Gay Rights “No Excuse for Bullying”

Lillian LadeleA Christian registrar from Islington who was bullied and threatened with the sack because of her religious beliefs on same sex unions has succeeded in her claims of unlawful discrimination by the council.

In its unanimous judgment, the employment tribunal found that Miss Lillian Ladele was directly discriminated against by Islington Council after she asked to be allowed not to perform civil partnership registrations. Miss Ladele’s case was financed by The Christian Institute‘s Legal Defence Fund.

The various acts of direct discrimination included: failing to consider her for promotion; deciding to discipline her and threatening her with dismissal; concluding she had committed gross misconduct; failing to redress allegations that she was “homophobic” and labelling and treating her as homophobic; disregarding her concerns about her treatment; and failing to apply its anti-discrimination policies to gay colleagues who were mistreating her.

The tribunal also accepted that Islington Council had been able to deliver a “first-class” service to homosexual couples seeking civil partnerships, without Miss Ladele’s involvement. Therefore, the Council’s decision to require Miss Ladele to perform civil partnership registrations, contrary to her conscience, was an unlawful act of indirect religious discrimination.

The Council’s actions also amounted to unlawful harassment. The judgment found that the Council “disregarded and displayed no respect for Ms Ladele’s genuinely held religious belief,” and it created an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for her on grounds of her religion on belief.”

Reacting to the decision, Miss Ladele said: “I am delighted at this decision. It is a victory for religious liberty, not just for myself but for others in a similar position to mine. Gay rights should not be used as an excuse to bully and harass people over their religious beliefs.”

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