OP NOTE: LANDMARK EUROPEAN COURT RULING ON UK CHRISTIAN DISCRIMINATION CASES
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The Christian Institute
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TUESDAY 15 JANUARY 09:00GMT – the European Court of Human Rights will publish its landmark rulings on four cases of British Christians who claim the UK failed to protect their freedom of conscience.
The European Court will rule on the four cases, in what are sure to be monumental rulings for civil liberty of belief and conscience in the UK.
Two cases involve Christians who were told they could not wear a cross in the workplace, and the other two cases relate to Christians whose employers asked them to perform duties which endorse same-sex relationships.
The Christian Institute is financially supporting one of the four cases, that of Lillian Ladele (pronunciation: Lad-ell) – a registrar at Islington Council who was disciplined for her opposition to same-sex civil partnerships.
Central to that case is the fact, accepted by all sides, that Islington Council had enough registrars to fulfil its legal obligation to provide civil partnership registrations to the public without requiring Miss Ladele’s involvement.
Lawyers for Miss Ladele argue that it was possible for Islington to balance her rights with the rights of others, but that Islington failed to do so. Instead Islington sacrificed Miss Ladele as “an instrument” of social change, her lawyers claim.
Responding for the UK Government, James Eadie QC said Christians should leave their faith at home or consider alternative employment.
Christian campaigners have been concerned that UK equality laws have failed to strike the right balance when religious rights clash with other rights, effectively relegating the rights of Christians.
There have been growing calls for the UK to do more to promote a principle of “reasonable accommodation” for Christians in the public sphere – which would mean more tolerance for belief and conscience as long as that does not place an undue burden on others.
Joshua Rozenberg discussed the case in the Law Society Gazette (Aug 2012):
Miss Ladele’s lawyer, Dinah Rose QC, presents the case at the ECHR:
The Christian Institute is a national charity that defends the civil liberty of Christians.
For more information:
Mike Judge, Head of Communications
The Christian Institute
07736 957 579