Lilian Ladele is a civil registrar in the London suburb of Islington who refused to conduct homosexual weddings when they were legalized in 2006. She was bullied by her supervisors, and threatened with firing. A court has ruled in her favor.
In its ruling, which could have implications for the administration of the 18,000 same-sex ceremonies conducted every year, the tribunal said: ‘This is a situation where there is a conflict between two rights or freedoms. 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.
‘The evidence before the tribunal was that Islington Council rightly considered the importance of the right of the gay community not to be discriminated against but did not consider the right of Miss Ladele as a member of a religious group.
‘Islington Council decided that the service it provided was secular and that the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual community must be protected.
‘In so acting, it took no notice of the rights of Miss Ladele by virtue of her orthodox Christian beliefs.’