The European Court of Human Rights has ruled on several cases of religious freedoms and have said that religion should not be used as a basis for GLBTI discrimination.
One of the cases was that of Lilian Ladele, an employee of the Borough of Islington who was fired for refusing to register civil partnerships of same-sex couples. Ladele believed that she was unfairly dismissed and took the matter to the court saying her employers violated the ”freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” The court ruled on 15 January that her claim lack merit and it was dismissed.
Bristol-based marriage counselor, Gary McFarlane, also sought help from the court after he was fired because he refused to work with same sex couples for religious reasons. As the rights of same sex couples are protected under the European Convention on Human Rights, McFarlane’s claim was dismissed.
The complainants lost their cases in the British Juridical systems which was their reasoning for taking the cases to The European Court of Human Right which is based in France.
Vice-President of the European Parliament’s LGBT Intergroup, Sophia in ‘t Veld commented on the ruling, saying, “With this ruling, the court has established that freedom of religion is an individual right. It is emphatically not a collective right to discriminate against LGBT people, women, or people of another faith or life stance.”
“Religious freedom is no ground for exemption from the law. The court showed conclusively that the principle of equality and equal treatment cannot be circumvented with a simple reference to religion.”
| Sarah Murphy
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