Christian interviewed over marriage stance

A Christian registrar who has been demoted because of her beliefs about marriage will today face a grievance interview.

Theresa Davies is the second registrar at Islington Council to be disciplined for asking to be exempt from registering same-sex civil partnerships.

The Council gave her an ultimatum of demotion to an entry-level post or dismissal.

She will today be interviewed as part of the internal grievance procedure.

Miss Davies’ case echoes that of fellow registrar Lillian Ladele who was bullied and threatened with the sack by the same council after she asked to be exempted from registering same-sex unions.

An Employment Tribunal upheld Miss Ladele’s claim of religious discrimination last year, but the ruling has since been overturned at an Employment Appeals Tribunal and Miss Ladele is now seeking a further appeal.

In June Miss Davies wrote to the House of Lords calling on them to protect her freedom of conscience.

Miss Davies told newspapers at the time: “Britain is supposed to be a nation that respects freedom of conscience. But my conscience is not being respected.

“If Islington Council believes in dignity for all, why can’t my beliefs be accommodated and why is my dignity not being respected?

“I have nothing against homosexuals. My colleagues in the office will tell you that – and the openly gay ones have no problem with me. All I am asking is that the system can be arranged so I do not have to perform civil partnerships.”

Miss Davies’ case is being backed by the Christian Legal Centre.

Head of the Christian Legal Centre, Andrea Minichiello Williams, said: “A fundamental issue is being raised in this case as to whether Christian faith presents a bar to Governmental and numerous private sector employments.”

She added that “in an age in which the Government is an important employer, significant restriction on our liberties is taking place”.

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