A WEDDING REGISTRAR who refused to lead same-sex weddings has been given back her job after an appeal, supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC).
Margaret Jones, aged 54, a Senior Deputy Registrar at the Bedford Registry Office, was given an ultimatum by Central Bedfordshire Council – perform same-sex marriages or lose your job.
The decision followed a management meeting on March 28 2014 with Margaret whereby she stated marriage was between a man and a woman – and confirmed to her bosses that she could not conduct gay marriages because she ‘would not be able to say the words and be sincere’.
A formal gross misconduct investigation was launched in April 2014 and Margaret lost her job the next month with the council saying that her stance ‘brought the council into disrepute’ and breached equality laws.
A council appeal panel in August overturned the decision, saying further consideration should have been given to Margaret’s ‘deeply held religious beliefs’. Any reference to gross misconduct would be ‘expunged from all records’.
Paul Diamond, Standing Counsel to the CLC, said: “All good employers should follow this precedent, and practising Christians should no longer fear expressing their beliefs.”