Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Although the same-sex marriage debate isn't making the headlines at the moment, there is nevertheless a lot still to do before equal marriage becomes a reality. The main battle, now, seems to be whether an opponent - for instance a registrar who is opposed to same-sex marriage on conscientious grounds - should have special exemptions. This was one of the issues considered in Committee at the House of Lords last night. Of course, if such conscientious objections were to be enshrined in law registrars should also have the right to e.g. refuse to marry divorcees. For some reason, though, religious exemptions are only ever sought when they would result in discrimination against LGBT people.

Lillian Ladele exemplifies this religious hypocrisy. Ms Ladele is an unmarried mother who worked as a registrar for Islington Borough Council. Despite having a child out-of-wedlock Ms Ladele saw fit to use her strongly-held "Christian" beliefs to refuse to carry out civil partnership registrations.

Ms Ladele lost her job and appealed to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in September last year. She lost her appeal in January 2013. The outcome of her case and its implications for equal rights was not reported by Newsround.

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