Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar who was pushed out of her job because of her stance against civil partnerships, has lost her case at the European Court of Human Rights.
Five judges rejected her claim, but two believed that she had suffered discrimination because of her Christian beliefs about marriage.
Mike Judge, spokesman for The Christian Institute which backed Miss Ladele’s case, said: “Obviously, we are disappointed to have lost by a majority decision.
“But we are encouraged that two judges thought we should have won.”
“What this case shows is that Christians with traditional beliefs about marriage are at risk of being left out in the cold.”
“If the Government steamrollers ahead with its plans to redefine marriage, then hundreds of thousands of people could be thrown out of their jobs unless they agree to endorse gay marriage.”
In 2003 Miss Ladele told her managers at Islington Council that, should civil partnerships ever become law, she would have a conflict of conscience based upon her Christian beliefs about marriage.
Following the introduction of civil partnerships, Miss Ladele wrote to her employer in 2006 asking for a reasonable accommodation of her religious objection to same-sex civil partnerships.
Islington accepted that it had enough registrars to provide a civil partnership service to the public without requiring Miss Ladele’s involvement.
But managers at the council refused her request, and demanded that she carry out civil partnership registrations against her will.
The European court also heard the cases of three other Christians who said their human rights had not been protected by the UK Government.