Lillian Ladele was a marriage registrar at Islington Borough Council. She was forced out of her job because of her Christian beliefs about marriage and her conscientious objection to same-sex civil partnerships.

The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund supported her legal claim of discrimination in the workplace. She won her original employment tribunal case, making national headlines. Her victory was overturned by higher courts in Britain.

The case ended up at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Although she didn’t win her appeal, her case – together with others – did secure important changes which improve the way British courts deal with religious liberty issues.

The financial support from The Christian Institute’s Legal Defence Fund was vital in ensuring Lillian could be represented through the legal process. Lillian’s case divided judges and ultimately was not upheld. However, Lillian’s courage and The Christian Institute’s financial support has meant that her shameful treatment has publicly informed and positively influenced the debate, and persuaded a number of judges and influential legal commentators of the harm of the blinkered approach to human rights for Christians that the case demonstrates.

Mark Jones (Lillian’s solicitor)

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