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National Secular Society

Challenging Religious Privilege

Islington registrar who refused to officiate at civil partnerships fails in her attempt to take case to the Supreme Court

Lillian Ladele, the Islington registrar who refused to officiate at civil partnerships because of her religious beliefs, has failed in her attempt to take her case to the Supreme Court.

NSS president Terry Sanderson said: “We are relieved that the Supreme Court has refused to hear this case. Had Ms Ladele’s case succeeded it would have completely undermined equal treatment under the law for gay people and unlocked the floodgates to many other damaging challenges to equality legislation. Her demands that anyone following their religious conscience be exempt from the law to which everyone else is subject were unreasonable, and I am pleased that the courts have recognised this.”

Ladele resigned rather than conduct ceremonies for gay couples after her attempts to claim discrimination failed. In December 2009, Appeal Court judges agreed that she had broken the law. The Sexual Orientation Regulations make it illegal to refuse to serve someone on the grounds of their sexuality.

She is now considering whether to take her case to the European Court of Human Rights.

Published Tue, 09 Mar 2010