The decision of the appeal court in the case of Lillian Ladele v Islington can only be described as a triumph for justice. Too often these days people are using their religious belief to justify blatant discrimination and when challenged try to claim that they are the victims.
The phrase ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’ is regularly quoted by Christians denouncing homosexuality and lesbian, gay and bisexual people are told that their sexual orientation in itself is not sinful and they are welcome in the Church as long as they are not ‘practising’ their homosexuality.
As Civil Partnership Law made it very clear that it didn’t imply or require that there was a sexual relationship between the two people registering the partnership I can only assume that Lillian Ladele has issues with all homosexuals per se which is not in keeping with the doctrine of her Church or Christ’s teaching.
When Christ was questioned about Roman taxation he said ‘Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s’. He did not condone the taxation system and the hardships that it caused but he recognised the importance of obeying earthly laws whilst following God’s law of love.
Religious texts have been used throughout history to justify discrimination and oppression of different groups of people and as a black woman I would have hoped that Lillian Ladele would be more sensitive to this fact and be less inclined to do the same.
On hearing the decision of the Appeal Court the Rev Sharon Ferguson, Chief Executive of LGCM said, ‘Not only is this wonderful news that confirms that no one in the UK can use their faith as an excuse to discriminate against others but the refusal to allow a further appeal to the Supreme Court has finally put this to rest and stopped this wasteful use of tax payers money and time.’