A Christian British Airways worker has won her religious discrimination case at the European Court of Human Rights for not being able to wear a crucifx at work. Three other Christians had their claims rejected by judges in Strasbourg.
Her claim against her former employer was rejected as judges said Islington Council's action was "legitimate" given that it was obliged to consider the rights of same-sex couples. The Christian Institute, who supported her case said:
"Obviously, we are disappointed to have lost. But we are encouraged that two judges thought we should have won. What this case shows is that Christians with traditional beliefs about marriage are at risk of being left out in the cold."
"If the Government steamrollers ahead with its plans to redefine marriage, then hundreds of thousands of people could be thrown out of their jobs unless they agree to endorse gay marriage."
I was very selfish initially when I heard the verdict because I was jumping for joy and saying 'thank you Jesus'. It's a vindication that Christians have a right to express their faith on par with other colleagues at work visibly and not be ashamed of their faith.
I'm disappointed on behalf of the other three applicants but I fully support them in their asking for a referral for their cases to be heard in the Grand Chamber, and I wish them every success in the future to win.
Barrister Adam Wagner, who specialises in human rights, has confirmed the timeline for the three Christians who lost their cases at the European Court of Human Rights to appeal to the Strasbourg court's higher chamber.
While cross-wearing BA employee Nadia Eweida enjoyed victory at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), three other Christians lost their cases, including hospital nurse Shirley Chaplin, who had been prevented from wearing a cross visibly around her neck.
They will be appealing today's judgment at the ECHR's Grand Chamber.
Speaking at a news conference in central London, Ms Chaplin said she was "very disappointed" by the judgment but heartened that other Christians can now wear a cross in the workplace.
She said she still feels that other religions are given more freedom in the workplace and called upon David Cameron to live up to a promise to change the law to protect cross-wearers.
The European Court of Human Rights has deemed a fair balance was not struck between British Airways check-in clerk Nadia Eweida's desire to demonstrate her religious belief with a "discreet" cross and the airline's wish to "project a certain corporate image".
The judgment, published in Strasbourg, found the airline's aim was "undoubtedly legitimate" but said British courts had accorded it "too much weight" in previous rulings.