A conservative British Christian public official is battling for the right to refuse to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies.
The British Civil Partnership Act of 2004 gave same-sex couples rights and responsibilities identical to those of a traditional civil marriage. Performing attendant ceremonies is part of a registrar's job.
Some British Christians argue that if they are not permitted to eschew such duties as a matter of conscience, they will be "marginalized" out of public life. That argument isn't turning out well for Ladle. The Guardian writes:
Ladele, who brought a discrimination claim in 2007, is appealing a ruling by the employment appeal tribunal last December that Islington council had been entitled to view her conduct as amounting to "unacceptable discrimination".
"[Ladele's actions] offended some gay employees and involved discriminating against third parties making use of the services of the council," the tribunal said.
This sounds a lot like the Louisiana case in which a justice of the peace refused to wed a biracial couple. In a country whose president is the product of a biracial union. It reminds us that painstaking Biblical rationalizations of American slavery were once commonplace. Yet we understand that conscience is not somehow a legal justification for racial discrimination.