Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and BET.com. He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at BET.com and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at claycane@gmail.com.


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    Monday, July 14, 2008

    Well, just when you think the Brits are more progressive—you have Lillian Ladele, a marriage registrar in North London who refused to marry same sex couples even after civil partnerships were given legal recognition in 2005. Ladele, a staunch Christian, rants, "Gay rights should not be used as an excuse to bully and harass people over their religious beliefs."

    After reading several articles, I'm not exactly sure how she was harassed—she argues she was given the silent treatment and cried, "I had nobody to go to lunch with!" Also, Ladele claimed her boss said she shouldn't expect to get promoted because, "'by refusing to perform the civil partnerships I was failing to do my job.'"

    Whatever the case, Ladele filed a lawsuit against Islington Council in North London and according to the BBC, "Last week, a tribunal ruled that the North London council had ignored her religious objections to same-sex civil partnerships, finally bringing the 47-year-old single mother’s years of torment to an end."

    47 year-old single mother? Wait, before I get to that, according to the Daily Mail, Ladele told her boss, "'I told her I would not be able to conduct civil partnerships because it states in the Bible that marriage occurs between a man and a woman, not people of the same sex." When did someone’s Biblical interpretations about other groups qualify as facts on the job?

    The article also says, "She admits her Christianity was tested when, at the age of 20, she gave birth to a son out of wedlock." HYDRA!

    If Ladele is such a devout Christian wouldn't she know that according to the Bible all children born out of wedlock are an abomination and so are all of their descendants? How about if a woman is not a virgin when she is married then she too is an abomination? Wouldn't that mean, according to Ladele’s interpretation of the Good Book, that she will burn in the fiery depths of hell along with the homosexuals she won't marry? It's one thing to stand for your "religious beliefs", but cherry picking and ignoring particular verses that clearly applies to the straights, is hypocritical, ignorant, and down-right stupid.

    Some of her gay co-workers filed formal complaints against her "based on her refusal to conduct the partnerships, claiming she was discriminating against all gays, including them." Ladele was shocked and claims she is not homophobic, "‘I’m not homophobic. I’ve never had a problem with gay people or their lifestyle."

    This always kills me from the straights—you believe two people marrying, when you are living a life of unwed sin, is against God… you are denying a group a basic right that is legal (regardless of religious beliefs), and in her case, she has the legal power to say no to marrying -- but yet you want to claim you are not homophobic? That is just illogical... this is a pattern for prejudice people, they take all of the stands of discrimination and cry, "I'm not racist/sexist/homophobic/classist!"

    With a mediator involved there was an attempt at a compromise, “the council wrote her a letter offering a compromise – that she would not have to conduct the ceremonies if she agreed to register them. ‘But the legal aspect of the union is its registration, so I couldn’t accept,’ she says.” What exactly did Ladele think would happen if she registered gay couples? Would God strike her down? Give her a harsher punishment in hell, especially considering she had a child out of wedlock when she was twenty and probably fornicated since -- having men splash up in her for the last 27 years?

    Plus, aren't civil ceremonies a space where anyone can marry without religious affiliation? How can Ladele inject her own selective beliefs?

    Well, with a group called the “Christian Institute” behind her, who covered all of her legal costs, Lillian Ladele won her case that she was harassed on the basis of her religious beliefs. The U.K. doesn't have a written constitution, but I'm surprised at this ruling. As a friend told me, "Here in the U.S. they ruled that even pharmacists who do not believe in abortion must dispense the plan B pill."

    On another note, how sad that a woman of color, who according to the article, only made £31,000 a year, a single mother, who has more than likely experienced discrimination herself, would uphold discrimination of another group—and then gag when people dislike her for it!

    Click here for the full story.

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    Posted by Clay :: 9:37 AM :: 16 comments

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