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Thursday, 10 July 2008

Christian bigot wins employment case

The registrar who refused to do part of the job she was being paid for because it went against her superstitions has won her case at an employment tribunal, and Christian groups are rubbing their hands.

Lilian Ladele is a registrar in Islington in London. She said she wouldn't perform marriage ceremonies (well, the authorities prefer to call them civil partnerships) for same-sex couples because some sky fairy is supposed not to like that sort of thing.

A story in Pink News tells us:

Islington council is considering an appeal after an employment tribunal ruled that a registrar was bullied because she refused to perform civil partnership ceremonies that she claimed were against God's will.

"It is an important case, which may have a wider impact than the dispute between the parties," the tribunal said. It added that it would be "wrong for one set of rights to trump another".

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.

Completely missing the point that Ms bloody Ladele can choose her religion or, if she didn't have a big God slot in her brain, could choose not to have a religion at all. To say someone has a "right" because they belong to a religious group suggests they have a "right" because they belong to any group, whether it's political, religious or Olympic yodelling.

I've been saving this piece from the Independent for when this story reared its head again. There are some good points made by Ben Summerskill of Stonewall, not least of which is his question as to what would happen if doctors refused to operate on gay people or gay registrars decided not to officiate at straight marriages because they thought they were patriarchal. To which I might add that the latter is only a belief system, just as Ladele's religion is.

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