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Islington registrar denied right to appeal over civil marriages ruling

Jessica Geen March 11, 2009
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The Islington registrar who refused to carry out civil partnerships has been denied leave to appeal against the latest ruling.

Lillian Ladele, 48, from Finsbury, was threatened with the sack after she told Islington borough council she could not carry out the ceremonies due to her Christian beliefs.

An employment tribunal in 2008 had ruled in favour of Ms Ladele but the council successfully appealed the decision at the Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT).

Her legal team subsequently announced they would seek leave from the EAT to appeal further to the Court of Appeal.

But the EAT has now refused leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal. In addition, Ms Ladele’s application for costs has also been refused.

Cllr John Gilbert of Islington Council said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has written with messages of support for the council during this case.

“If, as we hope, this does mark the end of the matter, many people across Islington and the country will be pleased that the law has been clarified and that the council’s position has been upheld yet again.

“For us, though, it’s only ever been about recognising the need for all our staff to deliver their public duties to all residents without discrimination.”

However, Ms Ladele is still able to petition to the Court of Appeal directly and the Christian Institute has offered to pay her mounting legal fees.

Mike Judge, a spokesman for the Christian Institute, said: “Clearly this is an issue on which people on both sides have strong feelings. But we think Lillian has been treated unfairly and that’s what we will be saying to the Court of Appeal.

“We believe the decision that Islington council took to discipline Lillian for not doing civil partnerships was an overreaction. They need to respect the rights of their religious employees too.”

Related topics: Employment, London

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