-Europe).”

  28. Staircase2 15 Jan 2013, 3:52pm


    Too bloody right!

    …Claiming victimhood just because they feel excluded from the right to persecute (the traditional prerogative of right wing religious groups)…

  29. Haha. Accept it you silly mumpties! Good, glad you lost, not stop wasting money and do something good.

  30. It’s still only the same evening, and yet Pink News has already relegated this major story down to the unimportant / also-rans category.

    PN’s headlines include the predictable minor US stories about politicians and shock jocks (of whom most UK readers will never have heard) spouting their predicable bigotry.

    PN really needs to sort out its news priorities !

  31. Two wins for . . .

    Two wins ‘against’ . . . or is it? . . .

    So can I now wear my lycra rainbow shorts at work as a display of my ‘faith’? . . .

    WooHoo . . .

  32. Mr McFarlane felt uncomfortable giving sex advice to homosexuals who can’t possibly have sex (being of the same-sex their idea of what constitutes ‘sex’ apart from being unnatural, unhealthy and debased) and as a result was sacked .Giving such ‘advice’ was against his Christian faith .This is the Faith which founded Western Civilization.

    Was he meant to say ‘yeah great , i’ll teach them all the degrading acts of gross indecencies known to the so-called LGBT ‘community’ – fisting, felching, scat,bareback riding !’etc etc

    It’s a bit like the State telling nutritionists they must give anorexics things to make them through up and that this constitutes ‘eating’ .Its a sick society we live in when human conscience is trampled on by a fascist minority .Retrograde and a return to barbarism .

    1. She was employed and PAID to conduct non-religious marriage ceremonies. That fact alone was against Christian dogma.
      “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s”.
      By refusing to do the job she is paid for, she is not only cheating the tax-payer, but was going against the Word of God, as spoken by Jesus in the Scriptures.

      I may no longer believe in it, but I have actually STUDIED the Bible in great detail for A Level, and at College.

  33. This is a significant judgement well done ECHR.

  34. “The victim narrative that lies behind them, whipped up by the political Christian lobby groups that organise them and the socially conservative media that report them, has no basis in reality.”
    Can we get this on the side of every bus in the UK?

  35. Gary McFarlane as a black man should understand discrimination much better. How can he discriminate? Hippocratic selfish man!

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