Rights and Religious Tolerance

The BBC has reported that Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar who was disciplined because she refused to conduct same-sex civil partnerships has lost an appeal against the ruling. Ms Ladele argued that she could not carry out such ceremonies as a matter of religious conscience. The QC representing Ms Ladele explained that she had no wishes to undermine the human rights of people from the lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender communities, but she felt that laws must protect those people who have committed views about marriage. However Corinna Ferguson, from Liberty argues that, “Freedom of conscience is incredibly precious but other people have rights and freedoms too” and in the final case Lord Neuberger said: “The legislature has decided that the requirements of a modern liberal democracy, such as the United Kingdom, include outlawing discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on grounds of sexual orientation, subject only to very limited exceptions.”

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