The Vatican has, predictably, criticised the European Court of Human Rights rulings in the cases of three Christians who claimed they were discriminated against by their employers because of their religious beliefs.
Earlier this week the European Court of Human Rights rulings ruled in favour of BA employee Nadia Eweida who took the company to court for banning her, and other employees, from wearing crosses at work. The company has long since changed its dress policy on the issue and staff are now free to wear crosses.
However, while there was victory at the European court for Ms. Eweida three other Christians who take their cases, claiming religious discrimination, were not so fortunate. The court ruled that the three had not been discriminated against and that ruling has now been criticised by the Vatican whose track record on gay rights speaks for itself.
On Wednesday the Vatican’s foreign minister, Dominique Mamberti, gave an interview with the Vatican Radio service in which he discussed the rulings. Mamberti said “Regarding morally controversial subjects, such as abortion or homosexuality, freedom of consciences must be respected”
Gary McFarlane was sacked as a marriage guidance counsellor after stating he would object to giving therapy to same-sex couples despite it being a requirement of his job. Lillian Ladele was disciplined after refusing to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies despite being a registrar and therefore part of her job. All three claimed their human rights had been violated by their respective employers but the European Court ruled otherwise.
The Vatican has stepped up its attacks on gay rights and marriage equality, in-particular, in recent months as more countries around the world legalise gay marriage or make steps towards doing so. Pope Benedict XVI has led several attacks on the gay community describing gay marriage as a “threat” to “justice” and “peace”.
[Written by Martha Kirkpatrick]