RELIGIOUS beliefs are not sufficient grounds to discriminate against same-sex couples, a court has ruled today.
Rejecting claims by a registrar and a therapist that their rights had been violated after they were sacked for refusing to work with same-sex couples, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg said the British courts had struck the right balance in earlier rulings that personal religious beliefs were insufficient grounds to discriminate against LGBT people.
Jean Lambert, London’s Green MEP and a member of the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee, welcomed the ruling.
She said: “Laws designed to protect LGBT people from discrimination must trump individual beliefs: if such laws can be ignored because someone believes such discrimination is morally right they are simply not going to be effective.
“We’ve come a long way, as a society, in protecting the rights of same-sex couples from discrimination – and this ruling makes clear that recent progress in anti-discrimination law is wholly compatible with international human rights conventions we have signed up to here in the UK.
“But there is still a long way to go of course: LGBT communities still face persecution and significant levels of hate crime and it remains unlawful for same-sex couples to marry in the UK: I hope today’s ruling forces the Government to act swiftly to end all discrimination against the LGBT community here in the UK.”
Notes: The details of today’s ruling can be found at: