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UK tribunal: woman harassed for refusing to perform same-sex civil unions

[JURIST] The UK Employment Tribunal [official website] Thursday found [judgment, PDF] for a central-London registrar who says she was harassed for refusing to perform same-sex civil unions on religious grounds. Lillian Ladele alleged that her colleagues at the Islington Council [official website] threatened and excluded her in retaliation for her beliefs, and she characterized the tribunal's decision as a victory for religious freedom. The council's Executive Member for Human Resources John Gilbert complained that the decision did not resolve questions over whether registrars could be required to perform civil partnerships. He said the council was considering an appeal. BBC News has more.

The tribunal's decision immediately sparked reaction from gay rights, secular, and religious groups. Gay rights group Stonewall denounced prejudice [Pink News report] among marriage registrars. The National Secular Society condemned the ruling [press release], saying that public officials are required to perform their duties regardless of their personal beliefs, while the Christian Institute, which funded Ladele's representation before the tribunal, praised [press release] the decision as preserving religious liberties.

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