Four British Christians who claim they lost their jobs as a result of discrimination against their religious believes will now taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights.
The court in Strasbourg, France, will deal with the cases of two women expelled from work after visibly wearing crosses, a Relate therapist sacked for saying he might not be comfortable giving sex counselling to homosexual couples, and a Christian registrar who wishes not to conduct civil partnership ceremonies.
British Airways worker Nadia Eweida, from Twickenham, south-west London were sacked in 2006 after they refused to remove a necklace with a cross or hide it from view, the Daily Express reports.
An employment tribunal ruled Eweida, whom court documents say is a Coptic Christian originally from Egypt, had not suffered religious discrimination. The tribunal said that the airline changed its uniform policy after the case to allow all religious symbols, including crosses.
According to the paper, Gary McFarlane, a Bristol marriage counsellor, was sacked for refusing to give sex therapy to homosexuals and registrar Lillian Ladele was disciplined after she refused to conduct same-sex civil partnership ceremonies in north London.
The four argue that the actions of their employers contravened European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibit religious discrimination and allow ‘freedom of thought, conscience and religion’.