European Court Rules Religious Beliefs Don’t Justify LGBT Discrimination

European Court of Human RightsA pair of bigoted Brits just got some bad news from the European Court of Human Rights, which ruled their Christian beliefs don’t entitled them to discriminate against LGBT people.

Therapist Gary McFarlane refused to counsel same-sex couples, claiming it was against his religion. City registrar Lilian Ladele made the same excuse when she declined to officiate a civil partnership between gay couples as part of her official duties.

Both McFarlane and Ladele were fired for refusing to do their jobs and brought complaints to the high court, which essentially told them they didn’t have a legal leg to stand on:

The Court considered that the most important factor to be taken into account was that the policies of the applicants’ employers – to promote equal opportunities and to require employees to act in a way which did not discriminate against others – had the legitimate aim of securing the rights of others, such as same-sex couples, which were also protected under the [European Convention on Human Rights].

In particular, in previous cases the Court had held that differences in treatment based on sexual orientation required particularly serious justification and that same-sex couples were in a relevantly similar situation to different-sex couples as regards their need for legal recognition and protection of their relationship.

The authorities therefore had wide discretion when it came to striking a balance between the employer’s right to secure the rights of others and the applicants’ right to manifest their religion. The Court decided that the right balance had been struck.

While we applaud the court’s decision, you can count the seconds until fundamentalist groups in the States use the ruling as proof that Christians are being “persecuted.”

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  • Dwayne420

    Religion itself is just as man-made as the books they’re all based on…release the lions! lol

  • RSun

    Years go I was confronted by an anti-gay relative who said that gays shouldn’t be protected because it was a “chosen” lifestyle.

    I told him that I didn’t choose my lifestyle then, using his argument against him, I asked why a person’s chosen religion was protected?

  • 2eo

    The Heil [Daily Mail, the Fox of UK papers] is trumpeting this as a massive win for the christian nation, dunno which Britain they live in as less than 2 million people in the country are church goers and actual christians, and most of them are first and second generation African and Caribbean immigrants.

    Who the Heil also hate.

  • MK Ultra

    If your “religious rights” in any way interfer with another person’s equality, and fair treatment under the law, then it’s not a right, religious or otherwise, at all.
    Isn’t it ironic that the religious groups are the ones asking for “special rights”, to be above the law?

  • DB

    It’s really quite simple. One is free to be prejudiced and believe what he wants; one cannot discriminate and treat others differently based on those beliefs in terms of employment, housing, or public accommodation. It is is fine to believe that blacks are inferior or that same-sex marriage is somehow different from opposite-sex marriage, but you cannot deny equal protection before the law based on that belief. I believe that Islam and fundamentalist Evangelicalism are destructive and immoral cults, but I do no have a right to treat Muslims or fundamentalist Evangelicals different because of my belief. Also, the basic legal fact that your freedoms are absolute as long as they do not infringe on another person’s freedoms is instructive here.

  • 2eo

    With these religious nutters it only works one way, they get all the concessions and anyone who calls them on it is a terrorist.

    I wish I was joking but the Daily Mail has the official policy of anyone who disagrees with the use of the phrase “christian nation” should be jailed [no, I’m not taking the piss, I mean jailed, seriously].

    The great news is that this was yet another comprehensive defeat for the christians forcing their beliefs on secular society.

  • Dakotahgeo

    First of all, these wackos are NOT Christians! Secondly, the closest they come to that definition is that they are faux Christians, or “christian lite”! They have all the markings of the American christian Taliban, and bring on their own persecution by their words and actions. When they change, they will no longer be persecuted; they simply need to look in the mirror for direct evidence!
    Dakotahgeo, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain (Ret. but very active!)

  • 2eo

    These people are christians and the “moderates” have to work more to stop them, just shrugging their shoulders isn’t good enough, and it never was.

    They are your religion and christians should rightly be ashamed of what these people do in your name, you are tacitly responsible for them, it’s time some religious people took some of the burden, which they seem fine in forcing on everyone else.

  • Jeffery

    I’m happy these two were fired and lost their case in court. If you refuse to do your job because of your religious affiliation, you don’t deserve one.

    These people will never understand what discrimination really is because they think what they do is acceptable, because they believe it to the core of their soul. They’re probably sitting at home dumbfounded on how they lost this case. Talk about confusing for these two.

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