Vexen Crabtree (vexen) wrote,
Vexen Crabtree

Christian Legal Cases - Lillian Ladele, Nadia Eweida and others.

Firstly, from the National Secular Society:

"Lillian Ladele, the Islington registrar who refused to conduct same-sex Civil Partnerships on religious grounds, has been refused leave to appeal against the decision of an Employment Tribunal that she did not suffer religious discrimination at work. She has also been ordered to pay costs. [...]

Keith Porteous Wood, Executive Director of the NSS, said: "Religious campaigners are trying relentlessly to reverse hard-won equality rights or give religious employees carte blanche to exempt themselves from the laws and regulations that apply to everyone else. It was notable that while Miss Ladele drew the line at officiating at same-sex partnerships, her Biblical conscience seemed untroubled about conducting marriages for people who had been divorced".

Islington was also battling against considerable odds. These cases are being fought with huge determination and massive funds from evangelical Christian groups.

However, none of the cases have so far been successful, and the repeated failure begins to make this campaign to obtain special privileges for Christians at work look like bravado.

The case of the family court judge in Sheffield who didn't want to deal with gay couples was thrown out, as was the case of the Relate counsellor who did not want to offer sexual counselling to gay couples. Nadia Eweida, the woman who sued BA because she claimed they had discriminated against her after she wore a cross over her uniform, also lost her case. Far from being a victim, Ms Eweida was described by the Employment Tribunal as a nightmare employee who made unreasonable demands, unfounded accusations and was insulting to her colleagues when they didn't share her religious beliefs.

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Service should have taken a leaf out of Islington's book and fought a case brought against them by a Catholic firefighter who refused to provide fire safety literature to gay people. Instead of seeing the case through, the Council settled out of court.

Last week Andrea Minichiello Williams, a lawyer who is behind the Christian Legal Centre — one of the primary groups bringing these actions — sent out an appeal to supporters asking for more money. She said that the group couldn't continue beyond the end of March unless considerable new funding was forthcoming."

And secondly, from The Guardian:

"A cross to bear The results of a Christian worker's employment tribunal have been published: BA may not have been quite as prejudiced as they seemed.

"She was portrayed in the press as a victim of cruel religious discrimination - a poor persecuted Christian who had been "banned" by British Airways from wearing a simple cross at work. And all this while her Muslim and Sikh colleagues were parading about in hijabs and turbans.

The Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and Tony Blair came out in her defence. The Daily Mail took up the cudgels on her behalf. One hundred MPs spoke out in her favour. Bishops demanded a boycott of BA. Evangelical Christians went into paroxysms of righteous fury. At last - here was proof that they were innocent victims of Christianophobia - as practised by our very own national airline.

An open and shut case, you might think. Nadia Eweida was a Christian martyr, pure and simple.

But hang on a moment. The employment tribunal, to which she complained, has just published its judgment, and it tells a rather different story. Not only did it kick out all her claims of religious discrimination and harassment, it also criticised her for her intransigence..."

Article continues.
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