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Christian hotel owners take appeal against discrimination ruling to Supreme Court

The Christian owners of a guesthouse who refused to allow a gay couple to stay in a room with a double bed have obtained permission to take their case to the Supreme Court. The original judgement of Bristol County Court in January last year found that Peter and Hazelmary Bull, who run Chymorvah House in Marazion, Cornwall, had unlawfully discriminated against Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy, who are civil partners. The appeal court re-affirmed this view in February this year, ruling that the guesthouse is not exempt from anti-discrimination laws because it is a business and not a religious organisation. The British Humanist Association (BHA) believes that Martyn Hall and Steven Preddy were victims of unlawful discrimination, and welcomed the first two judgements on this case. The BHA is therefore disappointed that Peter and Hazelmary Bull have been given permission to take their appeal against these judgements to the Supreme Court.

Christian registrar case refused by Supreme Court

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has commented on the Supreme Court’s refusal to give Lillian Ladele permission to appeal last year’s Court of Appeal ruling that she had not been subject to religious discrimination. Ms Ladele, who had worked as a Registrar for Islington Council, refused to perform Civil Partnership ceremonies, saying that they went against her strong Christian beliefs. In refusing Ms Ladele’s application to appeal the ruling, the Supreme Court said that her case did not raise legal points of “general public importance”.

Andrew Copson, BHA Chief Executive, commented, ‘The Supreme Court’s decision not to grant permission to appeal is extremely welcome. A clear message has been sent out that those people providing public services or performing public functions, such as Civil Partnership ceremonies, have a duty to treat services users equally, with dignity and respect, as the public authority itself must.’

‘In a modern liberal democracy, there can be no “opt out” for those who say they are unable to do their jobs because they wish to discriminate, even when that desire to discriminate derives from a religious belief.’

Notes

For further comment or information, please contact Andrew Copson on 07534 248596 or 020 7079 3583.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious and campaigning for an end to religious privilege and discrimination based on religion or belief.

Supreme Court finds school’s admissions policies contravene race equality law

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed today’s Supreme Court ruling that the admissions criteria to the Jews’ Free School (JFS) in Kenton contravene the Race Relations Act 1976, describing the judgment as ‘of immense importance.’ The judgment upholds an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal.

Andrew Copson, BHA Director of Education and Public Affairs, said, ‘This judgment is immensely important. It puts beyond doubt the position that,even though there may be a religious motivation for doing so, discrimination against children in admissions on racial grounds is illegal under any circumstances.

‘This is not a matter of restricting “religious freedom” or otherwise; that the admissions criteria of a state-funded faith school have been found to be racially discriminatory should be enough impetus to look carefully at the criteria all faith schools use to discriminate in their admissions.

‘Faith schools are almost entirely state funded in the main. 60 years ago religious groups provided a lot of funding for their state funded schools, it was a genuine partnership, and so they’ve retained certain control over admissions. But these days 100% of the running costs are paid by the state and so there’s absolutely no reason why what is essentially a public service should be denied to any children whatever their beliefs or the beliefs of their parents.’

Notes

For further comment or information, contact Andrew Copson on 020 7079 3584 or 07534 248596.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the non-religious, campaigning for an end to religious privilege and to discrimination based on religion or belief and is the largest organisation in the UK working for a secular society. In education, this means an end to the expansion of faith schools and for the assimilation of those that currently exist into a system of inclusive and accommodating community schools.

BHA makes intervention in faith school case in Supreme Court

Lawyers acting on behalf of the British Humanist Association (BHA) made an intervention earlier today in the Supreme Court hearing on admissions criteria to the Jews’ Free School (JFS) in Kenton.

Court of Appeal rejects Phil Newby’s right-to-die case

Assisted dying campaigner Phil Newby, who suffers from motor neurone disease and has been pushing for a change in the law on assisted dying, has been denied permission by the Court of Appeal. Phil, 49, a father of two from Rutland, and member of Humanists UK, had asked the court for the right to examine […]

High Court rejects Paul Lamb’s right-to-die legal bid — but Paul will consider appealing

The High Court has rejected the application of severely disabled man Paul Lamb for permission to challenge the laws on assisted dying. His application for permission to judicially review the assisted dying laws was heard at the High Court in London this afternoon by Lord Justice Dingemans and Mrs Justice Elisabeth Laing. In reaching their […]

Paul Lamb’s application for judicial review of assisted dying law to be heard by High Court

An application for judicial review of assisted dying laws brought by a severely disabled man, Paul Lamb, will be heard at the High Court in London today. Paul is being supported by Humanists UK in bringing his case. On 2 October 2019 a judge refused Paul’s written application for judicial review. His renewed application will be […]

Phil Newby refused permission by High Court to challenge ban on assisted dying

Phil Newby, who has motor neurone disease, has today been refused permission by the High Court to challenge England and Wales’s prohibitive law on assisted dying. Humanists UK has expressed disappointment at the decision, but hopes it doesn’t affect the separate case of Paul Lamb, who is making his challenge on different grounds. Phil also […]

Paul Lamb applies to High Court to change assisted dying law

Paul Lamb, who is paralysed from the neck down and lives in constant pain, has this week applied to the High Court for permission to judicially review the UK’s law on assisted dying. Through his law firm Leigh Day and Humanists UK, which is supporting him, Paul has now applied to the High Court in […]

Humanists UK intervenes in Northern Ireland abortion case at High Court

Humanists UK has provided evidence in the Sarah Ewart case heard in the High Court of Justice in Belfast this week. Sarah Ewart was denied an abortion in Northern Ireland in spite of having a fatal foetal abnormality. She was forced to travel to England to have an abortion after being told her pregnancy would […]

Humanists UK to intervene in Northern Ireland abortion case at High Court

Humanists UK will this week intervene in the judicial review of a Belfast woman who was denied an abortion in Northern Ireland in spite of having a fatal foetal abnormality, in a bid to challenge Northern Ireland’s restrictive abortion laws. Sarah Ewart, who was forced to travel to England to have an abortion after being […]

Assisted dying campaigner takes case to the highest court in UK

Assisted dying campaigner Noel Conway, who has motor neurone disease (MND) and wants a change in the law to allow assisted dying in the UK, has taken his case to the Supreme Court today. Noel, a 67-year-old retired lecturer from Shrewsbury and a member of Humanists UK, suffers from terminal MND. Noel is campaigning to […]

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