Registrar’s Wish Not to Register Homosexual Unions Rejected

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: January 15, 2013

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Morals

Area of case: Governmental



Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar, was disciplined because of her stance on civil partnerships. The European Court of Human Rights dismissed Ladele’s application on January 15th, 2013 and left the balancing out of rights to the national authorities.

Miss Ladele had been working at Islington Council for several years as a registrar of births, deaths and marriages with an “excellent” employment record. When the law changed to permit homosexual civil partnerships, she politely requested an accommodation of her religious beliefs. Mangers from Islington told an original employment tribunal that the council was able to deliver a “first class” civil partnership service without Miss Ladele’s involvement. Despite this, bosses treated her request as a freestanding act of gross misconduct, threatened her with dismissal and passed confidential employment details about her to a staff LGBT forum.
Ms. Ladele went from court to court until the nation’s highest court dismissed the application for appeal, claiming it “does not raise an arguable point of law of general public importance" in November 2010. She was seeking to overturn a previous Court of Appeal decision that ruled Islington Council had treated her badly but it did not amount to religious discrimination.
Miss Ladele says she is “disappointed” and feels her religious rights have been “trampled by another set of rights”. She is “actively considering” taking her legal fight to Europe. The Supreme Court’s decision leaves Christians feeling sidelined and “let down”, according to Miss Ladele’s backers.
We thank the Christian Institute for this report. Please read the full story at http://www.christian.org.uk/news/supreme-court-rejects-ladele-appeal-request/
In October 2011, consultations came out in favor of Ladele:
A summary of consultation responses was published by the commission in October 2011. Regarding the Ladele case, the summary stated: “the majority of responses expressed the view that the justification test had been applied incorrectly, and that the courts had come to the wrong conclusions.”
It continued: “Religious stakeholders generally thought that, in the case of Ladele, it was possible for her employer not to designate her for civil partnership duties.
“The employer would thereby accommodate her request without limiting or adversely affecting the civil partnership services provided to same-sex couples.

“They felt that the rights of same-sex couples were not in conflict with Ladele’s requested accommodation.

“Their perception was that Ladele had paid an unnecessarily high price – losing her job – to uphold the notional rights of others, which created a hierarchy of legal rights, where sexual orientation rights ‘trump’ religious rights.” 
Read more at: http://www.christian.org.uk/news/wrong-to-penalise-christian-registrar-consultation-finds/
This case was dismissed by the European Court of Human Rights on January 15th, 2013. Ms Ladele argued that her rights under Article 9 had been insufficiently protected in UK law, but lost the case: Balancing out the rights at stake was left to the appreciation of national authorities.
Read more: Summary of the Observatory on this and related cases
Read also: http://ukhumanrightsblog.com/2011/07/20/a-leap-of-faith/