Tuesday, July 15, 2008

UK: Religious Liberty in Employment Upheld, Journalists in Uproar

The vitriol spewing from the British media is astounding in response to a ruling in favor of right of conscience.

-- From "Registrar wins gay ceremony case" by Bob Sherwood at the Financial Times 7/11/08

A Christian registrar who refused to officiate over same-sex civil partnerships has won a discrimination case that could redraw the boundaries of anti-discrimination laws.

Lillian Ladele is set to receive thousands of pounds in compensation after an industrial tribunal on Thursday ruled that Islington council unlawfully discriminated against her because she refused to carry out the ceremonies “as a matter of religious conscience.”

Ms Ladele, 47, claimed that marrying gay couples was “sinful” and violated her “orthodox Christian beliefs.” She asked to be excused from performing same-sex unions because other registrars could do so.

The central London tribunal found that Ms Ladele was subjected to acts of direct discrimination by the north London council on the grounds of her religious beliefs, including disciplining her and threatening dismissal, concluding she had committed gross misconduct and treating her as homophobic.

The tribunal ruled: “It is an important case which may have a wider impact than the dispute between the parties. The tribunal accepts that it would be wrong for one set of rights to trump another.”

To read all about Lillian's persecution, CLICK HERE.

. . . here is just one example of the vehement opposition to the ruling in the UK media:

-- From "Lillian, the marriage registrar who’s wedded to bigotry" by Rod Liddle at the Times OnLine 7/13/08

Ladele, a bigot, aged 47, does not much like the idea of homosexuals doing anything with each other, let alone getting married. Officiating at such a ceremony was in direct contravention of her beliefs, the tribunal decided.

. . . the fact that she can append her bigotry to a minority view within a church attended by a vanishingly small section of the British population apparently swung the day.

There is a double irony here: civil ceremonies, for both gays and straights, are supposedly the secular alternative to a church service, so it is a bit iniquitous to find God – or at least Ladele’s own, personal, vengeful vision of God – poking his big nose in by proxy.

Members of the right-wing press have seen Ladele’s case as a “victory for common sense” against the political correctness of Islington council, which employed this woman.

. . . out of a desire to pay obeisance to any and all forms of religious bigotry, rather than insist to individuals that their views are stupid and medieval, the tribunal has opened the doors to a whole array of nutters with terrible sensibilities to plead their cases.