Today the European Court of Human Rights ruled that religious beliefs may not justify opposing the rights of same-sex couples. British laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation were upheld.
The Strasbourg court examined four cases brought by Christians, including two who argued their beliefs allowed them to refuse a service to same-sex couples. (IntergroupOnLGBTRights)
“With this ruling, the court has established that freedom of religion is an individual right. It is emphatically not a collective right to discriminate against LGBT people, women, or people of another faith or life stance.” “Religious freedom is no ground for exemption from the law. The court showed conclusively that the principle of equality and equal treatment cannot be circumvented with a simple reference to religion.”
Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “British law rightly protect LGBT people from discrimination, and there is no exemption for religious believers. Religion and belief are deeply private and personal, and should never be used to diminish the rights of others.”
The ruling may be appealed within three months.