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International News - Rex Wockner
Section One
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International News

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

UK registrars cannot shun civil partnerships
England's Court of Appeal ruled December 15 that a Christian marriage registrar who was disciplined for refusing to register Gay civil partnerships was not a victim of religious discrimination.

Lillian Ladele also had claimed that local authorities in the London borough of Islington shunned and ridiculed her because of her religious convictions.

She quit her job at Islington Council in September.

Ladele initially won her case before the Central London Employment Tribunal, but the decision was overturned by the Employment Appeal Tribunal and that ruling now has been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

The court said that "the requirements of a modern liberal democracy, such as the United Kingdom, include outlawing discrimination in the provision of goods, facilities and services on grounds of sexual orientation, subject only to very limited exceptions."

Ladele plans to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Gays blocked from fielding candidate in Philippine election
The Philippines Commission on Elections on December 17 upheld its earlier decision to block the LGBT group Ang Ladlad from registering as a political party and fielding a candidate for Congress in the May national election.

The vote by the full commission to uphold the decision by a smaller group of commissioners was 4-3.

It is "crystal clear," the commission said, "that [Ang Ladlad] tolerates immorality which offends religious beliefs."

"Should this Commission grant the petition, we will be exposing our youth to an environment that does not conform to the teachings of our faith," the ruling stated.

According to ABS-CBN News, the ruling also quoted the Bible and the Koran as calling homosexuality "unseemly" and "transgressive."

Ang Ladlad said it will appeal the rejection to the nation's Supreme Court.

Quebec government launches battle against homophobia
The Canadian province of Quebec launched an official campaign against homophobia December 11.

"By its gesture this morning, Quebec society demonstrates once again that it is in the vanguard in terms of the rights of sexual minorities," said Kathleen Weil, who is the provincial justice minister, attorney general and minister responsible for the fight against homophobia.

"La Politique québécoise de lutte contre l'homophobie" will recognize the realities of sexual minorities; promote respect for their rights; "foster their well-being, notably in offering services adapted to their needs"; and "ensure concerted action by all social actors in the fight against homophobia."

"Whether this translates into action on a large scale or simple gestures in everyday life, I am convinced that each of our actions to counter homophobia will move Quebec toward a society that is more just, more tolerant, and richer in its diversity," Weil said.

In a posting on its website, the Justice Ministry said the new campaign is just one element "in a broader strategy leading to the full and complete recognition of sexual minorities, institutional and community support for sexual minorities, and improved knowledge about sexual diversity."

With assistance from Bill Kelley

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pictures: Kathleen Weil
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